Saturday, April 9, 2011

Where are the Galleries? Yuki's Opening + Vegans love BLOSSOM

Omar Chacon
Represented by
in Chelsea Arts District
The Gallery System 
Several cities around the world have art galleries clustered for easy access. If you have ever tried to make the rounds of galleries, or museums for that matter, in London or Los Angeles or Paris you know it can be exhausting, almost impossible, because of the twisting city street plans and the travel time between venues. We have tried to see the complete art scenes in all three cities, but after a week or more of dedicated effort in each city we gave up on visiting many of the galleries. In New York City there are several "main" groupings of galleries with the total number of galleries being in the hundreds. Because of the quantity, seeing them all is unlikely, but seeing 15 or 20 gallery exhibitions in a day in Chelsea or on 57th Street can be relatively easy, because the galleries are almost side by side, floor upon floor.
The main art districts of NYC are: the Chelsea Arts District; 57th Street and the Upper East Side along Madison Ave; Soho; and Williamsburg / Dumbo in Brooklyn.
People who think Paris is still the art center of the world also believe Soho is still the art center of NYC. Unfortunately, I have some very old and disappointing news for those readers: "Things Changed!" A long, long time ago for Paris and for NYC fifteen to twenty years ago the Soho Art Galleries and Artist's Lofts started morphing into what is now one of the posh shopping districts of the world, with rents far too expensive for galleries and artists. There still are galleries located in Soho, the ones who had long leases, and considering the large crowds on the streets, all looking to buy things, it is still a good location. 
The Soho galleries all moved to Chelsea. Now about 250 galleries currently sell the works of living/contemporary artists in the Chelsea Arts District, down from around 300 before the banking crisis. Before galleries and studios moved into Chelsea, the Arts District buildings were used for cold storage warehouses, printing plants, auto repair shops and services / restaurants targeting Taxi drivers. Some of that still remains. The Artist Community relocated from Soho and the Village to Williamsburg, Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and surrounding areas in Brooklyn. Because the artists now live in the area, a group of gallerists have started new galleries near them. The work shown in these galleries rivals that of Chelsea in quality, but with less traffic because of the location. The big galleries often shop these galleries looking for the next wave of emerging talent. 
To complete this overview, the galleries on 57th Street and the upper East Side along Madison Avenue sell many of the "BIG BOYS" in art. If you want to buy a Cezanne, Miro, Matisse, Picasso, Audubon, etc. painting, print, ceramic, drawing, sculpture or the work of late 20th century art stars; or a historic, museum quality piece of art from a Greek, Etruscan, Chinese, etc. treasure trove - then you visit the Upper East Side galleries.
There are galleries in Harlem and all over New York City, but these areas are the most visited districts with clusters of galleries.

It has been a long winter, finally good weather for an art opening in Chelsea.
The crowds were out this past Thursday in Chelsea looking at art and seeing how fellow gallery goers were doing. Many of the regulars have not seen each other since the art openings before Thanksgiving. 

Today, I'm sharing my visit to artist Yuki Onodera's new exhibition at the Yossi Milo Gallery, 525 W. 25th Street. I attended other openings, and will write about them soon, but for now enjoy how Yuki uses the photograhic print as the final stage of her multi-media process.


Yossi Milo Gallery
Exhibits the work of artist
Yuki Onodera
It is her premiere U.S.  solo show. 
The show will remailn up until May 28, 2011. 

BELOW: A Video of Yuki's opening - showing her Transvest series.
video
Ms. Onodera’s ongoing Transvest series (2002–present) are life-sized gelatin silver prints of human figures in silhouette. From a distance, the figures appear to be characters easily identifiable by their clothing and gestures: a flamenco dancer, cowboy or boxer. However, closer inspection reveals that each form is a cut-out shape clothed in fragmented imagery of diverse subjects, including architecture, animals, streetlights, portraits, microscopic organisms, or landscapes. The carefully selected figures from various printed materials are first cut out, placed on a mirror stage and photographed against strong back-lighting. Through physical and digital collage, the figures are filled with image fragments from old photographs, magazines, video and other material, dating from the invention of photography through the present day. Printing and processing the gelatin silver prints in the dark room, the final result is iconic silhouettes. As composite images, each figure transcends and embraces the world around it. 

