GARBATELLA ~ ROMA ~ Power to the People

by Kim Steele

Garbatella Mural (when thought it was named after a loose woman); photograph by Kim Steele

In the world of architecture, when ‘Public Housing ‘ is discussed, the name of Le Corbusier comes to mind most frequently. He promoted the idea in the south of France, specifically Marseille. I have visited those developments, and they still stand up quite well with their pillars, bright colors and aluminum framings. But in Rome, the community of Garbatella, founded in 1920, is a much more comprehensive plan. The idea is based on the English community Garden principal, three building surrounding a common garden.

Welcome to Garbatella! photograph by Kim Steele

When first developed, it was grazing land for sheep. Since the Middle Ages, the territory on which the original nucleus of the Garbatella district stands was affected by the presence of various lay and ecclesiastical owners, among the latter probably the most important was the monastery of Sant’Alessio all’Aventino, since the 12th century owned goods in the districts of Bagnaia, which according to Antonio Nibby would take its name from the baths built by Pope Simmaco around the year 500 between the apse of the basilica of San Paolo and the homonymous cliff.

Innovative Design; photograph by Kim Steele

Palladian inspired balcony; photograph by Kim Steele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wikipedia: There is a broad variety of construction here, on the hills above Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, this massive cathedral, infrequently visited due to it’s remoteness from the city center, but well worth the trip. It is served conveniently by the Metro, in the region, Ostiense quarter of Rome. Its population counts nearly 45,000. It lies beyond the walls of Rome, to the south.

After the First World War, Rome experienced a phase of great building development, comparable in some ways to that of the Second World War. There were many residents of Rome who were displaced by the construction of various monuments, including The Victor Emmanuel II National Monument, and dei Fori Imperiali. The demolition of the houses for the construction gave the neighborhood the reputation of hosting people and families of ancient Roman times. Socialism was well underway in Italy, promoted by the Communists.

It was with this idea that King Vittorio Emanuele III laid the first stone in Le Corbusier, on February 18, 1920. In the inscription commemorating that day, on the wall in the central square, we read:
For the august hand of His Majesty King Vittorio Emanuele III,
the Autonomous Body for Maritime and Industrial Development
and the Institute of Popular Houses of Rome
with the collaboration of the Labor Cooperatives
to offer quiet and healthy room to the architects of the economic renaissance of the Capital
this aprico district founded today XVIII February MCMXX

There was to be planned a canal running parallel to the Tiber from here, which was never built here. The same port project was a condition of the odonomastic of the nascent area, which is a maritime reference, since most of its streets and squares are named after people and subjects of the naval world.

Fascist (Mussolini built) School; photograph by Kim Steele

Deco Inspired Boarding house; photograph by Kim Steele

Socialism was the precursor to the Mussolini movement of Fascism, which did not take hold until the end of that decade. From a political point of view, Garbatella was, and still is, a historically “red” and working-class area: the partisan resistance found unconditional support here, and votes left to this day. There were many elements of the socialist movement that promoted equality and support for the working class people of Rome. This development was an expression of the concern for this class, in fact, as well as a strong consensus was given to the candidates of the 5 Star Movement in the administrative elections of June 2016.

Within Garbatella, are a theater, schools, church and community housing (single rooms) with a central kitchen for the very poorest of residence. One of the features of this fascinating community is that it is structured and feels very much like a village. There are central walkways, gardens to congregate and open spaces to enjoy the fresh air. The cost for apartments are now rising dramatically. What is most fascinating is the variety of architectural designs. There were numerous competitions for young architects to design groups of buildings. Several architectural movements are represented here in a modern form, Baroque, Palladian, Deco and Nouvelle, and some completely out of the box. Similar to the Baroque are the moldings of medieval flavor, the figures of animals found in the friezes, the extensive use of floral and botanical inspired decorations; however these remain in the context of public housing and, therefore, common materials, instead of precious marbles, stuccos and white lime.

Old School Tapas spot; photograph by Kim Steele

In the public garden (former Serafini vineyard) there is the entrance to the Catacombs of Commodilla, with a small underground basilica dating back to the end of the 4th century.

