Connect with us


Manual Override – Can It Be Stopped?



Lynn Hershman Leeson premiers her the final film to close her acclaimed series “Electronic Diaries” (1984-2019) at The Shed. Photo By Brian Hester

Yesterday I had the opportunity to preview an exhibit, Manual Override, which opens today and runs through January 12, 2020 at The Shed. The experience was well worth the visit as it proved thought provoking and inspirational. First, a little about the venue, The Shed, and the location, if you plan on taking in this incredible group exhibition featuring work by Lynn Hershman Leeson, Morehshin Allyari, Simon Fujiwara, Sondra Perry, and Martine Syms.

Patrons take in one of the five films in Lynn Hershman Leeson acclaimed series “Electronic Diaries” (1984-2019) at The Shed. Photo By Brian Hester

The Shed, a beautiful brand new venue located where The High Line meets Hudson Yards, adjacent to New York’s hottest new attraction, The Vessel, is in and of itself worthy of a trip due to its amazing engineering capabilities with it’s telescoping outer shell that glides out from the base building over rails onto the to adjoining plaza to create a unique one of a kind performance space. The Shed is not only the name of the venue but of a non-profit cultural organization whose mission is to present original works of art, across all disciplines, for all audiences. Enough about the super cool new space.

Here a visitor takes in Morehshin Allahyari’s new work at Manual Override at The Shed. Photo by Brian Hester

With this exhibit, Manual Override, The Shed explores the impact of technology on our lives. Imagine if you will the old action style movies in which a machine goes haywire or a programming issues threatens humanity, think Matthew Broderick in the 1983 film War Games, then suddenly all is saved by a hero hitting an Manual Override button and suddenly the threat is neutralized, the wayward machine slowly grinds to a stop. The artists works here explore essential questions facing modern day society regarding the aspects of automated information gathering and the sheer speed, accuracy and vast volumes of data being collected, how it impacts our lives and most importantly can this increasingly automated system be stopped, is there any possibility of a Manual Override?

A warning notice posted outside of Simon Fujiwara’s Empathy I at The Shed. Photo by Brian Hester

Lynn Hershman Leeson premiered the final film to close her acclaimed series “Electronic Diaries” (1984-2019). This piece was commissioned by The Shed for this project and this marks the first time that all five films are presented together. In this display each film runs simultaneously on screens lined thru the center of the collection, with a small bench in front of each screen. Hershman Leeson began this series back in in 1984 using then state of the art technology, the video camera, as a new medium for exploring the complex interplay between DNA editing, trauma, identity, and survival.

As part of the immersive experiences that is Simon Fujiwara’s Empathy I, visitors must collect a ticket and remain in a waiting room as the anticipation builds prior to viewing the work. Photo by Brian Hester

Morehshin Allahyari’s new work “She Who See the Unknown: Kabous, The Left Witness and The Right Witness” (2019) commissioned by The Shed features a Virtual Reality film, sculpture, and a bedroom installation. Upon entering a bedroom, modeled after the artist’s childhood room in Iran, a visitor will lay down in a daybed and put on a VR headset to view a film about Kabous, a jinn (an intelligent spirit common in pre-Islamic, Zoroastrian, and Islamic mythology) who brings nightmares and sleep paralysis to human bodies. Surrounding the bed are two 3-D printed sculptures of the “witnesses” of Kabous.

Two seats inside the simulator of Simon Fujiwara’s Empathy I on display at The Shed. Visitors actual take ride in this piece, not for the faint of heart. Photo by Brian Hester

These first two works I came across as I entered the gallery space, described above, where certainly enough to pull me in an capture my attention. The next work I saw, Simon Fujiwara’s Empathy I totally challenged my perception of how far an artist could go in presentation. When you see an amusement park style warning posted on the wall prior to viewing you know you are in for something new and exciting. Simon Fujiwara developed an immersive simulator ride experience for two people, who experience a ride through the real world. I don’t want to give away too much on this piece as I highly recommend seeing for one’s self.

