ART in NATURE: Aldeaduero, Spain – Angel Orensanz Territory

Art in Nature and the ‘Orensanz Territory’ – Aldeaduero, Spain

News Update: Angel Orensanz at Aldeaduero, Spain – March 2014

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Angel Orensanz with the President of the Council of Salamanca Javier Iglesias at the dedication of the Orensanz Territory.

This past Monday, March 17, 2014, we at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts celebrated the inauguration of the “art in nature”-focused Orensanz Territory in Aldeaduero, Spain. The distinguished honor was bestowed upon sculptor Angel Orensanz in respect to his commissioned environmental art work in the beautiful regional landscape of the Spanish countryside.

Since the release of this announcement, photo documentation has poured in from the Spanish media coverage of the Aldeaduero region and the Orensanz Territory. Television and Online News reporters swarmed to the artist and the honored guests in attendance for the inauguration which included the President of the Council of Salamanca, Javier Iglesias and the Director of Tourism for Castilla and Leon.

Scroll down for the latest images of this incredibly special event.

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Angel Orensanz presents a copy of his book and other publications to President of the Council Javier Iglesias.

Press and honoree Angel Orensanz congregate beneath the artist’s “Mountain Sculpture.”

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Gathering of media attendants documenting the inaugural speech at the Orensanz Territory.

Sculptor Orensanz addresses the media in Aldeaduero.

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Sculptor Angel Orensanz converses Castilla and Leon TV, under the watchful eyes of the President of the council, Javier Iglesias.

For more information about Territory Orensanz, art in nature, and the artist’s long history with the region of Aldeaduero, Spain, check out the newest Winter 2014 issue of ARTSCAPE Magazine, available now online or in print!

Aldeaduero, Spain: ART NEWS – The Angel Orensanz Territory

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Sculptor Angel Orensanz inspects the gorgeous views of Aldeaduero, Spain.

Aldeaduero, Spain Celebrates the Opening of the “Angel Orensanz Territory.”

March 17, 2014

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St. Patrick’s Day in New York City – courtesy of

Today, the city of New York celebrates St. Patrick’s Day through a blur of emerald sequins, shamrocks, certain green-tinted beverages, and of course, the grand tradition of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade that has drawn audiences to the streets of the city for over 250 years.

Southeast of the excitement that currently emanates from Fifth Avenue and 44th Street in Manhattan, the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts celebrates another milestone in the career of its founding artist and sculptor Angel Orensanz. On this day in Aldeaduero, Spain, the local government establishes the “Territory Orensanz” along the famed banks of the river Duero.

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A series of sculptures by Angel Orensanz in Aldeduero, Spain.

The ceremony kicks off in Aldeaduero, Spain at 1pm this afternoon and will be attended by honoree Angel Orensanz, as well as His Excellency the President of the Council of Salamaca, Francisco Javier Garcia Iglesias and the Director General of Tourism of Castilla and Leon, Javier Ramirez Utrilla. Mayors and members of civil authority of the Portuguese-Spanish border countries as well as provincial, regional, and national representatives of Spain congregate for an official presentation of the environmental art installations of Angel Orensanz in the region.

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A series of sculptures by Angel Orensanz in Aldeaduero, Spain.

The work presented in Aldeaduero, Spain was installed by Orensanz with heavy influences of film production and large-scale industrial architecture. The iconic platform upon which the pieces operate serve as “proto-structures with references to ancient structures and instruments” such as Totems or trees that recall both archaic use and futuristic technology. 

These tubular elements with which Orensanz utilizes space have an expressive value about them which is highly poetic, almost musical. In this way does the art work in tandem with the regional climate of Aldeaduero, Spain – one of water, body, wind and clouds, and especially timelessness.

From the Aldeaduero, Spain regional tourism website:

“Facing the background of the physical universe, this language of Orensanz, as a minimal archetype, becomes an humanistic and idealistic sculpture : one that mimics nature but does not seek to represent her entirely.Its value is that of all human endeavor, conscious of its own limits and its own outputs. It is a language in which to contemplate the human being can be sublimated in beauty and find a new hope.”

