Setting the Stage: New Year’s Eve 2013 in Times Square

Setting the Stage: Times Square at New Year’s Eve

A closer look at the spectacle of Times Square on December 31st.

By: Al Orensanz, Ph.D and Zoe V. Speas

, The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts

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The spectacle of Times Square at New Year’s Eve 2013 consumes the attention of viewers of all ages.

In 1904, the owners of One Times Square assembled parties of friends and co-workers on the rooftop of their building to ring in the New Year. Three years later, in 1907, the first ceremony of lowering the Ball was held in the iconic heart of Manhattan. Tomorrow night, over a century later and in the face of biting cold and ungodly congestion, the tradition continues.

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The New Year’s Eve Ball, made of Waterford Crystal, which will descend at 11:59pm on December 31st.

New Year’s Eve throws Times Square into the spotlight as the single point upon which the urban attention and media distribution of the world focuses as a beacon of celebration for the holiday. The city center becomes a international center, and, despite the performances and A-list appearances, it will be the sea of people gathered along Broadway and Seventh Avenue who are the true stars of the show.

They will make the stage of New Year’s Eve come alive and millions of eyes across America will watch the last few seconds of 2013 tick away with them, wishing they stood beneath the downpour of confetti and flashing 
lights. They are why, for those last ten seconds of the previous year, Times Square becomes the center of the universe. The people.

Paris has fashion. Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe encompass the city of London. St. Peter’s Square has been the cornerstone of Rome for centuries, as with the Acropolis in Athens. But in New York, the energy of the people within provide the city with its most famous trademark. New York City is not the capital of the United States, nor even the State, itself. The people – regardless of personality or social strata – are the character of the town that has sealed its renown.

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The people create the character and the energy of the city, and not just in Times Square on New Year’s.

The official event lineup features live performances such as Blondie, Miley Cyrus, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; John Lennon’s Imagine, to be performed by Melissa Etheridge, is another beloved classic. Traditional Chinese performances featuring Kung Fu and a colorful fan dance will kick off the festivities early in the evening. The celebration also will be highlighted with exclusive trailers and clips featuring views of Times Square and the surrounding neighborhood.

The backdrop for the festivities tomorrow night will consist of over a hundred buildings coated “from the crown to the toe top full” of neon advertisements and billboards. Thousands of LED lights illuminate Times Square, making it a fully-functional, 24/7 commercial advertising theme park of giant, electronic ad/art that render the buildings they cover completely unidentifiable. Even in “ordinary time”, the buildings along Times Square operate as embodiments of virtual information, carrying very little relativity to the tenants within as opposed to the advertisements assigned to them. The immersive experience of Times Square at New Year’s Eve, as well as the live recording of the night’s events, create blissful accomplices of those assembled beneath the world’s most spectacular advertising strategy.

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New York City at New Year’s Eve.

However, another layer of the visual and perceptual experience of New Year’s Eve at Times Square must be accounted for – the generation of advertisements originating directly from national television networks which are delivered into the living rooms of viewers throughout America and beyond. The messages transmitted through pixels and sound-bytes are intermingled with the physical world and surround the crowds beneath the crystal ball, those gathered around a television at home, or at their local watering hole, blocks away from the hub of it all.

Tomorrow night, Times Square will transform even more potently into a vortex of action and movement for its New Year’s Eve celebration. Technicians and cameramen from New York networks synchronize the activities of the Square among the people, upon the stages, and from the microphones of honored speakers who preside over the event. The reporters and cameramen who supply video feed will move rapidly and efficiently through the crowds, engaging with them in repetitious spurts of gratitude and celebration. The snapshots of the crowds, when viewed remotely, provide the international audiences with the visual representation of their own emotions: smiling, static faces, undulating hands and arms, cameras held high, holiday truisms and well-wishes.

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The fluorescence of New Year’s Eve at Times Square, New York.

The phones in the hands of these representatives feed parallel worlds of messaging and communication systems; there are tens of thousands of smart phones, twitter networks, and Facebook accounts documenting the event from innumerable personal perspectives.

The various elements that create the unique atmosphere of Times Square on New Year’s Eve will change and evolve throughout the progress of the night and its proximity to the sixty-second descent of the Ball at 11:59pm on December 31, 2013.

The only element of permanence in the night, other than the overwhelming joy and hopefulness of a population at the start of a new year, is the backdrop of the city, the enveloping architecture, and the direct flow of communication and advertisement for the multimillion vieweres throughout the world following and celebrating the event from the comfort of their homes.

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.

Katy Gunn - New York Music

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.