Also shown are photographs from The Eleventh Finger series (2006–present) which are anonymous street portraits, taken spontaneously without use of the view finder. The faces of the subjects are obscured by doily like paper cutouts overlaid onto the photograph during the printing process, creating both a photogram and photograph. By covering the faces, the artist both highlights the postures and gestures of the subjects, while also rendering the same postures and gestures meaningless without a face.
Yuki Onodera’s work has been exhibited in Europe, Asia and the United States. The artist was born in Tokyo in 1962 and has lived and worked in Paris since 1993.

Information source: Yossi Milo Gallery press release.

FOOD
No animals are harmed 
during the making of 
"these" meals.
BLOSSOM
VEGAN
RESTAURANT
Finding a good restaurant near the Chelsea Arts District in NYC has always been a challenge with only three or four regular establishments, several other eateries have come and gone, and now some previous gallery spaces have been converted to food establishments. Recently the icon of the district, the well loved Empire Diner closed after not being given an extension on their lease. Exclusive new condo buildings continue to be completed allowing art people to live in the Arts District, which ten years ago was a "no-fly-zone" for upscale New Yorkers and visitors. The #7 subway line is also being extended to bring in the crowds.
"Blossom", located on 9th Ave. between 21st and 22nd is a beautiful space serving organic vegan cuisine. This dining option, only one block east of the main district is in a historic building with rustic touches like a fireplace and a dark wood bar. I have posted the Blossom lunch and dinner menus below. The buzz is about the restaurant's meatless dishes from around the world and their organic wine and beer. Co-owners Pamela Blackwell and Ronen Seri wanted to open a true “Organic-DairyFree-Vegan-Vegetarian-AnimalCaring” restaurant, not one which just offered some vegan dishes for practitioners. 
Check out their spicy vegetarian chili made with black beans, corn and vegetables, served with crunchy herb-sprinkled corn chips for $7, or the linguine tossed with tofu, broccoli rabe, tomatoes and olives for $14, and their pressed marinated and grilled mushrooms and roasted peppers 
sandwich  for $12. Desserts include a creamy chocolate torte or a lavender creme brulee.
Everone can have a great meal at blossom, but for the many vegans in the art world, it is "Nirvāna".


Blossom: 187 Ninth Avenue, between 21st & 22nd, NYC 10011  
Phone: 212-627-1144 // Fax: 212-627-8216

See the long and complete menus below in the Post Script.
Until later,
Jack 
-------------------------------------------
Now, a message from: Old Navy
To inquire about ARTSnFOOD blog sponsorship 
call 201-653-5010 - ask for Jack.


POST SCRIPT:
BLOSSOM MENUS
LUNCH 
Served Friday, Saturday & Sunday;   12:00-2:45
Starters
Ravioli in Cashew Cream ~ 11
Spinach, mushroom, and pine nut filling.
Cape Cod Cakes ~10
A blend of hiziki seaweed, herbs and spices. Served with vegan tartar sauce.
Black-eyed Pea Cake ~10
Crispy cake of yukon gold potato and black eyed peas, topped with chipotle aioli.
Breakfast Cravings
French Toast ~ 11
Served with maple syrup and tempeh bacon.
Tofu Scramble ~ 13
Fresh tofu sautéed with onion, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and soy sausage.
Served with toast; salad or fries.
Salads
Blossom Greens ~ 9/13
Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, jicama, carrot, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
in ginger teriyaki dressing.
Caesar Salad ~ 9/12
Fresh romaine lettuce & herbed croutons in our own Caesar dressing.
Field Green ~ 10
Field greens tossed with tofu croutons, candied walnuts and grilled pear. Shallot vinaigrette.
Sandwiches
(choice of fresh cut fries or field greens)
Soy Bacon Cheeseburger ~ 13
Caramelized onions, vegan cheese, soy bacon, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and chipotle aioli.
BLT ~ 13
Crispy southern fried tofu, tempeh bacon, lettuce, and tomato on ciabatta.
Philly Cheese Sandwich ~ 14
Pan seared seitan, grilled onions, peppers, vegan cheese and chipotle aioli.
Tuscan Portobello Sandwich ~ 12
Grilled Portobello, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions
topped with vegan mozzarella and spicy mayo.
Entreés
Phyllo Roulade ~ 15
French lentils and root vegetables baked in a phyllo crust
served over a carrot cashew cream sauce with rainbow swiss chard and caramelized onions.
Crispy Thai Tofu ~ 15
Thai tofu served with basmati rice and baby bok choy.
Blossom Burrito ~ 13
Black beans, rice, avocado and vegan cheese, served with field greens.
Seitan Scallopini ~ 18
Seitan cutlets in a white wine lemon caper sauce, served with mashed potatoes and sautéed kale.
Sides ~ 6
Garlic Spinach / Swiss Chard / Sauteed Kale / Braised Miso Tofu / Mashed Potatoes / Grilled Portobello / Fresh Cut Fries
Desserts
Chocolate Ganache
Blossom Cheesecake
Lavender Creme Brulee
“Cocoa V” Chocolate Plate of Assorted Bon Bons
Apple Cinnamon Sticks with Brandy Caramel Sauce

