Monday, January 25, 2010

Skipfolio: Niki de Saint Phalle is a FloMasta!

The Firebird is Charlotte’s newest work of privately-owned public art and is a permanent fixture in the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art collection. Standing 17-feet 5-inches tall, the sculpture is a whimsical, bird-like creature covered from top to bottom in pieces of mirrored and colored glass. The Firebird was installed on the plaza of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art facing South Tryon Street overlooking the new Wells Fargo Cultural Campus where the museum is located.
Created in 1991 by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002), the sculpture was purchased by museum patron Andreas Bechtler specifically for placement in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.
Bechtler, a Charlotte resident and native of Switzerland, was looking for a sculpture to serve as a counterpoint to the geometric lines of the museum’s architecture, designed by renowned Swiss architect Mario Botta. 

“When I saw the Firebird, I knew it was outstanding. I knew it would be great for the museum,” Andreas Bechtler said. “The Firebird is joyful, uplifting and engaging. It makes you feel that life is good.”

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is named after the family of Andreas Bechtler. Bechtler assembled and inherited a collection of more than 1,400 artworks created by major figures of 20th-century modernism and committed it to the city of Charlotte.
The Bechtler collection comprises artworks by seminal figures such as Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Jean Tinguely, Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, Le Corbusier, Sol LeWitt, Edgar Degas, Nicolas de Stael, Barbara Hepworth and Picasso. Books, photographs and letters illustrating personal connections to the Bechtler family accompany some of the works in the collection. Only a handful of the artworks have been on public view in the United States.


Lillian Blades @ Hammond House Gallery In Atlanta

Lillian Blades is a FloMasta! Resurrecting Life by taking tossed and neglected materials and creating lyrical, ethereal mosaics that are open windows into memory, family myths, the past and present.

Larry Walker @ Mason Murer Gallery Atlanta

Larry Walker is a FloMasta! In his seventies and still knocking it out like a youngster


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ok, so I'm chilling with my cousin Rodney in Philly. The house on Player Drive is new enough not to register on my GPS. It's a big, red brick Georgian in a new neighborhood of upper-middle class Indians and Russians.  A police officer's family lives across the street. Inside Rodney and Cheryl's home is peaceful, serene, white walls, area rugs and sofas with well-appointed touches that mirror the Islamic faith that she practices and lives. She maintains a beautiful prayer room upstairs. Much of the furniture has been collected in the course of their extended travels through the world, most extensively through the Middle-East. Their military and government service has afforded them rich opportunities to build both valued professional and personal relationships in the heart of the region. He teases me, "Say, Man, you ever been to the Burj Al Arab in Dubai? Ever have lunch at the Muntaha? Two-hundred meters above Jumeriah Beach, The Palm and World Islands?" 
But when asked to chose his favorite spot,.."Man, I like Bahrain..."

     So Rodney mentions that he could use some help moving some things around in the basement. "Here, I wanna show you somethin'..",
He opens a door in the hall at the foot of the stairs.  I had already walked by the door several times since my stay, assuming it was closet. We descend the stairs to the basement.
I notice how much space there is under the house. Lots of storage in here...lots of Rodney's hoard of custom-made suits, stacked piles of moving boxes, and stuff they've picked up over the years.  So with a big grin and a flourish he laid out his goal to me... "Skip, me turn this space into a Man Cave, where I can come down here, play my music, play some pool and chill."

So I ask him, " You wanna get started now?"  

yeah, Cuz'.
That'll be great."
and like two gophers digging out a new hole, we got to work.

We put together several portable wardrobes and grabbed suits in turn by the armful, stuffing them in neat and tight..and out of sight. We waded through the boxes like water. We shoved, shifted, pushed, dragged, lifted, tossed and hauled  until we had a system in place, and a place for everything. One area was cleared out and swept. Half an hour later, another six square feet of space is unburied and freed up.

"What's the story on the pool table?""Hey, it's heavy, but we can put it up if you wanna try... let's do something special with this room first, before we put up the pool table."  Searching through a large box he pulls out bolts of fabrics and curtains purchased at Bahrain's famous Autumn Market. I'm selecting Afghan rugs, and rustic Iranian furniture. Then go through their collection of original paintings and drawings from Naples, Sierra Leone, Spain and Djibouti.  As the concept begins unfolding we agreed that we're going for a look and atmosphere of a sultan's tent in a desert oasis. Or a private club tucked deep in the maze of a crowded souk in Damascus or Baghdad.

Twenty four hours later we're putting on the final finish of the Man Cave.
"My Baby is going to be happy with this, Man..."