Angel Orensanz for Art Palm Beach 2014

The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts and Contemporary Art Gallery Returns to Art Palm Beach 2014

Zoe V. Speas; The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts


The Angel Orensanz Gallery and Museum is pleased to announce its participation in Art Palm Beach, January 23-27, 2014.

Art Palm Beach 2014

Artist Angel Orensanz exhibits permanently at the former “Norfolk Street Synagogue”, home to the Orensanz Museum and Gallery. Orensanz will attend the Art Palm Beach 2014 fair.

The Gallery will present The Collective Unconscious, a series of dramatic new sculptures and paintings by Spanish artist Angel Orensanz. Orensanz has been exhibiting internationally since the 1960s and has a permanent exhibit at the Orensanz Foundation, located inside the former “Norfolk Street Synagogue” in New York City’s Lower East Side.

Burning Bronzes

Art Palm Beach 2014, Angel Orensanz, Burning Bronzes

From the Burning Bronzes episode of the Collective Unconscious series, which Angel Orensanz will present at the Art Palm Beach 2014 fair.

Burning Bronzes, a series of miniature-to-middle scale sculptures, speaks to the artist’s journey from Earth and Land Art into his current medium.

Working with the bronze and stoneware, according to Orensanz, “brings me into closer communion with the earth through my art.”

The sculptures on display will represent a continuation of the artist’s study of the human form and its manipulation, while paying homage to a tradition of indigenous art from around the world.


Bodies - Angel Orensanz - Art Palm Beach 2014

From the ‘Bodies‘ series by Angel Orensanz – an exploration of the human figure continues this winter at Art Palm Beach 2014.

Bodies consists of an incredibly diverse sequence of drawings in charcoal, graphite, ink, and, occasionally, coffee grounds. Angel Orensanz explores human anatomy through a highly vibrant mix of line weight and texture.

Angel Orensanz - Art Palm Beach 2014 - Sculpture

1961. Dinosaurio. Unknown location. Angel Orensanz.

The figures he depicts contort and bend in an expression ranging from agony to ecstasy.

Orensanz began his training in the 1950s at L’Ecole Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris with in-depth, literal study of the human body. Over the decades, his use of “body” and “form” has become an abstraction and a metaphor for the human condition and for the current project, Collective Unconscious.


The Language of Fire

Language of Fire - Angel Orensanz - Art Palm Beach 2014.

Angel Orensanz presents the Language of Fire as part of the upcoming Collective Unconscious exhibit for Art Palm Beach 2014.

Language of Fire bridges the worlds of painting, sculpture, and photography. Through his use of fire, plastics, and vivid color, Angel Orensanz illustrates the universal language of creativity, which defies boundaries of nationality and race. The artist employs a range of scale and perspective in these living photographs, verging almost into the realm of optical illusion. The images are often reflections and, being taken from the artist’s perspective, the shadow of Angel Orensanz’s figure may often be found within the complex layers of each portrait.

A comprehensive catalog with accompanying essays will be produced for the purpose of the artist’s participation in Art Palm Beach 2014.


For more information on Art Palm Beach 2014:

Media Inquiries: The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts, 212.529.7194.

Fair Hours:  Preview – January 23rd 6:00-7:30pm; Collectors Invitational 7:30-10:00pm; January 24th-27th 12-7pm (6:00pm on the 27th).

Location: Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

El arte de Angel Orensanz recibe a los visitantes de su Fundación en Nueva York.

Evento de Arte en la Fundacion Angel Orensanz

Evento de Arte en la Fundacion Angel Orensanz

Nueva York, 27 de julio, 20013. Más de mil visitantes entran todos los eventos de la Fundación Angel Orensana  de Nueva York. Desde su comienzo hace más de un cuarto de siglo, un bosque de su esculturas cilíndricas dan la bienvenida en las escaleras de acceso a cuantos visitantes que se acercan allí cada día. Ese pequeño bosque de cuerpos cilíndricos nos traen a la mente visiones tan entrañables e inolvidables de el arte de Angel Orensanz como Holland Park de Londres, Semeretevo en Moscu, el Kreuzberg en Berlin, el Edificio Beatriz de Madrid; Autopistas del Mediterraneo en Barcelona  y  tantos otros sitios emblemáticos. Precisamente fue en el interior de la Fundación de Nueva York donde el fabrico algunas de sus mejores conjuntos de estas obras.  Luego las llevo al Central Park en el Alto Manhattan, y a Atlanta (Georgia), a Venecia, a Sao Paulo en Brasil y tantos otros puntos.

Desde la noche de ayer, el arte de Angel Orensanz, su bosque de metales se añaden ahora dos pantallas incrustadas en sendas ventanas ojivales de la fachada que proyectan sobre y el día y la noche de Nueva York imágenes y video de las instalaciones de Angel Orensanz en tantos lugares enigmáticos de muchos puntos del planeta.

angel Orensanz en el Lower East Side NY

Angel Orensanz a la entrada de su Fundacion en el Lower East Side, New York

La esplendida fachada rojiza del edificio de 1849 se ilumina con las imágenes de video en continua rotación que traen secuencias de tantos lugares  del planeta desde los paneles de video incrustados en ventanales del singular edificio de la Fundación, entre las calles Houston y Stanton. Por un desarrollo natural de este singular barrio del Bajo Manhattan, la vida nocturna más vibrante de Nueva York está pujando  fuerte precisamente aquí. Esta área se está transformando  en una  réplica del Strand de Londres o de la Rive Gauche de Paris, dentro de los niveles civilizados de Nueva York.

La Fundacion Angel Orensanz

La Fundacion Angel Orensanz

Este bosque de pilares escultura acompañan la entrada al edificio y enmarcan dos pantallas de buenas dimensiones y tratamiento especial para el exterior que trasmiten video y películas de la obra de Angel Orensanz, en tantos puntos de los EEUU así como en otros lugares del mundo. Hay secuencias de Roppongi Park en Tokyo, de la Palaza Roja de Moscu, y de las bienales de Basilea, Sao Paulo y Venecia, entre otras procedencias. Ello hace que los numerosos grupos e individuos que diariamente llegan a Norfolk St. consigan una detenida visita de la obra de Angel Orensanz desde el interior y el exterior, de día y noche.

El escultor Angel Orensanz entra en la Plaza Tahrir de el Cairo

Precedido por un águila gigante y a caballo de un imaginario rocinante, Angel Orensanz ha entrado  en la Plaza Tahrir  de El Cairo.  Es una entrada conceptual, pero intensa y penetrante. El escultor español trata de adherirse y liderar una serie de marchas reivindicativas y transformadoras. Durante más de un ano estos movimientos populares están transformando la faz de todo el mundo árabe. Para ello Orensanz ha creado una enigmática águila que extiende sus alas protectoras y estimulantes.

Angel Orensanz art views of  Plaza Tahrir

Angel Orensanz art views on Plaza Tahrir revolts

Ahora mismo, esta águila la ha posado Orensanz sobre la Plaza Tahrir en el centro de El Cairo sobre docenas de miles de personas que piden y cantan la libertad popular.

Este concepto lo está plasmando Angel Orensanz en dibujos y fotos que van cubriendo un área de su museo en el corazón del Bajo Manhattan, donde radica su  Fundación. Allí serán visibles estas figuras vinculadas a ciudades y países que ha visto aparecer la Primavera Arabe.

La Fundación Angel  Orensanz de Nueva York prepara con esta documentación un libro que estará disponible para el mes de septiembre actual, en inglés, español y árabe y para distribución internacional.

Armory Brunch at The Angel Orensanz Foundation

The Angel Orensanz Foundation will provide It’s  Armory brunch from March 8 to March 10 parallel to the Armory show in New York City. The event will be held at the Museum level from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. The artwork “Transparent Matter” by artist Angel Orensanz will be on display for all participants of the Armory Brunch. The Foundation will open its private collection to the public who can also attend a conference  on the “Arts in the lower East Side”. By Al Orensanz a sociologist and writer specializing in urban sociology, the history of the labor movement and social change. He is also the Director of the Angel Orensanz Foundation, Inc., in New York.

The Angel Orensanz Foundation is located at 172 Norfolk Street between Houston and Stanton Streets on the Lower East Side of New York City, New York.

Please RSVP at or for FACEBOOK RSVP, giving you the option date which you able to attend for brunch:

March 8:
March 9:
March 10:

Transparent Matter

The work of Transparent Matter by artist Angel Orensanz will be on view at the Foundation starting March 8 with a delicious brunch and a talk on “Art on the Lower East Side”. The brunch will be held at the Museum level of the Angel Orensanz Foundation from 10:00 am

– 1:00 pm. Please RSVP at or
March 8
March 9

Transparent Matter by Angel Orensanz

a Piece form Transparent Matter Work by Angel Orensanz



Transparent Matter. Visionary Theoretical Notes

at the Orensanz Exhibition.