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View of the Aldeaduero river in Spain, with sculpture by Angel Orensanz in the foreground.

Angel Orensanz continues his long artistic career as one of the pioneer creatures of the new century, and this step in Spain of establishing the Territorio Orensanz solidifies his identity as a “global artist.”At present, Orensanz’s work continues from his studio Paris, as well as here at the Foundation on Norfolk Street,  in Manhattan, New York. Both sites will continue to serve in correspondence with one another, as aglobal showcase linked to the installations in Aldeaduero

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Sculptor Angel Orensanz creates a work of living photo-art with patient donkey in Aldeaduero, Spain.








Miami Art and Design: Miami Welcomes Sculptor Angel Orensanz


By: Tom Bellachio, 2014.

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Sculptor Angel Orensanz presents his work at the Miami Art and Design art fair in Feburary 2014.

Sculptor Angel Orensanz represents just one of a notable list of contemporary artists who have made Miami a favorite destination for development, production and public formulation the artistic mind.

Orensanz’s work was actively accessible and on display at the current Miami Art Fair (Booth 312), which included a mesmerizing anthology of his sculpture, painting, drawing and photography/video.

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Miami Art and Design 2014 fair presented the work of artists and galleries from across the international arts community.

His booth is one of the most visited at the Miami Art and Design fair; hundreds of experts, collectors, documentarians and visitors gathered in excitement over Angel Orensanz’s presence in the Southern metropolis.  This year, Orensanz presented bronze pieces, paintings, drawings and photography.  The common trait of his work is a subliminal, transcending magic that inserts into the visitor a universe of disturbing associations.

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Luis Bunuel – Angel Orensanz develops a new installation art piece in the lands of Spain featured in much of Bunuel’s work.

Angel Orensanz developed a deep and mutually supportive rapport with surrealist and photographeer Luis Bunuel. Both were born in Aragon and were attracted to Paris and New York. Presently, Orensanz is developing an open sculpture project in the same landscapes of Western Spain where Luis Bunuel shot his “Tierra sin pan”  (Land without Bread), not far from the frontier with Portugal.

Bunuel visited Angel  Orensanz’s studio and Foundation in New York, installed for the last 30 years in a building that was erected in the early 19th century and is the oldest synagogue building in Manhattan. Bunuel enjoyed that heartland of references and meanings.

Angel Orensanz enjoys Miami’s artistic openness and fervor. He has brought a trove of mythical reptiles cast in Miami, which are featured in his booth (#312) at the current Miami Art Fair. Besides his mesmerizing sculptures his booth is populated with paintings, drawings and photography.

His photography work at the Miami Art and Design fair displays how prominently the medium serves as the doorway to the inner mind of Angel Orensanz, through which we levitate in a universe of oniric and fantastic constellations.
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‘CARE for KENYA’ at the Angel Orensanz Foundation

“Care for Kenya” at the Angel Orensanz Foundation:
Rallying support with Celebrity Hosts and Supermodel Contributors

February 2014. New York City, NY.

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The “Care for Kenya” event at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts promotes awareness and forward action for the social crisis in underdeveloped countries.

The “CARE for KENYA” event at the Angel Orensanz Foundation this February marked an important step in the cultivation of social awareness and local support for the crisis in Africa. The hosts of the event were supermodel Jessica Stam and Kenyan Ambassador to the United Nations, Bob Jalang’o, who appeared as the face and heart of this major fundraising drive in Manhattan for the promotion of humanitarian goals in Kenya.

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‘Care for Kenya’ Winter Ball 2014 at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts in New York’s Lower East Side.

Five hundred people attended the gala event, which was presided over by Mr/ Jalang’o, Ambassador of Kenya at the United Nations,  as well as many other personalities of the African nation. The halls of the Angel Orensanz Foundation were filled with spectators for a brilliant fashion celebration that was followed by a dinner party. Founding artist Angel Orensanz was in attendance for the special event, as part of his United States Winter Tour.