Visitors watch portion of a larger multi media piece, Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Shadow Stalker at The Shed. The work is part of a collective of 5 artist entitled Manual Override, on display now through January 12, 2020. Photo by Brian Hester

Jumping back over to acclaimed artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, visitors are treated to another new piece commissioned by The Shed for this collection entitled, Shadow Stalker. While all of the artists displayed deeply moving and thought provoking works here, this was my personal favorite with Sonya Perry’s piece running a very close second. With Shadow Stalker Hershman Leeson displays and questions how massive unavoidable collection of personal data is used to predetermine such things as employment options and crime areas. Further she examines the impact of flawed or biased data being inputted into such systems and how that may be an extension of a larger system designed to hold back certain groups.

Visitors watch portion of a larger multi media piece, Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Shadow Stalker at The Shed. The work is part of a collective of 5 artist entitled Manual Override, on display now through January 12, 2020. Photo by Brian Hester
Visitors watch portion of a larger multi media piece, Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Shadow Stalker at The Shed. The work is part of a collective of 5 artist entitled Manual Override, on display now through January 12, 2020. Photo by Brian Hester
An image of myself, which was generated and projected along a wall leading to the video portion of Hershman Leeson’s piece Shadow Stalker. The work creates and image of the person as they enter and fills in the locations with known locations where this individual, me, has been recorded on facial recognition data bases. Fairly accurate as I have spent years in Times Square and “May have been seen in Brooklyn” Photo by Brian Hester

As I mentioned my second favorite work in this collection, Sondra Perry’s new commission for The Shed is you out here look n like you don’t belong to nobody; heavy metal and reflective (2019). This piece features a film displayed from under water in a cauldron with a larger metal sculpture encased in a Plexiglas pyramid. The sculpture contains heavy metals from a wide range of areas, 18th century shackles, iron meteorite to metal from The Shed building itself. Something about the piece simply pulled me in and required deep examination. I was fortunate enough to meet the artist and her explanations of inspirations for her collection was as amazing as the piece itself. As a photographer I would highly recommend the sculpture as an incredible item to shoot.

Sondra Perry’s new commission for The Shed is you out here look n like you don’t belong to nobody; heavy metal and reflective (2019) on display at The Shed now through January 12, 2020 Photo by Brian Hester
Sondra Perry, left, discusses her new commission for The Shed is you out here look n like you don’t belong to nobody; heavy metal and reflective (2019) with guest curator Nora N. Khanon, The Shed’s first guest curator. Photo by Brian Hester
Sondra Perry’s new commission for The Shed is you out here look n like you don’t belong to nobody; heavy metal and reflective (2019) on display at The Shed now through January 12, 2020 Photo by Brian Hester

The final work in the collection, another interactive piece, Martine Syms’ Shame Space (2018) center around an interactive video installation in which monitors appear inside a metal stud structure alongside acrylic panels printed with photographs. Visitors can interact with the protagonist, via an SMS chatbot programmed by the artist. There is a phone number prominently displayed all over this room and guests are encouraged to text to the number. Without wanting to give too much away and no wanting to post that number here as it may interfere with the artist designed intent, receiving interaction from those in the room, I have decided not to include any photos of this piece,

The Shed’s first guest curator Nora N. Khan welcomes guests to the opening preview of Manual Override at The Shed, NYC. Photo by Brian Hester

I would highly recommend taking in this collection and feel that The Shed and their first guest curator Nora N. Khan, have done a tremendous job putting together this group of artists and these works. Though provoking. Inspirational. Imaginative. Conversation starter. In addition to being able to view Manual Override visitors may also take in Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates, on display through March 22, 2020. There is a fantastic causal space for a beverage and food while at The Shed named Cedric’s. Perhaps a perfect Date Night? A great option for an evening of art and entertainment or maybe mixed in with to a weekend of taking in all the best that New York City has to offer. Tell them Broadway Brian sent you. Highly recommended!!!

