Next week, the international art world will begin arriving in the City of Water for the 55th Venice Biennale by plane, train, and boat. Gilad Ratman, who is based in Tel Aviv, and as one of the youngest artists in the exhibition will represent Israel, will be taking a less direct route--a trek across desert, over water, and beneath the earth from his hometown of Haifa to the Israeli pavilion in Venice. This art pilgrimage is not meant to turn Ratman's entrance into a physical spectacle--like the one made by the Brooklyn artist Swoon when she crashed the 2009 Biennale on a float made of garbage--but is actually the fictional narrative of a video he will be showing in the Israeli pavilion. "It's completely absurd," Ratman says. "It's meant to be ridiculous. Of course there's no way to go from Haifa to Venice in a straight line."
Instead, what Ratman and his team have done is invent a mockumentary account, set to music, of what such a journey might look, sound, and feel like via a five-channel video shot in caves and on location in Israel and in Venice. They've even filmed a scene of their "arrival" from underground, where they've supposedly tunneled upwards until they break through the floor of the pavilion itself. "You piece together the story of the journey as you walk by the five screens," Ratman explains. "That, along with the leftover rubble, is the evidence of the pavilion's own biography. You get there and think, 'I'm standing in a place where something's already happened.'" For Ratman, the journey has always been at least as interesting--if not more so--than the destination. In past videos, he's documented the process of creation and the real exertion that goes into artmaking. "I want to have things happen that are physical and visceral and sweaty," he says. "The goal is to subvert this hierarchy that exists between production and its outcome."
Photo: courtesy of Braverman Gallery
This cocktail dress is the best of two worlds: the silhouette is fresh and playful while appliques and a Watteau back give it a sophisticated couture sensibility.
Photo: courtesy of Oscar de la Renta
Like many who flew toward the neon promise and wide shoulders of the downtown New York scene in the '80s, Jeannette Montgomery Barron found her flock. Starting with Francesco Clemente, the photographer began taking pictures of her newfound art-world crowd, some already famous and others well on their way. Tuesday night, Barron celebrated the publication of Scene, a book of photographs from Powerhouse that captures her old friends during a luminous era that has yet to fade. Here, a few names you will recognize-but whose pre-fame appearance you might not.
Pictured: Cindy Sherman [left]. "I wanted to take a simple portrait of Cindy. Just outside the frame lay all of the pig noses and assorted props we have seen in her photographs."
George Condo [right]. "I wanted to take a simple portrait of Cindy. Just outside the frame lay all of the pig noses and assorted props we have seen in her photographs."
All photos: Jeannette Montgomery Barron from Scene.
New York dermatologist Gervaise Gerstner just hung her shingle on Park and 73rd--but this office is hardly a one-woman show. "I was always writing out lists for my patients--who to go to for eyelash extensions, nutrition counseling, acupuncture--so I figured the smartest thing to do was to put them all under one roof," says Gerstner, who, until last month, shared a practice with fellow derm darling Amy Wechsler. "It's one-stop shopping here."
Makeup, lash extensions, diet help and acupuncture are all offered along with, of course, a full lineup of needles, lights and lasers. And, when it comes to her high tech devices, Gerstner isn't afraid to play favorites. "I love Clear & Brilliant for skin texture, firming pores, softening fine lines and smoothing crepey skin. It's a third the price of a fractionated laser [like Fraxel], it penetrates skin only a third as deep and there's a third of the downtime. I use it on my own skin every three weeks."
For body shaping, meanwhile, she sings the praises of Cool Sculpt, which kills fat cells by freezing them. "There's zero down time, although you have to wait 8-12 weeks to see results. You won't lose one ounce on the scale, but you will go down one size in your clothes. It's FDA approved for lower and upper abdomen and flanks, but I also use it on inner thighs. The only side effect is that, three days later, you feel like you did too many sit-ups." Her recommended remedy: "Just wear Spanx."
Photo: Jane Larkworthy
What: The New York City launch of Martone Cycling Co., Lorenzo Martone's new line of stylish street-ready bicycles.
Where: The Paramount hotel.