A colorful and socially minded crowd participated with contributing speeches, and performances. The speeches illustrated a vivid tale of culture, technology and social
growth in both ultra-developed societies such as the United States, as well as countries in the course of development as in Kenya and beyond. Attendees contributed not only with tickets and donations but through a vigorous contribution of artistic and cultural objects that opened generously the pockets of the participants.

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Angel Orensanz with Supermodel Jessica Stam at the “Care for Kenya” event at the Foundation. February 2014.

Sporting goods, haute couture donations, jewelry, and airline tickets to distant destinations emboldened the donations to the cause.

The oral presentations showed a rather grim horizon for the women in Kenya who are snared in the domestic and harvesting labor of their country. The tens of thousands of dollars gathered are but just a drop in an ocean of need, but signaled an important shift in enthusiasm and societal cooperation. It is the permanent American conviction that huge, continental problems are solved through seminal, individual initiatives, beginning often in fundraising efforts such as the event held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation this week.


Taxi Cab: New York City from the Rear Seat

THE REAR SEAT: Answering Questions and Asking Questions.

The Journey of a New York City Taxi Cab

By: Al Orensanz, PhD; Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

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The New York City taxi cab serves as a conduit between destinations, but also the interwoven lives of individuals within them.

Most of our day-to-day information accumulates through idle conversations, and it infiltrates our awareness unexpectedly. We interact constantly and randomly with people who talk to us or who listen to us. We are educated through radio and TV broadcasts, and we are constantly alerted by our cellular phones, iPad messages, radio transmissions and commercial ads blinking from the skyscrapers. Throughout the city, we are exposed to taxi cab drivers, vendors, compatriots, old colleagues, spouses, children, receptionists relatives and neighbors.

We traverse the city by taxi cab. Points of interest are brought in by the kaleidoscope of the streets, advertisements, shop windows. The curiosity grows and a decision has to be made: should I engage or retreat? I still have some 30-odd minutes of taxi traveling left. Let me ask the driver. He is most likely talking on a device that I do not see.

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“Light Matter” by Angel Orensanz. The commute, even by taxi cab, can be the venue for inspiration and art.

Darkness engulfs us both. He has the front window available to scout and evaluate traffic strategies. I can see the sides but not my rear window view. My options are very limited. His are much wider and diversified. The driver initiates a conversation with me. The surroundings act as a backdrop. Our conversation gets more intense and specific as our trip progresses. The backdrop of the city moves and evolves as traffic weaves around us, providing context. The centerpiece of the discourse is a reservoir of memories, references, adapted anecdotes that are formulated and adapted to this specific moment and circumstance.

You never ride a taxi twice; you never talk to the same taxi driver twice. The streets are the same, and the buildings blur and dissipate in the immediacy or the distance. The speed renders the faces imperceptible. My attention splits and divides as I interact coincidentally with the driver and the city around me: on-going conversation is syncopated and distracted every few seconds.

Inside a New York City taxi cab, the darkness surrounds both parties. Conversation is either inevitable or avoided at all costs

Inside a New York City taxi cab, the darkness surrounds both parties. Conversation is either inevitable or avoided at all costs

The questions and answers are all stereotypical. We do not see faces but we hear our voices. With that alone, we can establish a bridge of communication. Obviously, our allocated time is short; the view of our faces is limited therefore is not engaging. The context of the streets and roads we circulate speeds ahead of us fast and uncompromising. There is very limited time for self and mutual exploration. Most of the time we instinctually agree on a common subject matter inconsequential for both sides.

The last moments of engagement come when the trip is ended; and we both descend. These are very short moments, seconds, of the encounter. But they are crucial, ceremonial and engaging.

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“Light Matter” by Angel Orensanz. The voyage as a source of inspiration.

While the departure from inside the taxi is uneventful, the farewell is reduced for the most part to the paying of the fare. The departure at the airport is marked by the eventful ceremonial of many other departures and arrivals: the suitcases, the trunks, the flowers bouquets, the gift-wrapped boxes, and the garments.

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The New York City taxi cab.

