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Ruby Mazur Upcoming NFT Auction to Fight Cancer

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Ruby Mazur the artist known for creating one of the most famous logos in the world: the ‘mouth and tongue’ design for the Rolling Stones Tumbling Dice cover.

Unknown to many is only about 3 months ago, Mazur won his battle with brain cancer, but is now battling throat cancer. While he continues to fight for his life, he recently sold his latest NFT with his first in series auction going for a record setting $1.1 million. His next NFT is his artistic rendering of the American folk and rock singer-songwriter Jim Croce, with a portion of proceeds going to cancer charities.

He designed covers for soundtrack albums including Malcolm X,  the original 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Love Story, Lenny Bruce, and Elton John’s first American Soundtrack album “Friends” and has designed over 3,000 album covers for BB King, Billy Joel, Dusty Springfield, Elton John, Ray Charles, Steely Dan, Jimmy Buffett, and limitless others.

Camera Setup: “BetterLight 6150 | IR 3mm | NewLights”, Artwork Image: “TheLastRR-Supper-Rightseam.tif”, Artwork Colors: “LastSupper.ss3.txt”, White Image: “WC_TheLastRR-Supper-LeftSeam.tif”, White Colors: “omeagawhite2018-12-12.ss3.txt”, Yoked Image: “TheLastRR-Supper-Rightseam_yoked.tif”

“To me, painting is like breathing,” he says. “I’ll lay down and close my eyes, but I’m still painting because I’m thinking about what I want to change on a canvas. My mind just doesn’t shut off like it does for most people.”

Mazur recounts the time he met with Carlos Santana backstage and presented the legendary guitarist with a spectacularly vivid painting he had made of him. The artwork captured Santana in mid-performance glory – eyes clenched dramatically, his face seized in cosmic ecstasy as he coaxes sounds both searing and sensual from the fretboard of his guitar. “Carlos took one look at it and said, ‘I can hear the note I’m playing,'” Mazur says. “What a compliment that was. It was exactly what I tried to accomplish.”

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Mazur knew he was an artist at the age of five selling a collection of crayon drawings, for $50 each. Mazur progressed to drawing comic strips and eventually took to painting.

Music loomed large for Mazur. He and his brother guided the local band The Hassles through the New York club circuit  After the group’s keyboard player overdosed, the brothers held auditions for a replacement. One of the candidates was a Billy Joel. “We didn’t think he would fit in at all,” Mazur remembers, “but he sat down at a Hammond B3 and he was just amazing.

Mazur was itching to get his art career off the ground. He left Philadelphia College and moved back to New York, where a friend tipped him off about a job opening at the newly started Paramount Records.  “I met with the president, Bill Gallagher, and he asked for some samples of my work. I said I didn’t have any. Then he asked me what position I was looking for, and I said, ‘I want to be the art director for your album covers. I said, ‘Give me $50,000 a year, a secretary, two assistants, and an expense account, and I’ll give you kick-ass album covers.’ Gallagher said, ‘Come in on Monday at nine. You’ve got the job.'”

His first year on the job he was nominated for a Best Album Cover Grammy for the band Crowfoot. He ultimately decided to leave the label and strike out on his own. Ironically, his last job at Paramount was to create the album cover for Billy Joel’s debut, Cold Spring Harbor.

In the 1970s he opened his own studio in New York City, and with a staff of 10 assistants he turned out an average of 15 album covers a week – to the tune of $5,000 each. “That was amazing money back then,” he says. Noting the explosion of talent emanating from the West Coast, he packed up and headed to Los Angeles, opening an even bigger studio on Sunset Boulevard, which enabled him to double his monthly output.

Elton John, Steely Dan, Dave Mason, Jim Croce, the James Gang, and B.B. King are just some of the artists Mazur designed eye-catching and trendsetting artwork for. There were movie soundtracks – Love Story, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and hundreds more. And, of course, there was the famous request from none other than Mick Jagger. “He wanted me to come up with something for the ‘Tumbling Dice’ record sleeve,” says Mazur. “The idea was that it would look like him, but it wouldn’t really look like him. It was as simple as that. I came up with the mouth and the tongue. It wasn’t too hard for everybody to figure out who it was.”