When: May 21
Who: Marc Jacobs, actress Amanda Setton, Aby Rosen and Samantha Boardman, Peter Som and a host of muscular guys in tight shirts roamed the perimeter of the hotel's second floor, sipping champagne and admiring the bikes, which come in five colors, weigh only 26 pounds and sport a "MCC Duomatic" special two speed gear system with an automatic shift.
Why: "The idea came a year ago. I've been biking forever. I went to school in Paris and literally everyone rides a bike in France. And I moved here and I got a bike right away. And last year I moved to the West Village and I started putting my bike in the living room and I thought, Whoa it needs an upgrade. I collect mid century furniture. At this point I was just looking to buy a new bike that has more of an aesthetic that looks as good outside as it does inside. I started looking and didn't find it and I thought, you know what? What if I start designing a city bike that I feel comfortable riding and is gonna look great inside my apartment?" said Martone. And no need to worry about packing an extra set of workout clothes. Thanks to the lower speed gear system, Martone insists you can still look chic post-ride. "I don't want to go too fast because I don't want to be sweaty because I'm wearing a suit and going to my office. The idea is you don't want to change clothes to ride. I ride the gold one and I feel, like with accessories, it goes with everything."
Photos: Carly Otness/BFAnyc.com
What: ACRIA's Unframed 2013: Focus on Photography, a silent auction and cocktail party hosted by Olivier Theyskens and curated by Stewart Shining.
Where: The Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.
When: May 20
Who: A mix of fashion editors in airy, summer ensembles; designers like Peter Som, Prabal Gurung, Johan Lindeberg and Bibhu Mohapatra; and artsminded girls about town Sofia Sanchez, Arden Wohl, Rebecca de Ravenel and Michelle Harper.
Why: The intersection of fashion, art and photography can prove an irresistible mix--especially for such a good cause (proceeds went to ACRIA's support for and research of HIV and AIDS). Theyskens even had a hand in adding work by Craig McDean, Arthur Elgort and Thomas Whiteside to the silent auction offerings. "I thought I could propose people who are more famous for fashion photography but also have a great, artistic voice," said the designer, who owns works by Ellen von Unwerth and Karl Lagerfeld and had his eye on a photograph by Edward Mapplethorpe.
Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com
The Chanel woman is always pulled together and perfectly accessorized, this season with a single drop earring.
Photo: courtesy of Chanel
Samantha Boardman Rosen and Aby Rosen
To be fair, he certainly put every inch of the space to good use. In one corner was a mini-wall of real flowers in front of which guests could pose for photos. Bookending the second floor booth, where DJ Nick Cohen manned the turntables, were two dancers performing some kind of meditative, interpretative routine. And in between two downstairs bars was a woman in a flowing white gown whose sole purpose was to fly through the air on a multi-story swing, like a lost Cirque du Soleil acolyte. Every so often, a man named Victor would sweep her into his arms and whisk her out of the room, presumably to rest, before carrying her back out for another round on the swing.
“I’m just trying to keep everyone safe,” he said, as he watched her sway.
“Everyone” was an appropriate word choice considering the boldface names that packed the lobby, lounging on oversized velvet ottomans and tufted sofas. There was Eva Chow chatting with Vera Wang. And Carlos de Souza posing for cameras with Nicky Hilton. And Bono being trailed by Guy Oseary, who acted as a bodyguard shooing away fans (even among the famous, there is a hierarchy, after all). And Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis in a red cap, not unlike what a bellboy would wear. And Olivier Theyskens who eyed the swing and said, “I want to try that,” but obviously didn’t.
Waiters passed out everything from smoked salmon with caviar to cotton candy and tequila shots, complete with a bowl of limes.
“I know how to drink tequila,” said one woman when a server tried to explain the process to her.
There was a popcorn machine, too—I mean, why not?—giving one corner of the lobby the enticing scent of a buttery movie theater.
“This IS like a movie,” shrugged Cynthia Rowley as she grabbed a box for herself and moments later confetti dropped from the ceiling to ring in Rosen’s birthday.
Well, if one were to think in cinematic terms, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby would have to come to mind. What was it Jordan said about large parties? “He gives large parties and I like large parties. They’re so intimate. Small parties, there isn’t any privacy.” The woman has a point.
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Photo: Billy Farrell Agency