The departure within the city streets and the departure at the airport have very different ceremonials for both the driver and the passenger. The taxi ride within the city has the specific limits of a domestic movement that remain within the domain of the immediate. The trip to the airport has the flare of a departure away from the confines of the routine, the familiar and the controllable.

We never look back to the departing taxi cab as it pulls into the street, having deposited us at our requested destination. The expensive and weary routine has been completed. Whether en route to an airport or twenty blocks home from work, the departure from the rear seat, from the interplay of questions and answers, results in a ever-hopeful forward glance to the journey ahead.

In the Steps of Gargallo: Figurative Monuments in Metal Sculpture

In the Steps of Gargallo: Figurative Monuments in Metal Sculpture  

By: Al Orensanz, PhD., Director - Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts  

Abstract or figurative? This was the disjunction with which all the artists of the time were faced, and even though pictorial modernity in Spain had for some time already been inclined to informalism, sculpture artist Angel Orensanz followed the cautious steps of his admired Pablo Gargallo and Julio González, and those of so many other more recent sculptors that also vacillated between the abstract or figurative.

This was especially true if such artists aspired to dedicate themselves to monumental sculpture, since this type of commission is almost always given by the authorities, who in the Spain of that time were not as open and modern as some more advanced private or corporate patrons.

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Monumento a la Jacetania. Ángel Orensanz. Monumental sculpture. 1969.

It is thus not at all surprising that it was for a private collector, owner of a sculpture park in Bellaterra (Barcelona), that the first totally abstract exempt monument erected by Angel Orensanz emerged in 1969: a menhir of 7 meters in height which he executed in two blocks of stone, working by carving directly into grooves and irregularities, which this time were not reserved only to the upper parts, but also extended throughout the lower parts.

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“Monumenta a la Jota” – Angel Orensanz. Sculpture. 1970. Spain.

In contrast, on September 25, 1970, feast day of the patron saint of the village, Angel ORensanz inaugurated in Albalate del Arzobispo (Teruel) his Monumento a la Jota (Monument to the Jota), in which for a change the abstract geometries remained confined to a tall poured-cement podium.

This serves simultaneously as a backdrop for the ground level statue of a well-built singer of jotas, and as a podium on which are raised those of a pair of young dancers: they are once again hieratic figures —something striking in the representation of joteros, even though the dance of Albalete is known for its grace.   They are formed of geometric planes, like those of the Saragossan monuments to the Mother and to Tío Jorge; but this time Orensanz uses for the first time cut and welded steel plates, marking out planes and hollows in a style derivative of the cubism which was so widespread in the Spain of the transition and the start of democracy, one of whose most tenacious exponents would be the Aragonese José Gonzalvo. This said, the model for this solemn mastery in the evocation of volume based on plates and striking hollows was none other than Pablo Gargallo, Aragonese sculptor well known to Orensanz, since he had dedicated to Gargallo,

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“The Great Prophet.” 1933 (bronze) – Pablo Gargallo. Sculpture.

We can say that Gargallo’s splendid Gran Profeta (Great Prophet) has, as adopted sons, two colossi of imposing beards and manes made by Angel Orensanz for the cities of Jaca and Monzón.   The Monumento a la Jacetania (Monument to the Lands of Jaca), raised in 1969 in the square of Biscós in Jaca, is a gigantic titan 7 meters in height and more than two tons in weight, which represents in concrete and steel a pilgrim of the Road to Santiago. The figure’s facial expression shares the limelight with a model of the cloister of the monastery of San Juan de la Peña carried in an offertory gesture with arms outstretched, also in steel. In the lower part, below an oculum of Romanesque reminiscences, the pillars that evoke his body have on each side of a split which represents the Aragon river crosssing the Jacetania in vertical alignment, four sculptural vignettes decorated with fired-enamel gold paint, in which are paid homage other typical elements of the region.

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“Monumento a la Jacetania.” Sculpture. Angel Orensanz.

These include the Holy Grail of San Juan de la Peña, the Cathedral of Jaca, The Book of La Cadena and musical instruments—and also a modern industry as well as an skier (of which he also made a larger version, with welded iron plates, which has been in the exhibition Los Orensanz de Orensanz).