DINNER MENU
Open Daily: Monday-Thursday 5:00-10:00
Friday/Saturday 5:00-10:30
Sunday 5:00-9:30
Starters
Parsnip Cappelletti ~ 10
Fresh hand-rolled ravioli stuffed with savory whipped
parsnip and crushed potatoes, finished with shiitakes and truffle oil.
Black-eyed Pea Cake ~10
Crispy cake of yukon gold potatoes and
black eyed peas, served with chipotle aioli.
Cape Cod Cakes ~ 11
A blend of hiziki seaweed, tofu, herbs and spices,
served with a vegan tartar sauce.
Sweet Potato Rolls (raw) ~ 12
Stuffed with shredded coconut, jicama, carrot, red and yellow peppers,  scallions, and avocado, with an almond ginger dipping sauce.
Ravioli with Cashew Cream ~ 11
Filled with smoked tempeh, spinach, pine nuts, and white mushrooms.
Porcini Flutes ~ 11
Hand-rolled phyllo filled with porcini mushrooms,
almonds, and ground tempeh, served over a cashew pesto, finished with pomegranate seeds.
Seitan Empanadas ~ 11
Served with saffron aioli and a salad of avocado
and hearts of palm.
Soup Du Jour ~ 7
Salads
Arugula Salad ~ 11/15
Served with red onion, garbanzo beans, hearts of palm,
and avocado, tossed in a roasted garlic vinaigrette.
Caesar Salad ~ 10/13
Romaine lettuce & herbed croutons tossed in a creamy Caesar
dressing, topped with herbed gomashio and toasted capers.
Blossom Greens ~ 9/13
Mixed greens, sweet cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, jicama, carrots, tamari-toasted
pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a ginger teriyaki lime dressing.
Field Greens ~ 10/14
Field greens tossed with candied walnuts, tofu croutons,
and grilled pears in a shallot  vinaigrette.
Sides ~ 6
Braised Tofu
Mashed Potatoes
Baby Bok Choy
Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Grilled Portobello
Sauteed Garlic Spinach
Entrees
Seitan Scaloppini ~ 21
Seitan cutlets in a white wine, lemon and caper sauce,
served with mashed potatoes and sautéed kale.
Rigatoni in Porcini Cream ~ 19
Cooked with shallots, leeks, and broccoli rabe, finished with
pistachio gremoulata and truffle oil.
Hickory Basted Tempeh over Horseradish Crème Fraiche ~18
Served with roasted fingerling potatoes and collard greens.
Port Wine Seitan ~ 22
Seitan cutlets pan-seared in a sauce of port wine and mushrooms, 
accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes, tempura onion, 
and sautéed garlic spinach.
Feijoadinha with Smokey Tempeh ~ 19
A lighter version of “Feijoada,” the Brazilian national dish:
a stew of smokey roasted tempeh, black beans, chayote squash, and
sweet potatoes, in an orange-lime broth.
Phyllo Roulade ~18
French lentils and root vegetables baked in a phyllo crust,
served over a carrot-cream sauce.
Caramelized onions and swiss chard complement.
Vegetable Mezze Plate ~ 18
Our Chef’s preparation of fresh vegetables:
roasted fennel, brussels sprouts, sweet potato puree,
sautéed kale, and tri-color cauliflower, accompanied by spiced quinoa.
Pistachio and Pepper Dusted Tofu ~ 20
Served over roasted root vegetable crepe and a lemon truffle emulsion.
Finished with frisee salad tossed in red beet vinaigrette.
Lasagna ~ 18
A vegan taste of a classic:  stuffed with tapioca cheese, ground seitan,
and roasted eggplant, over marinara and sautéed broccoli rabe.
Dessert
Lavender Creme Brulee
Chocolate Ganache
Blossom Cheesecake
“Cocoa V” Chocolate Plate of Assorted Bon Bons
Cinnamon Apple Sticks with Brandy Caramel Sauce
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ARTSnFOOD, All rights reserved. Concept & Original Text © Copyright 2011 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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