Brian Hester is a New York City based freelance photographer covering any nature of event including but not limited to; breaking news, sports, entertainment, fashion, nature and whatever may catch his wandering eye. Since 2011 Brian, has been covering community events and high school sports for North Jersey Media Group and their successor Gannett USA Today. His clients include Rutgers University and Monmouth Athletics. ​You can see more of his work at


Living Portraits By Alexa Meade On Display 529 Fifth Avenue



The Fifth Avenue Portrait Collection, a massive public art exhibit by artist Alexa Meade, spanning 180 feet long, is now on display in the heart of New York City on Fifth Avenue and 44thStreet.

All 22 works of art in The Fifth Avenue Portrait Collection are by Alexa Meade, who paints directly on the faces and clothes of live models, creating the illusion that real humans are two-dimensional paintings on canvas. The colorful living portraits are larger that life, with many of them over 12’ tall.

The art is being exhibited on the outside of the building of the former Wonderland Dreams immersive exhibition. Every inch of the 26,000 square foot space was painted from floor to ceiling, using Alexa Meade’s signature style of art which lets you step inside of a painting. It took over 1,000 gallons of paint to transform the space, which was a former Best Buy. Over 100,000 people came to see the Wonderland Dreams exhibition during its year-long run.

Alexa Meade said, “Walking into an art gallery is intimidating for a lot of people, so I am bringing my art outside for people to be able to appreciate while walking down the street. Art is for everyone, and not just those who feel comfortable in galleries and museums.”

The photography in the collection was primarily captured by either Ruby June or Mike Monaghan.

The live models Alexa Meade painted include such high-profile New Yorkers as Tony Award-winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, Grammy Award-winning singer Walter Russell III, and Emmy Award-winning journalist Paul Wontorek. Additional Broadway actors painted in the collection include Nadia Brown, Julia Lester, Gus Birney, Jonalyn Saxer, and Matthew Sims Jr.

Alexa Meade painted numerous creative powerhouses for the series, including magician Zach King, writer Amber Ruffin, costume designer Emilio Sosa, producer Eva Price, dancer Melissa Becraft, and composer Helen Park. The models also include Ruby June, Richie Ridge, Keith Hurd, Adrian Richardson, and Shelli Lether.

The Fifth Avenue Portrait Collection is located at 529 5th Avenue steps away from Grand Central Station, Bryant Park, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Alexa Meade, paints on the human body and three-dimensional spaces, creating the illusion that our reality is a two-dimensional painting. As The New York Times describes Meade’s artwork, “Think of it as a Van Gogh — that is, if one of his paintings were brought to life as a performative protest.”

Meade’s art has been exhibited around the world at the Grand Palais in Paris, the Saatchi Gallery in London, the United Nations in New York, Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, and Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Her artwork has also been exhibited in space, orbiting the Earth on the history-making SpaceX Inspiration4 mission.

She has created interactive installations at Coachella, Cannes Lions, and Art Basel. Meade is widely known for painting on the body of Ariana Grande for her iconic “God is a Woman” music video, which has nearly 400 million views. Her solo show on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills was attended by forty-thousand people. With profound pop cultural relevance, Alexa’s art has been upvoted to the #1 position on the Front Page of Reddit. She has been commissioned by Apple, BMW, and Sony. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Alexa teamed up with LEGO as a Master Builder for their “Rebuild the World” campaign.

Collaborating with spacetime researchers, Alexa was the first ever Artist-in-Residence at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. She has also been Artist-in-Residence at Google, where she worked alongside the engineers advancing Light Field imaging technology.

Meade and her groundbreaking work have been honored with the “Disruptive Innovation Award” from the Tribeca Film Festival. Respected for her thought leadership and non-traditional career path, she has lectured at TED, Stanford, and Princeton. Meade accepted an invitation to the White House under President Obama. Google Arts & Culture selected Alexa as the face of their “Faces of Frida” campaign, celebrating the legacy of Frida Kahlo and the female artists who are carrying it forward today. InStyle has named Alexa among their “Badass Women.”

