Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours -

Thank you for 11 years of joy and friendship - 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Beth New York
aka Beth S. Gersh-Nešić
Director, New York Arts Exchange

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Face Painting in the Dark: Poems by Ann Cefola

Ann Cefola paints with poems: still lifes, landscapes, self-portraits and other works of art.  She is a visual artist, as surely as those who delineate with brush or pencil.  She shapes, carves, digs in and reveals.  Peeling away layers of optical appearance, she mines for meaning, creating a personal iconography of circumstance.

In “Teint Pur Mat,” Cefola begins our reading of the poem with a French proverb: “Il fait dur d' être jolie (It's hard to be pretty).”

In white slip like lace, close to mirror, my mother fills 
eyebrows with Charles of the Ritz gold pen.

Chanel No. 5's scent glossy and brown as her mink stole, dabs
from a square bottle.  Touch & Glow, shaken hard in one hand.

And so the poet continues to describe the intimacy of a woman's toilette observed by her daughter, the room suffused with “pharmaceutical scents” sprinkled, sprayed and poured into use that become the heirlooms of experience: habits, products, gestures and olfactory associations.  These moments of watching and waiting transition into joining the female tribe by enacting rituals of beautification.

pale frosts of junior high.  How makeup marks my life;
Elbowing at the girls' room mirror, I draw

And contemplate: ruminating over this fashioning of the mask, this living inside and outside of the body:

help me get closer to my true snakeskin.
To swim toward grace, she knew what must be applied.

Along with these evocative images – the optical, the physical, the invisible and the remembered – which interact and overlap, simultaneously, like a Cubist's collage, there is sound: a voice that too sketches out the scenery, as in "Sugaring"

            At the pancake house, I say Blueberry, you say Cinnamon Sugar.                                                      

This poem makes my mouth crave maple syrup.

Thankfully, Cefola includes her masterpiece “Demoiselles 7,” which I have enjoyed for lo these seven years since we worked on our respective “Demoiselles” for the 100th anniversary of the painting's birth (mine was the catalog essay for an exhibition; Ann's her magnificent dialogue between the five prostitutes and art history):

To give and daily be discarded.
To live a heaviness in limb,
to feel  one's blood finely carbonated,
to sink back into empty pupils.
You blame Braque, Léger, Gris
They saw the world vibrate, could see the other side.
They heard the discordant violin, broken guitar.
They knew the danger of still life.

Picasso's ladies talk back, released from their stationary poses, to rant about the issues that still plague humankind:

We Demoiselles that changed the world,     and didn't.

As we travel from page to page, following the poet alight on urban and rural terrain, capturing the very essence of existence in all its vibrant or drab quotidian colors, we eventually face death itself in her poem “Road to Windsor,” dedicated to Susan Hall Anthony (1930-2009), co-founder of the New England Writers Association.

There she is, shimmer and light,
about to loose the body like an old nightgown.
I offer useless prayers.  Embrace her a second, last, time.
She holds on as if spirits speak in dialogue no one can hear.

This mural-like existence no less than two women, a portrait,
a Vermeer.  Love doesn't go away, I say.  She knows.
I put my hands at my heart in Namaste,
a gesture she returns.

And so the poet heads for home through the Vermont farms and Main Streets as we too take our leave from this journey through a virtual exhibition of Celofa's perceptive imagery:

Green hills home to sheep and dog, black-eyed Susans bright.
The envelope that folds in on itself,
daylilies that close at night.

Chuffed, we look forward to another Cefola collection.

Ann Cefola's 
Face Painting in the Dark was published by Dos Madres Press in 2014.   Her other collections of poems are St. Agnes, Pink-Slipped published by Kattywompus Press in 2011 and Sugaring published by Dancing Girl Press in 2007.  She also translated Hélène Sanguinetti's poem Hence this Cradle published by Seismicity Editions in 2007 (enjoying the Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency at Santa Fe Art Institute to prepare).  Cefola received the Robert Penn Warren Award, judged by John Ashbery.  She earned her MFA in Poetry Writing from Sarah Lawrence and still lives in New York.

Beth New York
aka Beth S. Gersh-Nesic
New York Arts Exchange

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kolektiv1: One Night of Wine + Jazz for Art

and the New York Arts Exchange

invite you to


to support
emerging art + artists

NOVEMBER 20, 2014, 6-9 PM

Liederkranz Club at the Phipps Mansion
6 E. 87th Street 

Click to buy Tickets 

Wine tasting with 100+ different wine/food pairings
to support kolektiv1's artists + spring art shows
  Brad Baker Jazz Ensemble 

Dance to jazz and swing
Taste 100+ wines from all over the world
Enjoy tapas style food pairings
Bid on a silent auction of affordable art

Mane Sakic-Slobodan Miljevic-Valentina Brostean-Robert Dandarov-Gerri Davis-Gregory de la Haba-Clarity Haynes-Esther Ruiz-Fabian Tacuri-Max Tzinman-Marjorie Van Cura

·        Live Jazz, Swing, Dancing by the Legendary Brad Baker Jazz Ensemble

·        Wine Tasting of over 100+ wines

·        Tapas-Style Food Pairings of: Dates, Gorgonzola, Pastourma, Pan Roasted Rack of Lamb, Lollipops, Pan Seared Scallops, Cauliflower & Raisins, Duck Fries and more!

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Modernism at Christie's - through November 6th

Edouard Manet, Le Printemps, 1881
Christie's sale on November 5, 2014

Time for the Fall auctions at Christie's and Sotheby's, best known for the impressive Impressionists paintings and other delicious Modernist treasures that chase those Post-Halloween blues away.

The star of Christie's evening sale on Wednesday, November 5 is Edouard Manet's Le Printemps (Spring), from 1881, which features the actress Jeanne de Marsy or Demarsy.  A video about this magnificent painting can be viewed here.

However, during my visit to the auction exhibitions yesterday, I completely fell in love with the Hope and Abraham Melamed Collection of Cubist Works, an exceptional find on display for this week's auction of works on paper, November 6th.

Pablo Picasso, Figure, 1913
Melamed Family Collection

Hurry to see this wonderful group of prints, drawings, books and one letter from Juan Gris to André Simon (Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler's partner for his Galerie Simon in Paris) before it disappears from public view (unless Leonard A. Lauder scarves it up for his promised collection of Cubists works for the Met).   

Pablo Picasso, Guitar, Spring 1920
A Swiss Charitable Foundation

Could Fall 2014 mark the beginning of Cubist Fandom?   I hope so.  Cubism is the most intellectually stimulating modernist movement to date - and its quiet appearance among the usual art celebs (Renoir, Pissarro, Matisse and Dufy) convinces me of that more and more.   

Still cogitating on the Lauder Collection.  Review in the works.

Best wishes for Election Day,
Beth New York

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange