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MoCCA Fest: NYC's Premiere Indie Comic Con

mocca posterI spend a lot of time going from convention to convention, be they for anime, games, comics, or all of the above. After a while you get something I call “con fatigue.” But the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival (MoCCA Fest) is a convention that always leaves me feeling refreshed. MoCCA (April 6 – 7, 2013) at the 69th Regiment Armory (68 Lexington Avenue, NYC) is the best event to see some truly unique and fresh talent emerging in the world of independent comics.

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The Salon: Art & Design in NYC

taj tableIncluding the opening day, The Salon was held for the first time at the Park Avenue Armory (643 Park Ave) from November 8 -12, 2012 providing a large range of art objects, painting, sculpture, furniture, and decorative items which met for most the objectives of the show, museum –quality works of art.

The show was organized by the New York based Sanford L. Smith & Associates and the French Syndicat National des Antiquaires. They selected 56 galleries from Paris (27), New York (14), London (six) and other cities presenting in 53 booths more about 700 art objects. All work chosen for the salon were vetted and organized into categories:

  • Furniture and Decorative Art of the 20th Century
  • Twenty and Twenty First Century Design
  • Paintings and Drawings
  • African and Primitive Art
  • Ancient Art
  • Furniture and Decorative Art in 18th – 20th Centuries
  • Sculpture

The Salon included a fund raiser for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. Several panels sponsored by the SCENE magazine were offered covering respectively design value creation in real estate and through the social media as well as on the Vanderbilts bringing “French Grandeur” to America and Deconstructing Modern Design.

The breadth and quality of the Salon was astounding covering hundreds of years of art and design creations and presenting many galleries who were never in New York before. Only comparatively few decorative objects from the contemporary design period were puzzling and difficult to ascertain, yet they found their audience too. Certainly the art, genre, style and period preferences of the well clad upscale audience were readily met by the exhibits in well arranged spaces.

It would be difficult to identify a single established 20th century artist whose work was not shown. Further, this first salon was not crowded during my two visits as Armory art shows frequently are, thus allowing for undisturbed talks of exhibitors and collectors, an advantage pointed out by visitors and staff, in short, as one visitor put it, the salon was a collector’s paradise.

Apart from an overall compliment for this well managed show it is difficult to do justice to all exhibitors and the plethora of objects on view. Among my favorites were the Carpenters Workshop Gallery (London) with its astounding upside down Taj Mahal table, the unending attraction of Rene Lalique’s work mounted by the DJL Lalique gallery (Glen Cove, New York) and kindred art nouveau objects arranged by the Jason Jacques Gallery from New York.

Among the most notable pieces of furniture was DJO Bourgeois’s desk in steel and Bakelite from the Galerie Marchilhac (Paris). Their Zürich counter part, the Gallery Gmurzynska featured the suprematist PROUN portfolio of prints of which only three copies are known to exist, one held by MOMA. For the artist El Lissitzky the Russian Proun stands for 'Project for the Affirmation of the New'. Zlotowski (Paris) devoted all of its space to showcase paintings by Le Corbusier offering an amazing contrast to his style in architecture. And the German-American artist Richard Lindner had two of his eroticizing paintings on view at the Galerie Pascal Lansberg (Paris) exhibit.

As noted the work shown spanned centuries with the oldest paintings on display presented by the Paris and Geneva based De Jonckheere gallery specializing in old masters and specifically Flemish painting. The darkened exhibit space featured The Harvest painting by Pieter Brueghel, a panel by Lucas Cranach the Elder, and the magnificent “Temptation of Saint Antony in a panoramic landscape” by Jan Mandijn. At least for this writer, the picturesque landscapes, village scenes and portraits by the other masters shown in this booth were not as intriguing as Mandijn’s imagination of St. Anthony’s temptations. Following Hieronymus Bosch’ imaginary creations Mandijn demonstrates superb craftsmanship with surreal and detailed scenes. Masked people and bizarre creatures are leaving caves surrounded by strange insects, birds and other fantastic objects against the background of a seemingly peaceful landscape. What he presents transcends our imagination.

If you have missed the show you may want to visit two galleries across from the Armory on East 67th Street. At Friedman & Vallois the focus is on the French artist Rachid Khimone selecting totems and masks created over the last five years using bronze, iron, wood and mixed media. The objects evoke Africa and her traditions. Jumping into 21st century, the Lohner-Carlson Silences exhibit at the Erik Thomsen's gallery of Asian art presents Active Images 1990-20, combining the best of moving images and photographic approaches. The images are shown on a series of high resolution video panels and provide a poetic and elegant glance at seemingly normal scenes. Yet they succeed in unframing our structured visual perception of reality and moving us out of that perception box, if we look closely enough embracing a meditative patience.

You can learn more at,

Art Basel Miami Assembles Finest in Art World

art baselArt Basel Miami (December 6 -9, 2012) has for 11 years been one of the top art festivals in the Americas and it returns to the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Drive  Miami Beach, FL).  An extension of the Swiss Art Basel festival (aka “the Olympics of the art world”), which also has a branch in Hong Kong, Art Basel Miami  features over 260 leading art galleries from USA, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia and over 2,000 individual artists (exhibitors TBA).

Special sections will feature projects by emerging artists, new artworks, public art projects and, performances, video and sound art. 

Other programs include

Film series
Video art exhibition
Art Basel Conversations (past participants include Ai Weiwei, Chuck Close, and Catherine David)
Art Salon (sort of like an art version of TED talks in which artists give short presentations)

Art Basel Miami is one of the largest art fairs in the US, and attracted over 50,000 visitors in 2011. This year will be sure to continue to bring the finest in art from all over the world.

To learn more, go to

Art Basel
December 6 – 9, 2012

Miami Beach Convention Center
1901 Convention Center Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

artMRKT Hamptons: Sun, Sand, and Art!

artmrkt 2011From July 19 to 22, artMRKT Hamptons will be happening at The Bridgehampton Historical Society (2368 Montauk Highway (Rt. 27) - Bridgehampton, NY 11932). artMRKT (yeah, I find the way they spell that a little insufferable, too) brings together 40 galleries from across the U.S. who will present in mediums including:


The whole affair is in a lovely “boutique setting” (whatever that means) and will showcase galleries including:

DC Moore Gallery
DCKT Contemporary
Mindy Solomon Galler
Morgan Lehman
Arte Nova
C24 Gallery
Rick Wester Fine Art

And many more…

The even t will also feature the MRKTworks Auctions, in which people can either bid online or in person at the show, on special pieces being put for auction and 100% of the proceeds from each piece will be donated to their corresponding beneficiary. This auction benefits organizations such as :

The Nature Conservancy
Southampton Animal Shelter 
Children's Museum Of The East End
Bay Street Theatre

So come enjoy the weather, the scenery, and the semblance of art at artMRKT Hamptons for a chance to see some of the top galleries in the US.

To learn more, go to

artMRKT Hamptons
July 19-22

Bridgehampton Historical Society
2368 Montauk Highway
Bridgehampton, NY 11932

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