Continue Reading


Fashion Week at The Hudson Yards Where Art Was Skytop



From the fabulous photographer and artist Roger Sichel.

Guests enjoyed spectacular birds-eye panoramic views from every perspective, high above the bustle of Manhattan at 15 Hudson Yards 90th floor.

The guest list was exclusive, as drinks and art were highlighted. Models, art, fashion, champagne and cavier abound.

The party was curated by Eddy Bogaert and hosted by Rakesh Gupta.

There was art by Liam Duffy.

Photography from the wonderful Nancy Levier.

Fabulous work by John Mazlish and John-Herbert Wright called Decompression.

I really loved Sandy Cohen’s work.

This was a night of art to celebrate.


Continue Reading


Al Hirschfeld Foundation Launches New Partnership With City Winery



The Al Hirschfeld Foundation launches a new partnership with City Winery (25 11th Ave, NYC) on September 18 with a special live event and exhibition, both titled “Hirschfeld’s Music.”

September 18 at 7:30PM, David Leopold, Creative Director of The Al Hirschfeld Foundation, launches the celebration of “Hirschfeld’s Music” with a live, world premiere multimedia presentation. Leopold will take attendees on a virtual tour through decades of musical history as seen by the artist. Learn how Hirschfeld helped Duke Ellington deal with racism on his first national tours, or when he got Satchmo’s trumpet. See what happens when he hangs out with Aerosmith in the recording studio and who he meets at a Benny Goodman rehearsal in 1932. For this first time, Hirschfeld’s nine decades is on display in a presentation featuring rarely seen images as well and old favorites. Whether that music was onstage at the Apollo, on a Broadway stage, a recording studio, or an after-hour jam session, Hirschfeld caught the essence of the players and the scene in a line as supple and rhythmic as any one he heard. Hirschfeld’s drawings and prints give viewers, then and now, a real sense of the performance and personality of the music and the musicians. To purchase tickets for the September 18 presentation, visit

The live event marks the start of a new, free exhibit on display at City Winery Gallery, New York. Hirschfeld’s nine decades of music art will be on display, depicting some of the most iconic musicians of the 20th Century. From Louis Armstrong to Neil Young; from Gershwin to the Grateful Dead; and from Quincy Jones to the Rolling Stones, Hirschfeld caught the essence of the artists and the scene in a line as supple and rhythmic as any one he heard.

The complete of artwork on display includes.

Mick Jagger (1999), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Etching

Broadway Trio: Zero Mostel, Liza Minnelli, And Carol Channing (1976), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Etching

Louis Satchmo Armstrong (1996), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

The Grateful Dead (1995), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Duke Ellington (1992), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Carnegie Hall: 100th Anniversary (1991), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Aerosmith (2001), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Dizzy Gillespie (1996), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Neil Young (2000), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Benny Goodman (1996), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Bob Dylan (1997), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Billy Joel & George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin (1996), Billy Joel Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Gicleé

Bruce Springsteen (1995), Springsteen Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Gicleé

Reba Mcentire In Annie Get Your Gun (2001), Reba McEntire Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Gicleé

Linda Ronstadt In Cansiones De Mi Padre (1988), Linda Ronstadt Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Gicleé

Diana Ross (1995), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Rodgers and Hammerstein surrounded by their greatest shows (1993), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Elvis (1968), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Etching

John Lennon (1997) , Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Etching

Paul Mccartney (2001), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

George Harrison (2001), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Ringo Starr (1968), Hand-signed Limited-Edition Etching

American Popular Song: Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, and Fred Astaire (1983), Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Solid Sender from Harlem As Seen By Hirschfeld (1941), Plate signed limited edition lithograph

Jam Session from Harlem As Seen By Hirschfeld (1941), Plate signed limited edition lithograph

Lindy Hop from Harlem As Seen By Hirschfeld (1941), Plate signed limited edition lithograph

Scufflin’ In from Harlem As Seen By Hirschfeld (1941), Plate signed limited edition lithograph

Celine Dion (1998). Hand-Signed, Limited-Edition Lithograph

Artwork on display in the exhibition will available for purchase from Proceeds support the Hirschfeld Arts Curriculum program.

The City Winery Gallery is part of the new City Winery flagship location at Pier 57 in Hudson River Park. The exhibition space is dedicated to artwork created by or inspired by musicians demonstrating their prolific additional talents. Previous exhibits have included Aimee Mann, Joseph Arthur, Will Livingston and most recently a photo exhibit by Graham Nash.

The celebration of “Hirschfeld’s Music” extends with the debut of 12 collectable wine bottles labeled with Hirschfeld portraits of legendary musicians, and available exclusively from at City Winery starting in September. Artists featured include Mick Jagger, The Grateful Dead, Aerosmith, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, John Lennon, Prince, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Alicia Keys.

“We are delighted to be working with City Winery to share Al Hirschfeld’s love of music, says David Leopold, Creative Director of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation. “Hirschfeld was a serious hot jazz fan in his youth, and he never lost his passion for music throughout his whole life. One of his first jobs was as a song plugger on the night boat to Albany. He drew so many album covers over the years that some used record shops simply have Hirschfeld cover sections. You don’t get many people who can say that they help Django Reinhardt get his first recording date and also find themselves in the studio with Aerosmith. Hirschfeld’s strong connection to music has never been explored…until now.”

Continue Reading


NYC-Based Sculptor Agnieszka Pestka Transforms Manhattan Showroom for Latest Art Exhibition, “Between Jasmine Flowers”



In the vibrant realm of contemporary sculpturing, New York City-based artist Agnieszka Pestka shines as a remarkable luminary. Hailing from a creative background that has led her everywhere from Asia to Manhattan, Pestka has forged a uniquely captivating path within the art world, weaving various steel and zinc-based creations to form a tapestry of beautiful and thought-provoking pieces, with an immersive Chelsea-based showroom to boot. Utilizing her diverse portfolio spanning a wide variety of different media, Pestka has diligently worked to reshape the future of sculpture—both physically and artistically—for the benefit of the visual artists of tomorrow.

At the heart of Agnieszka Pestka’s art is a near-poetic melding of creativity and surrealist innovation. A quick browse through the visual artist’s portfolio showcases the captivating universe Pestka has painstakingly curated in her collections. Drawing inspiration from natural elements, emotions, and the feminine form, Pestka has worked to craft a collection of beautifully etched zinc plates and delicate hammered steel sculptures, as evidenced in pieces like “Winter Night” and “Tojkad.”

Trained at the New York School of Visual Arts, Pestka, whose work has already been lauded at legendary venues such as Warsaw’s ToTuArt Gallery, has been on an upward climb since her uproarious 2017 New York debut. Now, the artist stands at the threshold of yet another significant milestone: opening her own showroom in the city’s long-held artistic hub of Chelsea.

The artist’s most recent endeavor—the hotly anticipated soft opening of her latest exhibition, “Between Jasmine Flowers”— is now available for private viewing by appointment from August 31st to September 28th, with a grand opening to the public scheduled for late November. Transforming the formerly rugged space into a showroom befitting of her intricate works, Pestka plans to utilize the rawness of the space to advance the narrative of her works, further communicating the artistic intersection of natural beauty and rough-hewn sophistication.

For the past five years, Pestka has invited audiences to embrace the unexplored and engage with the undiscovered, challenging the traditional boundaries of the storied art-artist relationship, and generating an impressive inventory of works, all of which are tied together with a singular theme of questioning the elusive qualities of human existence, and disentangling the often complex constellation of human thought processes.