But it is the whole district, with its arches, its fountains, its buildings and its balconies, to be considered a great and unique monument in its own right. With the advent of fascism, the urban planning of the district underwent a drastic change: the green-built relationship dropped significantly, the idea of ​​the river port was definitively abandoned, and houses more similar to modern condominiums than to previous villas began to be built.

Worth mentioning are the thirteen small villas of Lot 24, also called “model houses”, between via delle Sette Chiese, via De Jacobis and via Borri. The lot was built on the occasion of the XII International Congress of Housing and Regulatory Plans in 1929, and is considered among the most beautiful and interesting.

Rationalism Design apartment building; photograph by Kim Steele

The origin of the name “Garbatella” is still under discussion: according to a widespread hypothesis, the neighborhood would take its name from the the owner of an inn that would have risen on the rocky spur overlooking the basilica of San Paolo (on the left side of today’s Via Ostiense, coming from Porta San Paolo), at the level of the Ostiense Tomb. The area has been for centuries a place of passage for pilgrims along via delle Sette Chiese, connecting the Pauline basilica to the basilica of San Sebastiano fuori le mura (from the 16th century which includes the pilgrimage to visit the seven major churches of Rome). The pilgrimage tradition is still practiced today passes through Garbatella.

Palladian derived Theater; photograph by Kim Steele

Garabatella has played a rich role in films, with the likes of Paolo Pasolini, and other directors, as well as actors shooting and living here. I recommend a trip on your next visit to The Eternal City. with my favorite guide: Francesca Dell’Era, (dellera.f@gmail.com).

Village Feel; photograph by Kim Steele

WILLI SMITH ~ ODE to a FRIEND and FASHION ICON

by Kim Steele

Entry to Willi Smith: Street Couture show, Cooper Hewitt, 2020 featuring Kim Steele’s portrait of Willi Smith ~ @KimSteelePhotography

~On view March 13 through Oct. 25~
Willi Smith: Street Couture is the first museum exhibition devoted to American designer Willi Smith. The exhibition seeks to restore Smith’s place in the fashion canon as a groundbreaking cultural producer who laid new roads for fashion before dying suddenly of AIDS-related complications in 1987 at age 39.