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“Monumento a Joaquín.” Costa Monzón, Huesca, Spain. Angel Orensanz. Sculpture. 1978.

His Monumento a Joaquín Costa (Monument to Joaquín Costa) in his native city of Monzón is also colossal: in this case the homage to Gargallo’s largest and most well known sculpture is even more evident, since the celebrated deputy raises his arms like a prophet preaching. This imagery is not typical in any picture of Costa, but is very appropriate for the staging of the “Grito del Agua”, when every September 14th social groups of all kinds gather before the monument in homage to the great apostle of regeneration and irrigation. His strange gesticulating figure in plates of enameled steel presides over the Avenue of Lérida from a podium of coffered concrete, before some pillars, also of concrete, which serve as a visual backdrop on the other side of the fountain.

Once again then, a very stage-like composition in two parts, like in the monuments to Tío Jorge and the Jota, although the style here is already very different, much more abstract than figurative, since it is of much later date, for it was inaugurated by the local authorities on September 21, 1978, as is stated on the identifying plaque. This same plaque alludes to the financing of the work by CAMPZAR, a savings entity which a few years later would place works by Ángel Orensanz in front of their Saragossa headquarters.

Art Basel 2014: Basel, Miami Beach, Hong Kong

Art Basel 2014 - Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

Art Basel 2014: Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong

by: Zoe V. Speas, The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

A strong tradition of art fairs in the international arts community emerged out of a need to cultivate connections between artists, galleries, and individual patrons, regardless of cultural or geographical divides. This year, the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts is proud to promote the Art Basel 2014 art fair in Miami Beach, Hong Kong, and Basel.

The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts presents the work of founding artists Angel Orensanz at such fairs as Art Palm Beach 2014 and Miami Art + Design (MA+D), but also presents artist materials and publications such as ARTSCAPE Magazine to the Art Basel 2014 Fairs out of Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong.

Art Basel 2014

Visitors gather at the exhibition area of the Gallery Bernier/Eliades (Athens) at the international art show “Art 39 Basel”, in Basel, Switzerland. Art Basel 2014.

(From the ART BASEL 2014 website.)


Connecting the international art community has been Art Basel’s goal since its beginning. Now, over forty years later, it ranks as the premier show of its kind, presenting 20th and 21st century art with a strong curatorial perspective. Its tradition of excellence across a wide range of genres offers visitors the most vital art that the world’s best galleries can offer.

In both Basel and Miami Beach now, and in Hong Kong moving forward, the week of the Art Basel 2014 show teems with parallel exhibitions and cultural events, creating an exciting environment that deepens and strengthens the relationship between gallerists, artists, curators and collectors.

Art Basel 2014

Art Basel 2014 links the artworlds of Miami Beach, Basel, and Hong Kong through its international fair.


The dynamic relationships between art galleries, their artists, private collectors and public institutions play an essential role in today’s artworld. Galleries support emerging artists by funding their production, introducing them to the artworld, and helping to shape and develop their careers. Well-established artists are generally represented by gallerists who over time have built an extensive international audience for the artist, both through shows in their own spaces and by promoting their work worldwide. Similarly, galleries active in historical material can help to increase or revive interest in an artist long after their death.

Today, fairs such as Art Basel 2014 function as the primary global promotional platform for galleries, allowing them access to a massive number of collectors and curators, people who come to fairs not only to discover new artists and new galleries, but also to deepen their engagement with those that they already know. Thus, a successful fair is one that not only generates sales for exhibitors, but also spurs new collectors and curators to follow the activities of their favorite artists all over the globe – and drives them to see shows in the year-round spaces of the galleries that have supported those artists so strongly.

ARTSCAPE Magazine Now Available!

It’s here! The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts proudly presents the latest issue of ARTSCAPE Magazine.

Now available for print or online subscription, ARTSCAPE Magazine is LIVE and ready for you to download today.

Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts - ARTSCAPE magazine

The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts – ARTSCAPE Magazine Summer/Fall Edition

ARTSCAPE Magazine reflects the cultural and artistic activities of the Angel Orensanz Foundation, a Manhattan-based organization for the arts and culture. Operating out of a beautiful, gothic-inspired building designed by Alexander Saeltzer in 1849, the Foundation seeks to reflect and maintain the artistic energy that pervades the New York City community.

Our magazine serves as a conduit between the affairs of the Foundation and the network of producing artists and innovators throughout New York City. By presenting content that relates art to implications of society and global culture, ARTSCAPE provides up-to-date arts-news coverage in the universally accessible format of vivid imagery and engaging texts. The goal remains, as always, to spark conversation and foster connectivity in an ever-expanding and ever-changing city.

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ARTSCAPE magazine – in print and available for purchase at The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. Photo credit – Alexa Eskinazi

This edition features a collection of all-new reports on the arts scene in New York City and beyond. 

ARTSCAPE Magazine Articles Include:

  • Sacred Space: Art in Non-Neutral Environments
  • Language, Mind and Memory
  • Building an Art Paradise
  • Origins: The Influence of Space and History on the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

Visit the Angel Orensanz Foundation homepage for more information about the Foundation and upcoming issues of ARTSCAPE Magazine and our NEWSLETTER!

Musicians. We. LOVE. Katy Gunn & Fred Baker – New York Music

Musicians. We. LOVE. – KATY GUNN and FRED BAKER take on the New York Music scene.

by: Zoe V. SpeasThe Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

The “We. LOVE.” series at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts is proud to present a new chapter - Musicians. We. LOVE. This week, we’re excited to introduce to you the talents and stylings of Katy Gunn and her brother Fred Baker. 

New York Music

Musician. We. LOVE. Katy Gunn in performance.

FOLLOW THESE LINKS for a sampling of Katy Gunn’s track, “Beautiful Things” and Fred Baker’s “Pocket Full of Detritus”.

New York Music

Musicality as an inherited trait: Katy Gunn practices the violin with her older brother.

I’ve believed for a long time that musicality is an inherited trait as specific and definite as brown eyes vs. blue, or a crooked thumb vs. straight.

Katy and Fred have the gene, it’s undeniable, and while they both trained from their youth in classical violin and guitar respectively, today they’re searching for the soul of the city in their respective songwriting and poetry-rap explorations in the world of New York music.

New York Music

Fred Baker performing his unique style of what his sister refers to as “poetry-rap”

I first encountered these musicians at a private concert hosted by the Lower East Side’s New York music venue - the Living Room – a gorgeously intimate “talent incubator”  established in 1988 by Jennifer Gilson, who owns it with her husband, Steve Rosenthal.

Katy Gunn was one of the last few performers to have a night at the Living Room before it closed its doors temporarily.

It was not Katy’s first time at the venue—she has performed there before with other musical groups—but the evening was made even more special by the invitation I received by two wonderful members of the team at NOoSphere Arts on East Houston Street in the Lower East Side. Founding Artistic Director Sol Kjøk and gallery manager Annemarta Mugaas are friends of Ms. Gunn’s and have adopted her as a musician-in-residence at NOoSphere, where the brother and sister team have performed frequently in the past, often in conjunction with performance art and dance pieces sponsored by the gallery.

New York Music

Katy Gunn and Fred Baker perform at NOoSphere Arts on E. Houston Street in the Lower East Side.

Before I first parted the curtains to the private backroom performance space where Katy and her brother were performing, I was expecting a fully stocked band complete with percussionist, strings, guitar, and back-up vocals.

New York Music

Katy Gunn performs at the Living Room in New York’s Lower East Side with Fred Baker and vocalist, Thea Beemer.

When I stepped into the room and found only Katy and her brother and vocalist Thea Beemer, I was amazed. The trio created such fullness and variety of sound through Fred’s work on the sound pad and Katy’s ability to sing and orchestrate her violin simultaneously as Thea harmonized seamlessly with her melodies.

New York Music

Musicians. We. LOVE. Katy Gunn, New York Music.