For the last 50 years, American engineers and scientists have transformed the way we see and conceive the urban landscape. As in so many other areas of American culture, the story involves a strong intermingling of European and American research and experimentation. Seminal and provocative concepts from the Bauhaus and other German artistic movements as well as from Hungary, France,Holland, England and Italy were joined to those of early American dissenters, in the process changing our entire visual vocabulary and grammar.
A key figure in this process is certainly Gyorgy Kepes (1906-2001), possibly the most seminal thinker in contemporary art and architecture, who is to be joined by Colin Rowe (1920-1999), Robert Slutzky (1929-2005), Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) and Mies van der Rohe 1886-1969), among the towering figures to develop new conceptualizations.
To generalize, the enormous wealth of theory and experimentation produced by these intellects in the past century can be given the name ”phenomenal transparency” or the capacity of two figures to interpenetrate without optical destruction of each other. This became a basic concept in modern and contemporary architecture, design and photography in the first place, but, it later proved to be fertile in the field of the visual arts as well.
It is within this conceptual framework that one can understand Angel Orensanz’s photography of the last 15 years. It is artwork the sculptor developed in several countries, including Russia, Japan, Wales, southern France, central Aragon and New York. In his latest developments, Orensanz uses an acetate screen, interposing it between his lens and the subject. Previously, he used plastics, his transparent sphere, very thin fabric, silk and fibers.
The exhibition “Matter/Light” presents a major segment of this new work, consisting of 18 boxes lined up on the balcony level of the grand hall of the Foundation. These boxes burst into the surrounding darkness like windows into outer space, like eighteen vantage points into a world of visual poetics. In each one, viewers experience double or triple layers of imagery. The phenomenal transparency provides a conceptual tool that allows one to peel off layers of imagery and narratives. As Gyorgy Kepes might have remarked, the figures of the acetate are superimposed on images of waterfalls of Wales, and the layer of distant sunsets, in a succession of refractions, pile up one on top of the other without any “visual destruction” of any of the layers.
Gyorgy Kepes, one of the artists of ”phenomenal transparency, worked with two objects, one from the private realm and another from the public realm. The private real is conveyed by the acetate layer that works as the support of the manual, the objectual, a craft-like reminiscence; while the landscape or layers of landscapes behind the acetate alluded to the public realm.


Transparent Matter by Angel Orensanz

a piece of Transparent Matter by Angel Orensanz

Transparent Matter by Angel Orensanz

a piece of Transparent Matter by Angel Orensanz

New York City Weekend

Finally, it is Friday, so here are the Angel Orensanz Foundation suggestions for you to have a great weekend in New York City.

First, let’s pay homage to our neighborhood, the beautiful Lower East Side, where the art gallery ABC no Rio stands, starting today at 7 pm, they will be hosting Family Misfit Healing a 8 hour show in which 8 performers will create, from scratch, a dynamic family portrait. To know more, click here.

Tomorrow, you can enjoy a late Halloween in the L.E.S., since Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center  has joined with nearly 40 merchants to give candy away to Trick ‘r Treaters between 4-7 pm.  When you see a sign inside a window that says “Participant in Halloween Too” you know that’s a spot that you can Trick ‘r Treat. To see the list of participating stores, click here.

Not very much a Halloween person? You can go to the other side of the island to celebrate the The New Yorker’s Passport to the Arts, a celebration of the New York art scene, or better, a self-guided gallery walk through premier art destinations in Chelsea and Soho. The event begins with a champagne reception and culminates in a wrap party and silent art auction with 75% of proceeds benefiting the American Red Cross Greater New York Region. Know more and get your tickets here.

Don’t want to go outside? No worries, the New York Historic Society and MoMA have great art exhibitions to keep you occupied. In the first destination you can enjoy John Rogers: American Stories, which is the first full retrospective of the most popular American sculptor, whose subjects included scenes from the front lines and the home front of the Civil War, insightful commentaries on domestic life, and dramatic episodes from the stage and literature.

On MoMA you can see Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone. The Polish sculptor reconceptualized sculpture as an imprint not only of memory but also of her own body, using provocative objects that evoke Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, and Pop art.

Art Galleries in the Lower East Side

So, here comes the Angel Orensanz Foundation weekly homage to the Lower East Side. Here is our art galleries in the lower east site crawl, for you to enjoy our neighborhood. First of, Fuse Gallery has an exhibitions worth stopping by. Marcus Burrowes “Sons of Thunder” , the Jamaican, New York based artist draws inspiration from his reggae community and his Rastafarian faith to create his distinct imagery that has a high contrast and is dynamic.

More than reggae, Burrows traveled thought various musical genres and through a lot of locations, all of those are part of his work, shown in drawings and silk-screens. The title he explains:  “In Rasta jargon, lightning and thunder represent an extension of Jah (God); So in a way we all could be sons of thunder.”

 “Sons of Thunder,” artwork by Marcus Burrowes runs September 19 through October 17, 2012,  at Fuse Gallery, 93 2nd Ave (between 5th & 6th Sts, 2nd Ave stop on the F), NYC, NY.

The second place you should stop by is the lower east side art gallery Forever & Today, who is presenting Never Give Up The Fruit, by the international artist collective Slavs and Tartars.  The exhibition features the triangulation of Uyghur culture, between the twin ideological poles of communism and political Islam, Russia, and China. “The exhibition takes its title from the legend of the Fragrant Concubine, the Uyghur Khoja Iparhan, also known as Xian Fe. Renowned as not only beautiful, but irresistible because of her enticing honeydew-like aroma, Khoja Iparhan was kidnapped to pleasure the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Taken against her will, Khoja Iparhan refused to submit to the Emperor’s desires, and in effect, she “never gave up the fruit.””

The concept for the show is resistance and self-preservation. “Now ubiquitous among Forever & Today, Inc.’s neighborhood Chinese fruit stands, the precious Hami melon was historically traded along the Silk Road and sent by the Uyghurs as tribute to the Chinese Emperors of the Qing Dynasty. Featuring hanging green speckled hand-blown glass “melon” lamps within the installation, the suspended rope-knotted lamps, appearing much like the melons traded in the ancient fruit markets of Uyghuristan, are attached to a wooden ceiling structure forming Chinese characters that translate into “dissimulation.””

Slavs and Tatars: Never Give Up The Fruit; October 6-November 18, 2012
Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 12-6pm; Forever & Today, Inc.: 141 Division Street. New York

painting by Caroline Bergonzi  - Galleries of the Lower East Side

Work by Caroline Bergonzi at The Angel Orensanz Gallery in the Lower East Side

Finally, pass by the Angel Orensanz Foundation. Burning Bronzes is on its last weeks, so don’t miss your opportunity to see the works of Spanish Master Angel Orensanz and also, the beautiful creations of Caroline Bergonzi‘s, who is presenting “Creative Odyssey”.

The History of Angel Orensanz Foundation

We have talked a lot about Angel Orensanz. We shared with you art critic Calvin Reid’s thoughts on the Spanish Master, his travels around the world, what the French Art critic Pierre Restany had to say about him, some details of his accomplishments, and much more.

Today, we are changing the focus to talk a little about the Angel Orensanz Foundation. The building was originally the place of Anshe Chesed Synagogue, and it was built in a Gothic Revival style, designed by Berlin-born architect Alexander Saeltzer back in 1849 to house the local congregation of Jews in the Lower East Side. It is the fourth oldest synagogue building in the United States and the longest-standing one in New York City. It was also the largest synagogue there was at the time of its construction. The synagogue changed hands many times for many years, until it was abandoned in 1974.

Twelve years later, as Angel Orensanz was walking around the Lower East Side looking for a place to establish an art studio, he discovered the building, immediately deciding that it was the perfect place to work as a base for his projects. Soon afterwards he successfully bought the property, and, along with his brother Al Orensanz (now the Foundation’s director) went about restoring the building.

He and his team successfully converted it into and art gallery, foundation for the arts, and event space known as The Angel Orensanz Foundation. The next year, thanks to their efforts, the building was designated an official historic landmark of New York City.

As an event venue, The Angel Orensanz Foundation has welcomed Sarah Jessica Parker, Phillip Glass, Whitney Houston, Florence and the Machine, Alexander Mcqueen, Spike Lee, Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg, and many others to its premises. With an interior that resembles the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris and the sanctuary designed to look like the Sistine Chapel, it’s no wonder why people fall in love with our Foundation.

Over the years the Angel Orensanz Foundation has held many artist exhibitions, such as Hush and Luis Buñel. It is also the permanent studio and performance space of the Spanish Master Angel Orensanz. We also cooperate with PS1/MoMA; The Goethe Institute, the Whitney Museum in New York; The Italian Cultural Institute, New York University; Columbia University and Princeton University; the National Russian Museum of St. Petersburg and the Royal Shakespeare Co. of London; The World Council of Peoples for the UN, the United Jewish Council and the American Academy in Rome.

The Angel Orensanz Foundation was inaugurated officially in 1992 and during its 20th anniversary what better way to celebrate it than with an exhibition that features its creator? Our featured exhibit, Burning Bronzes starts tomorrow (Sept 12th), with the opening at 6 pm, so if you are in New York City, this is your opportunity to see this amazing place on the Lower East Side and appreciate the beautiful works of Angel Orensanz.