Drawing inspiration from both historical and personal accounts, Pestka’s works offer a glimpse into the delicate interplay between collective memory and individual experiences, crafting narratives that evoke universally resonant sentiments throughout. In her series of detailed metalwork and etching, like “Water” and “Let me love things in you that don’t exist,” Pestka elicits the gentle robustness of the female form, guiding her audiences on a mesmerizing artistic retelling of the innate beauty of feminine strength, as seen in “Between Jasmine Flowers.”

By artfully weaving together disparate elements of water and steel, Pestka has constructed a unified narrative that connects different dimensions of existence. Her art has become a conduit for cross-temporal dialogues, resonating with audiences across all ages. Alongside her many devotees, Pestka has cultivated an entirely singular community of thinkers who appreciate the intricacies and complexities of modern visual commentary.

One thing remains certain: Pestka’s impact on the art world is undeniable. Recognized for pushing beyond conventional boundaries of artistic freedom, her work challenges norms, ignites conversations, and encourages viewers to reconsider their preconceived notions of humanity.

From the provocative ‘I left to look for you‘ to the enigmatic mysterious ‘Jasmine,’ Agnieszka Pestka stands as pioneers in an era where art facilitates introspection and dialogue, urging viewers to venture beyond the familiar and dive deep into the recesses of collective consciousness. As Pestka’s artistic narrative continues to evolve, the world eagerly awaits the next chapter of her soaring journey.

Agnieszka Pestka’s latest exhibition, “Between Jasmine Flowers,” is now open by appointment only, located at 307 W 20th St, Manhattan, New York City. To learn more about upcoming installations, or to schedule a viewing of her showroom, visit Agnieszka Pestka’s official website.

Continue Reading


ARTACOM Southampton Closes It’s Doors



ARTACOM Southampton was the Hampton’s most exciting showcase of arts with highlights on education, performance, VR new media and philanthropy. The East End’s premiere fine arts gallery  hosted several special receptions with Roger Sichel and friends. The founder and curator Sichel was a photojournalist telling visual stories during the late 1960s and 1970s by capturing star-studded musical performances. He showcased Woodstock in various Hearst & McGraw Hill Publications, Variety and various rock magazines. He even established a premiere New York film festival with notables Andy Warhol, Gore Vidal, and Milos Forman. This was all done as he simultaneously produced other concerts with famous musicians such as The Doors, Four Seasons, and Isaac Hayes. He began immersing in technological innovation to become a profound entrepreneur, being part of the team that created the auto-correct function that saves our daily typos.

T2C’s Suzanna Bowling and Margarita Parlionas stopped by as the gallery came to a close Saturday.

Suzanna Bowling, Roger Sichel and Margarita Parlionas

Sichel’s prior experience has brought a new light to a show in the Hamptons that broke barriers and enlightened audiences in a new way all while building a healthy platform for artisans to be entrepreneurs in a modern tech world.

Sichel’s experience in different fields expands over decades. With an incredible level of experience in several fields, he shifted the paradigm in 2023 and curated a positive cultural revolution.

Every single artist that was lucky to work with him is now experiencing a new level of awareness in the public eye and gaining the capabilities to promote and sell their work in both traditional formats as well as the scope of the newest technology available through the exhibit. The artists included: Roger Sichel, Patrick McMullan, Don Hershman, Inson Wood, Ray Gross, John Melillo, Peter Max, Stas Rutkowski, Maxi, Julie O’Brien, Leila Pinto, Cannon Hersey, John Hersey, Howard Kanovitz, Jaxi, Gabe Aiello and DJ Leon. Works Include highlights from Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alexander Chen, Pino, Felix Mas, Karl Wenig, Marsel Mouly, Patrick Guyton, Peter Max, Andrew Bone, Scott Jacobs, Leblanc Stewart, Anatole Krasnyansy and Edmund Blair Leighton.T2c can not wait to see where ARTACOM will land next.

Visit The event took place at The Southampton Cultural Center,  25 Pond Lane, Southampton, NY 

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles