Michael Heizer Altars Gagosian City-NYC-Untapepd Cities- jinwoo chong-3‘Potato Chip’, 18 tons

If you ask an art aficionado why they’d pay millions for a Van Gogh (and most of them probably would), the answer might be because Van Gogh was a master Post-Impressionist who defined the form and set a daunting standard. But Van Gogh, as a figure of mystery, just as famous for cutting off his ear as he is for ‘The Starry Night,’ is more than a master painter. His paintings sell for millions also because his tortuous life and peculiar habits made him not just a great painter but a legendary artist.

There is no how-to book for those who aspire to be legendary artists, but Michael Heizer might be onto something. Heizer’s latest show, ‘Altars,’ opened last month at the Gagosian Gallery on West 24th Street in the heart of Chelsea‘s art gallery sector, but many say his magnum opus is yet to come. In fact, it’s been coming for the past 40 years.


audio hop tour chelsea secrets-NYC-Untapepd Cities- jinwoo chong-9

Spend more than five minutes in Chelsea and you’ll find a smattering of galleries, installations, and one of New York’s most prominent art scenes, from the famous David Zwirner Gallery, now social media famous because of recent exhibitions by Yayoi Kusama to the blank, spacious Gagosian Gallery, now hosting legendary recluse and architectural sculptor Michael Heizer.

What may go unnoticed, however, is the history behind the neighborhood, as is the case for most areas on the lower half of Manhattan. Last Saturday, we took a tour with David Behringer, founder of The Two Percent, whose Chelsea art gallery tour, called Audio Hop, showcases both sides of Chelsea culture and focuses almost as much on the walk to each of Chelsea’s galleries as it does on the galleries themselves. Audio Hop will continue into June, take a break for the summer, and return in the fall with all new tours. Here were some of the weirdest things we found.


Source Vera Lutter

Chrysler Building, 2014.  Unique gelatin silver print.  95 1/4″ x 56″ Source Vera Lutter

Born in Kaiserslautern, Germany, Vera Lutter moved to New York after receiving her diploma in 1991 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.  She went on to study at the School of Visual Arts, where she received an MFA in 1995.  Her love of New York and its ever changing cityscapes gave way to a most unique experiment.  She turned her loft into a pinhole camera and captured huge images on the interior walls.  Using large sheets of photographic paper, she was able to capture these inverted images in black and white and retained the negative images, which is what we are seeing in this self-titled exhibit currently at The Gagosian Gallery on the Upper East Side.


© Brøndum A/S, Photo: Paul Buchard via Archidose © Brøndum A/S, Photo: Paul Buchard via Archidose

MONDAY, JUNE 24: Underground Eats Mad Men Dinner. Chef Santos at Louro will be channeling his inner ad man on June 24th as he prepares a tasting menu inspired by the Man Men era. As you prepare to say goodbye to the folks of Sterling Cooper & Partners on June 23rd, you may want to think about making plans for the following day to distract you from your depression. 7-9pm at Louro, 142 West 10th Street. $60. Buy tickets here and check out our Mad Men Guide to New York City.

TUESDAY, JUNE 25: Join Neil Goldberg and members of Elastic City (Juan Betancurth, Todd Shalom & Niegel Smith) for “Evening Stars” in various locations within Times Square for a performance that responds to Goldberg’s video, “Surfacing.” Fifteen performers will be stationed around Times Square with specially calibrated telescopes that will allow for an utterly unique stargazing experience in the heart of New York. 11:40pm at 1560 Broadway. FREE. Read our review of Admission, an Elastic City walk at the New Museum.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26: Brooklyn EATS! This is Brooklyn’s first food & beverage trade show, supporting our food manufacturing businesses and creating a borough- wide community of food producers. 10am-5:30pm at 630 Flushing Avenue, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. FREE. Register here(more…)

Douglas Gordon Play Dead Real Time elephant MoMA Untapped Cities

Currently on view in the Contemporary Galleries at The Museum of Modern Art is a large-scale video installation by the Scottish artist Douglas Gordon. The piece, titled Play Dead; Real Time (2003), consists of two large screens on which footage plays of an elephant striding and tumbling around the glistening floors of New York’s Gagosian Gallery. (The piece also includes two monitors placed in opposite corners of the large gallery, which, though smaller and less trafficked by guests, somehow seem to offer a less intimate view.) The circus elephant was brought to New York expressly for Gordon’s piece, and the result is a work of art that also takes the viewer elsewhere, as the piece is a stellar jumping off point for some heavy subjects.


"Untitled", 1981 © The Estate of Jean-­Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris, ARS, New York 2013. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever

“Untitled”, 1981 © The Estate of Jean-­Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris, ARS, New York 2013. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever

Just last week, the Gagosian opened a major exhibit paying homage to one of New York’s most talented but tortured artists, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). A charismatic character bristling with self-destructive creative energy, Basquiat was known for expressing and juxtaposing conflicting qualities in his work. In his visceral, spontaneous pieces, he celebrated the tension between such disparate elements as aloofness and instinctual expression, wit and savagery, urbanity and primitivism. (more…)