After a brief stint at ABC-Dunhill Records (he received the Art Directors Award for the Illustration West Competition for his cover design for Curtis Mayfield’s His Early Years with the Impressions), Mazur relocated to the UK and opened a studio, where he continued working on album packages. However, an industry vinyl shortage put a stop to the flow of releases.

His work has been displayed around the world, and these days Mazur features his paintings at the Holle Fine Art Gallery in Hawaii, and on the mainland, he’s represented in Las Vegas at the Wyland Gallery in Planet Hollywood and Signature Gallery in the Venetian.

You can see more of his work here.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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16 Year Old Artist Henri Reed’s Debut Exhibition at Lux Contemporary

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Lux Contemporary, the newest Chelsea gallery adjacent to Rolls Royce New York, will launch “Henri’s World,” a new solo exhibition by 16-year-old LA-based emerging artist, Henri Reed, on view from Friday, April 19th –  Sunday, May 19th at 270 11th Avenue in New York.

The gallery’s owner and renowned celebrity art dealer, Emanuel Friedman, will host an Invite-only artist reception on Thursday, April 18th from 5pm – 8pm. Expected attendees will include a selection of celebrities and pro athletes, who are collectors of Henri’s works.

Henri, who has already created buzz across the country with collectors in L.A., N.Y., Chicago and Miami, including Babyface, will also make his New York City debut as the featured artist at the New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center, where he has created “Year of the Draggin.” More than a painting, the work serves as a tribute to the thrill of drag racing and the spirited culture surrounding it, set in the Year of the Dragon.

Named to honor the enduring appeal of drag racing, this piece captures the essence of a timeless passion. While it fits into a show centered around cars, its significance goes beyond any specific moment in time. Instead, it invites viewers to experience the exhilaration of speed and competition, regardless of when they encounter it. As one admires “Year of the Draggin,” they’re not just looking at a painting—they’re feeling the pulse of a culture that spans generations. And while its creation may be rooted in a particular year, its impact promises to resonate far into the future, leaving viewers to wonder which era of drag racing it truly represents. The work will be spotlighted at the Manhattan Motor Cars booth, spotlighting all the biggest exotic brands like Rimac, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Bentley, Porsche, Lamborghini and more.

The “Henri’s World” exhibit will take over Lux Contemporary’s gallery space, highlighting over a dozen impactful, large-scale canvases and wood works. The young artist’s highlighted works will include Completa, a work made of two weathered planks of wood that were lying around for weeks in Henri’s studio. He knew he wanted to use them and brought them together, aligning them side by side. With pencil in hand, he began to sketch, treating them not as separate entities but as a unified whole. This piece quickly became the artist’s favorite in the collection. Its significance extends beyond mere materiality, reflecting a profound truth about human connections. When we view others as individuals, we may see only their vulnerabilities. But when we come together, our collective strengths shine forth, overshadowing our weaknesses. “Completa” embodies this essence—the beauty of unity, the power of togetherness.

High on Heels, a depiction of the timeless bond between a loyal canine and its skeletal walker, going beyond life and death. The dog’s love and loyalty shine through, while the walker’s bones remind us of life’s fleeting nature. Yet, together, they show us that love can endure forever. One Million Dollar, a recreation of the dollar bill with a Henri spin pays homage to his brother with his favorite color being green and his birthday spotlighted within the piece. On April 17th, Henri will also be appearing as the featured artist at the New York Stock Exchange’s private gallery collection. He is the youngest artist to be shown in the gallery. The collection is curated by world-famous trader and extensive collector, the “Einstein of Wall Street”, Peter Tuchman. The NYSE’s gallery is seen by world leaders, business titans and foreign dignitaries.

“I paint with shadows and whispers, leaving clues for those who dare to decipher the riddles hidden in plain sight,” said Henri.

Henri’s artistic career began at the age of 14 when he found an old wooden crate in his family’s garage and asked his father if he could use it. Before his parents returned from their dinner that evening, Henri had dismantled the crate and finished an original piece using materials from around the house.  A local collector saw a photo of the piece on Henri’s Instagram and immediately commissioned Henri for a new piece for his own home.  Within the next week, Henri began selling artwork to collectors, including Hollywood celebrities, music stars, and business leaders.

In February 2024, Henri was signed by New York City’s Lux Contemporary Gallery, which has featured works by Banksy, KAWS, Daniel Arsham, Brendan Murphy, Mr. Brainwash, Enrique Cabrera, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jonty Hurwitz, Robert Indiana, Jeff Koons, Robert Longo, Takashi Murakami, King Saladeen and Hunt Slonem. Henri is the first emerging artist that the gallery has represented.

Henri’s World will be on view from Friday, April 19th – Sunday, May 19th at Lux Contemporary at 270 11th Avenue in NY, adjacent to Rolls Royce New York.

Exhibition hours are Mondays -Saturday: 10 AM – 7 PM; Sunday: Closed and by appointment.

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Playwright Mario Fratti’s Art for Sale

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Paintings and illustrations from the art collection of the Broadway show “Nine’s” playwright and critic Mario Fratti is for sale at Jadite Gallery on 10th Avenue.

Fratti was not just a playwright, educator and theater critic with the OCC and Drama Desk, but an art collector.

Fratti was born in L’Aquila, Italy on July 5, 1927. In 1962, he presented his one-act play Suicido at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and Lee Strasberg, a guest of the festival, was impressed by his work and invited him to stage it at the Actors Studio. He moved to New York in Hell’s Kitchen in 1963 and worked as a professor at Columbia University and Hunter College, where he was named Professor Emeritus of Italian Literature. Fratti is best known for writing the adaptation of Federico Fellini’s and further developing the musical NINE with Maury Yeston, that opened in 1982 and went on to win five Tony Awards.  Mario died last year at the age of 95.

The exhibit and sales at Jadite Gallery, follows the auction of some of Fratti’s collection. The most expensive piece is on diplay in the gallery’s window, Homage to Mario Fratti by Italian artist David Grazioso  $750. “Prices range from $75—the average is around $200. The sale of these pieces will fund the transposition and translation of newly discovered manuscripts.

Artwork from the Collection of Mario Fratti is on show at Jadite Gallery at 660 10th Avenue (between W46/47th St) until April 13. Opening hours are noon-6pm Tuesday to Saturday.

The art has been entrusted to trusted friend Roland Sainz and Jadite Gallery by renowned theater director and his daughter Valentina.

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Midnight Moment Presents Life Forms

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Each midnight this April, Times Square’s screens become a portal into New York-based artist Tricia McLaughlin’s Life Forms, a humorous fantasy world filled with hard working mutant creatures who toil around the clock constructing an endless city. As these glassy-eyed creatures called “Phantasmachina” mount buildings and scale sidewalks, a threatening figure starts to approach. Undeterred, the organisms continue their Sisyphean task.

Crafted through painting and  3D animations, these life forms are inspired by biotechnology, prosthetics and the exploration of mutation. Striving to anthropomorphize geometry, McLaughlin imbues her community with not only emotions but also a sense of social responsibility.

A recorded musical score by David B. Smith and Omar Zubair will accompany McLaughlin’s Midnight Moment presentation on April 5, 2024 on Duffy Square.

Life Forms is presented in conjunction with McLaughlin’s exhibition phantasmachina, showcasing drawings, paintings and animations sponsored by En Foco at WallWorks Gallery in the Bronx, NY, from April 6–30, 2024. In addition, TFLR Contemporary will present an online exhibition of McLaughlin’s work, Out of the Abyss, from April 1–30, 2024.

Tricia McLaughlin is a physical and digital media artist exploring the transformative effects of technology on nature with unexpected consequences. Mutant creations where function follows form stem from McLaughlin’s intuitive repurposing of robotics, biotechnology, and aeronautics. As McLaughlin explains her process, “each painting and drawing begins as a collection of random marks on a page, allowing my subconscious mind to guide the initial creation. As the artwork develops, I start to see patterns and shapes arranging the chaos. Then I refine and define these elements, gradually transforming the initial marks into living, mechanical beings and/or structures.” Paintings are inserted into animation, 3D-designed constructions inspire paintings.