The problem with my music,” said Katy of this complicated blending process, “is that there’s so much wacky instrumentation and orchestration—it’s a challenge to make it work live.

Through use of live sampling, Gunn’s multifaceted sound elicits the intimacy of a jazz/blues background, with an infectious pop/electronic dance beat.  The lyrics she composes touch on a variety of issues, from religion and faith (“All the People”) to the obsessive and all-consuming nature of love (“Beautiful Things”)—they speak to the search of an artist trying to understand the world and New York music through louder questions, and more colorfully.

“The more we divorce ourselves from religion, if art doesn’t replace that idea of spirit, we’ll all be in trouble,” Gunn says.

Learning about the process and resultant navigation of the New York music world can be an overwhelming experience, even sitting across from Katy Gunn and Fred Baker at a cozy Thai restaurant on the Lower East Side. Especially when she doesn’t seem to recognize it as such in the least.

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from – Katy Gunn’s photoshoot in Brooklyn.

As I ask her about the process she undergoes to develop a new song or new lyric idea, and she begins to explain – with difficulty, at times – I’m comforted to realize that it’s the same challenge, the same difficulty even that I face as a writer, grasping at wisps of an idea in the hopes of weaving it into something resembling a story.

It starts as an imprint,” says Gunn. “One I keep coming back to. I get a beat down, and then find lyrics that match with that rhythm. Sometimes I’ll wake up after sleep with ideas and I’ll try to go and find them again. When it’s something, I’ll listen to it and think, ‘I must have heard this somewhere before…’”

I’m nodding and swallowing heaps of Pad Thai at this point. I think Katy notices my far-off expression and dismisses my confusion with a sweep of her hand. Then she says something to me and to Fred that I’ll remember forever. Especially his response.

New York Music

Katy Gunn and Fred Baker, in performance.

“Anyone can do it, if you put your mind to it,” Katy Gunn assures me. Fred looks up from his curried chicken and rice dish and lifts an eyebrow. “Not anybody,” he adds firmly, and she doesn’t argue. Just smiles.

The truth of the matter is that Katy and Fred do what they do for the same reason that an artist creates, or a writer composes, or an actor takes the stage.

“When I do it well, it’s the only thing that makes me happy,” says Gunn.

“I’m totally paranoid leading up to it, but if it goes well, I’m lost in this lovely place—there have been times I’ve performed when I find myself in a separate world, watching it all happen. There’s no self-identity. It’s a living meditation.”

Listening to her music – and to the music of other up-and-coming new singer/songwriters of the New York music scene – is to participate just as fully as performing it. You become aligned with the artists’ message, you’re rooting for them, like noble underdogs fighting for the survival of art in the face of an increasingly oppressive Gotham City.

Follow Katy Gunn at her website for updates about performances, music downloads, and album releases!

Zoe V. Speas is a writer and editor for the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. Follower her on tumblr and twitter.

Lou Reed: the Death of a Poet, Musician, and a Friend.

Lou Reed: the Death of a Poet, Musician, and a Friend.

By: Al Orensanz, Director of the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

 New York, November 5, 2013.

death of Lou Reed

The death of Lou Reed hits hard at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed.

Laurie Anderson, wife of the late Lou Reed, has sent us copy of her letter to her husband’s friends, admirers and followers:

What a beautiful fall! Everything is shimmering and golden and all that incredible soft light. Water is surrounding us.

Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in upstate New York for the past few years, and even though we’re city people, this is our spiritual home. Last week, I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to Springs. And we made it!

Lou Reed

from the letter written by Laurie Anderson, wife of the late Lou Reed.

Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled by the beauty and power and softness of nature. He died on Sunday morning looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician’s hands moving through the air.

Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

Laurie Anderson, his loving wife and eternal friend.”

Lou Reed

Lou Reed; 1942-2013.

Lou Reed came often to our building in Lower Manhattan for concerts and literary presentations. We conversed frequently: he was an admirer of the art of Angel Orensanz, and we were devoted admirers of his talent and his charm.

Lou Reed, enjoy your eternal rest. Remember us; we will always be here.