TFLR CONTEMPORARY is a gallery dedicated to exhibiting emerging and mid-career artists, both in the US and abroad. Exhibitions and curatorial projects are planned throughout the year in various venues and online platforms.

En Foco, Inc. presents U.S.-based photographers and digital imaging artists, focusing on women and people of African, Asian, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander heritage. Through exhibitions, workshops, events, and publications, it provides professional recognition, honoraria, and assistance as they grow into different stages of their careers.

The phantasmachina exhibition is co-presented by En Foco, Inc. and WallWorks Gallery, South Bronx, NYC.

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Tony Bennett Auction Exhibition at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco

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Tony Bennett: A Life Well Lived,” exclusive exhibition opening at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, California, celebrating the legendary life and career of the iconic pop jazz vocalist before its two-day auction event by Julien’s Auctions taking place April 18th and Friday, April 19th, 2024 at Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame in Jazz at Lincoln Center. The free public exhibition opens April 8th and runs through April 10th (10am-6pm daily).The Fairmont San Francisco and Mr. Bennett have enjoyed a special relationship for decades. Mr. Bennett first performed his hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” in the Venetian Room at the hotel in 1961. The Fairmont San Francisco has had the honor and pleasure of welcoming Mr. Bennett and his family to the hotel for decades. The hotel also touts a special Tony Bennett suite that pays homage to his career and features several pieces of his artwork.Highlights of the exhibition include artifacts pertaining to the American songbook master’s life and career with his special link to San Francisco such as a San Francisco cable car bell award presented to Bennett for his instrumental role in saving the city’s iconic cable car system in the 1980s; a San Francisco Giants jacket worn by Bennett as the Texas Rangers faced the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco, California, October 27, 2010 and his white personalized “Bennett” San Francisco Giants jersey; his original “Landscape San Francisco” watercolor painting; as well as record awards, a Grammy nomination plaque for his iconic hit, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and more.

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Rachel Rubenstein: Textures Tell a Tale Of Fascinating Distress

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Some things bright and charming are beaming through the early spring drizzle of the lower east side this month. Adjacent to the the damp daffodils of Allen Street’s center median please find Rachel Rubenstein’s sunny Californian canvases that therapeutically manage to make stress look quite appealing.

Beckoning from within FORMah Gallery, Rubenstein pressed then ripped, drizzled then dried. Scraped, then layered. Glazed and gelled and then layered again something sparkly here, then something gritty there. So many layers! Layers of benign linen in even strips, roughly pulled. Ripped canvas ribbons deliberately placed. Flying Irish pennants belying carelessness with concentrated effort.

But it is Rubenstein’s lilting use of color that, Siren like, calls the eye forth in gentle, soothing transitions only to become hopelessly ensnared in her seemingly endless textures. Happily, these are uplifting palettes, for the most part. The canvases are intermittently shimmering and evocative of a rosy dawn, a moody sea, a golden sunset, a turquoise lagoon, so smoothly massaged are the bridges of her hues.

As a whole, the show feels very Malibu. That is, an overarching breezy west coast ease that requires closer inspection to notice the relentless micro-efforts-over-time involved in its creation.

However, one particular canvas hits differently, this one strikingly evocative of a city scape. “Time And Love And You” is like graffiti and neon crayoned over brick with Fisher-Price abandon. Three isolated shapes in stark primary colors. Implying perhaps sun, water, earth in a chunky, urban visual haiku.

“Time And Love And You”

It was our least favorite of the delightful show, like tearing away from the Pacific Coast Highway onto the 405. Perhaps because of its deliberate visual break from the otherwise seamless collection, this canvas had an outsider feel all its own. And thus becomes the most impactful piece in the entire display.

FORMah Gallery

CONNECTED TO ALL THAT IS Rachel Rubenstein
FORMah Gallery
On view through April 13, 2024

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