Willi Smith: Street Couture is named for Smith’s iconic fall 1983 collection, which brought together fashion, video art, and music in a unique event that symbolized the designer’s effort to democratize fashion through the intersection of the arts with affordable basics inspired by his diverse audience. Included in the exhibition are more than 150 works by Smith and his collaborators, such as Juan Downey, Dan Friedman, Keith Haring, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Les Levine, Dianne McIntyre, Nam June Paik, and SITE. Many of the works on view, which include photography, video, design drawings, garments, patterns, and ephemera, have not been seen in more than 30 years.

~~~

Kim Steele, wedding attire bespoke design by Willi Smith @KimSteelePhotography (photograph shot by Ben Buchanan)

Kim Steele with his colleague & friend, Willi Smith, all photographs in this post contributed with respect, love & fond memories ~ courtesy of @KimSteelePhotography

 

My friend Willi Smith was generous of spirit and affectionate. I was a young nobody, he embraced me into his circle, and invited me to parties at his spacious apartment at Two Horatio Street, a neo-classic Bing & Bing 1930’s building, in the West Village. At Willi’s top floor space, with a terrace overlooking the Hudson River and Jackson park below, we partied until the wee hours with artists, designers, actors, and of course photographers. Willi’s sister, Toukie, was dating Robert DeNiro at the time, and they would join us occasionally for the revelry–although DeNiro was a bit circumspect in his deportment, but adequately friendly. DeNiro was already a legend at that time, and imposing.

I recall Willi’s very touching pattern of sending me, by messenger to my studio, a tall, spring branch of flowering cherry blossoms on my birthday, every February, with a very sincere note.  Willi always remembered.

 

Willi Smith, shot at Kim Steele’s studio, Lower Broadway, Manhattan @KimSteelePhotography

 

Laure Mallet and Willi Smith @KimSteelePhotography

 

Often the parties were hosted by Willi’s business partner, Laure Mallet, in her loft on Prince Street, just around the corner from my studio on Lower Broadway. Laure’s place was chockablock full of artwork, including my large black and white industrial prints, and fabulous designer furniture.

 

WilliSmith logo @KimSteelePhotography

 

Willi Smith @KimSteelePhotography

 

Willi was an art collector.  His spacious apartment, which was the entire top floor, was packed with art from Christo to Warhol to African artifacts–that made a striking impression. His home was designed by the infamous Peter Marino, who was at the time part of a duo design team (with Jed Johnson) that designed Willi’s apartment, then his newer place on Lispenard Street below Canal Street–Willi’s office was designed by SITE. I rode out to the Hamptons one time with Marino and Willi, one of the most terrifying high-speed drives of my life, on the Long Island Expressway. We went to Marino’s home, the decor was before his notorious “leather-daddy of luxury” phase.

 

Jorge Soccarás and MaryAnne Levesque (in the Willi Smith designed wedding dress) @KimSteelePhotography

 

One of Willi’s most gracious gestures was to design my first wife’s, MaryAnne Levesque, and my suit for our wedding in New Hampshire, in 1985.  There were multiple dress fittings, and yes, it was expensive, but it was totally gorgeous, a white satin floor length number with a train and lovely satin covered buttons running down the back.  My Willi designed bespoke suit was an African inspired print, with pegged legs and shortened pants.  I was also friends with the designer Perry Ellis at the time–he supplied the two toned loafers to accompany the Willi suit.  I made the wild statement.

 

Willi Smith @KimSteelePhotography / Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, NY

 

Willi Smith @KimSteelePhotography

 

This era was tragically stained with the death by AIDS of many of my close friends and colleagues. My dearest friend was Oliver Johnston, a gifted designer who designed my first logo, and who also designed the first AIDS logo, Silence=Death, for the Silence=Death Project, formed by six gay activists in New York City, in 1987: Avram Finkelstein, Brian Howard, Oliver Johnston, Charles Kreloff, Chris Lione, and Jorge Soccarás. The poster was then used by the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP), as their central image.

 

Logo design by Oliver Johnson

 

Willi succumbed to the disease in a slow demise that I sadly remember well. It was a very, very wrenching time for our community. I miss Willi dearly–as much I miss Oliver, and my many other brilliant friends…

 

Willi Smith @KimSteelePhotography

Cooper Hewitt to Present “Willi Smith: Street Couture”

Born to Surf

by Peter Rittmaster

 

Unrequited Love, sculpture by Peter Rittmaster

 

When I was a child there were two images I found to be horrific. The first was Christ impaled on a cross, tortured and hanging limply in pain.  The second, a vision of my first pizza pie—a steaming, unsightly mess that looked nothing like Mom’s apple pie. In time, I grew to enjoy pizza. But I could never stomach the image of Christ on the cross.

How can we all in good faith, leave this gentle teacher and enlightened soul on a cross for over two thousand years? He hangs there to remind us that he suffered and died for our sins. Do we really need this kind of reminder?

 

The Fashion Icon, sculpture by Peter Rittmaster

Born to Surf, sculpture by Peter Rittmaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a long time now I’ve been having this recurring dream about sneaking into a church, taking Christ off of his cross, and putting him on a skateboard.

I figured it was about time to do something about it.What kind of mentality, after all, would keep him pinned there? Why does the church insist on this image, and why do so many great artists, from his own time to our own, continue to show him in this posture? I cannot imagine that Jesus or any of his early followers would like to have him depicted in torment for eternity.

We’ve got to get him off the cross. Ask yourself, would he rather be impaled on a cross or dancing and surfing? After two millennia, he deserves to have a little fun, and so, we do.

 

The Matador, sculpture by Peter Rittmaster

Born to Ride, sculpture by Peter Rittmaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image of Christ on the cross is far too frightening for any eight-year-old boy. How can we possibly relate to this tortured image? But the eight-year-old boy certainly can relate to Jesus on a skateboard. And why shouldn’t he? Jesus’ grace and elegance shines through when he’s off the cross. We have to create new myths to pass on, to retire the old, which have grown tiresome and weary. All sightings of Christ or the Virgin Mary take place in some elusive shrine or chapel high on a remote mountain range. But why not St. Moritz, or St. Tropez? Couldn’t Christ be spotted on a skateboard near Mick Jagger’s house on Mustique? Thousands make pilgrimages to these sites each year. Think of the response: Jesus has been glimpsed riding the waves at Laguna Beach. Hallelujah!

Removing Christ from the cross seems as natural as removing the “pie” from pizza pie. The church should understand that if you free Jesus, everyone can find him. We’ve got to make religion a little friendlier, a little timelier, a little more fun. Call your local clergy. Demand that Jesus be taken off the cross. It’s the decent thing to do.

 

Cyber Jesus, sculpture by Peter Rittmaster

For more of Peter Rittmaster’s work visit here: https://rittmasterart.com/

ALL PHOTOS BY: Antoine Bootz

Rome Before Romans

by Giorgio Fabretti

 

Albalonga

Millions of tourists every year come to Rome, reading in the guidebooks that Rome was founded in the year 753BC. Very few know what Rome was before it had been “founded.”

Prince Prof. Giorgio Fabretti at his caves, the source of the cobblestones used to build St. Peters Basilica, in Rome, photo by Kim Steele

I can tell you because I inherited the title of “Prince of the Roman Antiquity,” from my ancestor Raffaele Fabretti (1618-1700). Raffaele Fabretti was entitled in the year 1691, by a decree of Roman Senate, sealed by the the Pope Innocenzo XII, from famiglia Pignatelli from the south of Italy, elected on July 1691. He was the founder of Roman Archeology. I followed in his scientific footsteps, having been a Historical Anthropologist at the University of Rome, Sapienza. Another curiosity, even my family name “Fabretti” (that means “Smithsons”) is older (as it has been spelled until today) than Rome; possibly 3,000 years old; as old as the Latin Language.

In fact, Rome flourished at least 250 years before the “official, political foundation by Romolo,” by being a detachment of the Albalonga Kingdom (nowadays Albano Laziale), built on the top of the then dead “Vulcan of Albano”, which 280,000 years before, had vomited its “lava,” like a ‘tongue,’ indeed a river of liquid stone (called “leucitite”) all the way to the future Rome. That solidified river of hard stone became later the first real and longest proper road (the Appian Way) from Rome to Brindisi Harbour, and to Greece, linking the two countries which founded Western Civilization.

File:Lo Scheggia, Reduction of Alba Longa by Tullus Hostilius, Circa 1430 - 35, Sotheby's.jpg

Lo Scheggia, Reduction of Alba Longa by Tullus Hostilius, Circa 1430-35

The Roman detachment of Albalonga, possibly 3,000 years old, was about a 15 mile distance from the Tiber River. It’s purpose was to defend the trade of cows and sheep with the neighboring Etruscans, grazing just across the ford on the Tiber River (the crossing of the river that is called today “Ponte Rotto,” at the “Tiberine Island” in the center of Rome).

The cows and sheep were then a precious merchandise bred by the Latin tribes, and parked in precincts built on a muddy valley bordering the crossing of the river Tiber, that a millennium later was to be “Circus Maximus,” whose ruins can still be visited today. That was the largest arena of the ancient times, made for horse races and having up to 250,000 seats, in the year 0 (yes, zero!).

Back to the detachment of Albalonga, 1,000 years BC, in the late Bronze Age, at the beginning Iron Age, the cows and sheep in the valley of the crossing had to be guarded against frequent robberies of animals. So the “Romans before Rome,” indeed Latin soldiers speaking Latin Language, had been stationed and were living on the two small hills (40-80 meters high) overlooking the wet river valley, where malaria was a problem. On the two hills, instead, called later Aventino and Palatino, there were less mosquitoes and more security from robberies.

Time came, that the animal trading flourished, and many more Latin people moved from Latin Lands (where they were living on what we call today “Castelli Romani” and “Campagna Romana”) onto the Palatine Hill overlooking the Tiber crossing, and onto the neighboring hills, which in those days were called “mons” singular, “montes” plural.

 

 

And now, to the mainly Latin populated area of “Septimontium,” that was “Rome before Rome.” This included seven hills (“montes”) that were not the “seven hill” of the later expanded Rome (Aventino, Campidoglio, Palatino, Celio, Esquilino, Quirinale, Viminale). Rome before Rome was a smaller area that the first founder of Rome, Romolo, in the year 753BC, who wanted (210 hectares) of its then main strategic competitor of Veio, an Etruscan capital city of 200 hectares, a few miles from Rome, across the Tiber River. So the Septimontium properly said, was extended to these smaller heights called “montes”: 2 on Palatino hill (Palatium, Cermalus), 3 on the Esquilino hill (Fagutal, Oppius, Cispius), and 2 others Velia, Caelius.

 

Archeological findings support the hypothesis that the first Septimontium was not including Caelius hill, that was added later, while the precincts were surrounding seven inhabited territories whose seventh one was “Mons Carinae and Subura” rather than Caelius (Septimontium originally meant not “seven hills,” but rather “septis” or “precincted heights,” related to a functionally defended border, rather than to a symbolic number).

 

 

Mons Carinae was a secondary height of the Velian one, sharply declining toward the small stream running down the Carinae height (today buried under the paved streets of Via Urbana, Via Leonina, crossing under Foro Romano, and falling into the Cloaca Maxima, toward the Tiber River). Subura was, before Rome, a poor Latin village of simple huts made for the servants of the shepherds in a malaria area. It had been densely populated because it bordered the enemy territory of Sabina, on the nearby Quirinale hill, where the Sabine tribes–also called Quirites, were challenging the Latin tribes.

In those prehistoric times, all the heights surrounding the strategic Tiber River were occupied by different tribes (like today along the borders of Thailand, Burma and Vietnam), causing an embarrassing competitive sort of ‘chess game’ of thefts followed by conflicts.

Image result for subura

Subura

The most famous chess game happened in Subura, shortly after the foundation of Rome (that indeed was a sort of ethnic cleansing to reunite the mainly inhabited Latin heights into an homogeneous speaking territory, called “Rome” from the Etruscan name for the strategic river crossing). This was the legendary, “Abduction of the Sabines” by the Latin men, who simply pulled the beautiful women, by force, into the Latin side of the Subura. The unknowing Sabine women had been washing their clothes in the small stream surrounded by natural precincts of canes growing around those streams, at the feet of those heights of “Rome before Romans.”

I have depicted a sketch of the Latin tribes living in what later would have been Rome of the Romans. They were groups of shepherds speaking an oral, not yet written Latin language. They lived in a border town, were warriors to defend themselves from other populations, but in order to trade animals they remained open to cultural hybridization–this was indeed the “softpower” that guided the Roman diplomacy afterwards.

“Rome before Romans” provides both historical and anthropological foundations as to the phenomenon of how and why shepherds came to build the largest and most populated empire of the ancient times, which in fact founded modern global civilization, centering on a city of about 1.5 million people, 2,000 year ago, with stadiums, theaters, thermal baths so large and well built they could accommodate and entertain 1 million people at the same time–all of them Roman citizens, apart from 1/3 of the population who were slaves.

Image result for abduction of the sabines

Abduction of a Sabine Woman, 1581-83, by Giambologna, sculptor of the Medici Family, 1583, Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence

 

Cuba and the XIIIth Bienal de Arte

May 28, 2019

Cuba and the XIIIth Bienal de Arte

Few experiences are as jarring or exhilarating as a first-time visit to Cuba, a country in a sometimes cruel, sometimes beautiful time warp, where a resilient population scrapes by with steely resolve and deep pride, and an even deeper warmth of spirit. When my sister-in-law, the artist Jana Harper, was invited to participate in the […]

Read the full article →

Minority Report: Treatise on Art (with asides from the art professor in my head)

April 16, 2019

I’m in Luxembourg, standing in a gorgeous building, an architectural gem called MUDAM, the Luxembourg Museum of Modern Art. Designed by E.M. Pei, it has great lines, great bones, and a fabulous setting overlooking the fairytale city. And I’ve just enjoyed a delightful al fresco lunch in the museum’s sun-drenched courtyard. I should be the […]

Read the full article →

MICHAEL LIGHT: Great Basin Autoglyphs and Pleistoseas

March 11, 2019

  ‘Size is not everything but…’ has a large impact on photography.  This writer has always been sensitive to the size of prints presented in a gallery setting since they broke on the scene in the late seventies. I printed some of the first large (one meter square) prints on the floor of my studio in […]

Read the full article →

La Sacra Allegoria di Giovanni Bellini~Gallerie degli Uffizi

February 6, 2019

A visit to the Uffizi to sink our hands in the ancient roots of Occidental culture… At the Uffizi there is a small painting, a small painting with an unreal and fantastic atmosphere, which contains an enigma not yet solved. ☼ The painting does not have large dimensions, but does not go unnoticed alongside the […]

Read the full article →

FREESPACE: Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

September 24, 2018

  “FREESPACE describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda, focusing on the quality of space itself. FREESPACE focuses on architecture’s ability to provide free and additional spatial gifts to those who use it and on its ability to address the unspoken wishes of strangers. FREESPACE celebrates […]

Read the full article →

PETER HUJAR: Speed Of Life

August 6, 2018

If the camera lens is the portal to the soul of the photographer, then this one is fuzzy – intentionally.  Peter Hujar often bragged about being on the margins of society, in his life style and his image making.  Hujar had a brief stint as a magazine photographer, the last assignment shooting the Gay Liberation […]

Read the full article →

Silver Spoons & Syringes

March 27, 2018

It’s high time to pull my head out of the dark clouds and celebrate Boulevardiers, flâneurs,  strollers, loungers, saunterers, loafers, and of course, Faire du Lèche-Vitrines everywhere. I’m smiling inside and floating away thinking about Gwynnes, Vanderbilts, socialites, and princes… The Federalist: “The Boulevardier cocktail has a romantic origin tied to a particularly heady period […]

Read the full article →

Chemicals, Casks, Crowns & Corks

October 1, 2017

Depending on your perspective, as a Boulevardier, one of these might come to mind as a place to start perusing this post… What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?      ~W. Clement Stone His heart danced upon her movement like a cork upon a tide.        ~James Joyce What you learn after you are […]

Read the full article →

Venice 2017 and the Biennale

August 16, 2017

No matter how many times one is fortunate enough to visit Venice it is impossible to be blasé about the wonders of this most liquid of cities. This is especially true when, every two years, significant cultural capital is expended staging what is still the most venerated of Biennales, in an all out effort to […]

Read the full article →

Ivan Karp: An Eye for Talent

July 11, 2017

  Wearing sunglasses indoors is a pretense. Except if you are Ivan Karp. He paired this affectation, which he pulled off with aplomb, with an unlit cigar clenched in his teeth all day long. Ivan Karp lorded over one of the most prestigious and long lasting galleries in New York, situated in SoHo before it […]

Read the full article →

Larry Sultan: Close to Home

May 3, 2017

A thoroughly California product, Larry Sultan mined the Golden State’s sensibility for most of his career. After a degree in Political Science, he pursued a graduate degree at the San Francisco Art Institute.  He was immediately drawn to the conceptual dimension of picture taking and joined forces with a fellow conceptualist, Mike Mandel.  They collaborated […]

Read the full article →

Ohachimeguri (literally, “going around the bowl”)

March 6, 2017

2017…is a making me long for places I’ve been. A walk on our local path through the neighborhood park on a drizzly day, yet under a bursting cherry tree, made the dense clouds of 2017 disperse. Last weekend we saw the Japanese Photography show at SF MOMA. Last December, we were lucky enough to catch […]

Read the full article →

A Tale of Two Museums: Mexico City

February 8, 2017

On a recent end of year art pilgrimage to Mexico City, we set our sights on a visit to the Museo Soumaya in the city’s Nuevo Polanco neighborhood. The museum, which opened in 2011, houses the private collection of one of the world’s richest men, billionaire Carlos Slim, who built his fortune in telecommunications and now […]

Read the full article →

Philip Guston: Laughter in the Dark, New York

January 9, 2017

In this current milieu of political upheaval and rancor, these acerbic drawings of Guston’s strike a poignant cord with the American public.  These drawings were executed in Guston’s studio in Woodstock, New York, collaborating with the writer and friend, Philip Roth who had just completed a similar critical series of essays, titled ‘Our Gang.’ As […]

Read the full article →

ART BASEL Miami Beach 2016

December 10, 2016

As a neophyte, going to the largest art fair in the world now, was an eye opening experience.   It requires preparation, stamina and fortitude. I had the advantage of traveling with seasoned veterans who had visited there six times and who run a company, art-collecting.com. There are numerous venues scattered around the Miami area, ranging […]

Read the full article →

Danny Lyon: A Cult Figure

November 15, 2016

There is an aspect of my encounters with young photographers that seek rebellion and adventure – it comes with the territory. Danny Lyon personifies this dynamic. I had the honor of participating in a workshop he taught in the seventies and was very moved by his conviction to the medium, and his irreverence as well. […]

Read the full article →

Five Years of The Boulevardiers and the beautiful things along the way…

October 2, 2016

The goal of The Boulevardiers is to bring art to life in the context of culture and design.  Sometimes it has been humorous, sometimes very sober.  But the guiding force has been our view of beauty and how it sustains life.  There have been many assaults on art over the years, from many fronts.  Recent […]

Read the full article →

Greek Game of Thrones — Acrocorinth Castle

September 16, 2016

Who could resist the temptation whilst in ancient Greece to visit a mysterious site, the Temple of Aphrodite, at Acrocorinth, marked only with a lone column, where legend reveals that more than 1000 sacred prostitutes associated with the temple. Acrocorinth is the acropolis (the upper or higher town) of ancient Corinth. When The Boulevardiers arrived […]

Read the full article →

Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Landscape Designer Brillante

August 14, 2016

Photograph © Leonardo Finotti.

There was much trepidation as the 2016 Olympics approached; everything from security, Zika, to running water and accommodations. Several stories appeared in The New York Times about assaults, and robbery. As the date approached, the Torch Bearer was stoned and ridiculed because of all the offenses to the citizens of Brazil — the displacement of […]

Read the full article →

Advil on a silver platter…

July 31, 2016

One of the joys of life these days, and I know I am ultra-privileged, is that my life offers me the opportunity for international travel, with my learned and adventurous spouse, and, oh!, the places we go! I’m in London and Paris each year, and I’m determined to go to a Fashion Week show. The […]

Read the full article →

Josef Sudek – a passionate man: Jeu de Paume

July 10, 2016

Rarely does a photographer look so inward to create his or her images. In the many years I have viewed photography, I have not been so emotionally moved by the sentiments of a series of images depicting the inner sanctum of a visual artist. The range is extreme here in this retrospective: well hung and […]

Read the full article →

The World is my Oyster ~ artist Ahmed Alrashid

June 26, 2016

  The ‘Global Village’ is a clique. But in the world of design, be it architecture, graphic or product design – it is a global market. Jordan tennis shoes come to mind. Working from the Middle East, based in Kuwait and traveling to Dubai, Ahmed Alrashid, has struck a note that resonates throughout the world, […]

Read the full article →

Gem in the Desert, Museum of Islamic Art ~ Doha, Qatar

April 30, 2016

Approaching the cubistic building along a path of luscious palm trees, I knew there was something special inside this Museum. In my travels across the Mid-East, there was an alarming dearth of cultural artifacts. The National Museum in Kuwait City was appalling, and impossible to find, as well. The excuses for cultural artifacts were dark […]

Read the full article →

Saved by Ivana…

March 12, 2016

  From our Boulevardier & Publisher, Kim Steele: I shot a portrait once a week for Time magazine, Business section, in the 1980’s, and hit all the major players, including The Don. Trump was the most difficult, made me wait for hours, hurried me, until Ivana came in and said, “The reason you don’t like […]

Read the full article →

Biggest Scam in the Art World in a Century: Greed shows it’s teeth

March 4, 2016

  Forgery is not an offense under the law of Scotland, but here in the U.S. it has caused quite a stir. The distinguished Knoedler Gallery in Manhattan has shuttered it doors after one hundred and fifty years. Knoedler dates its origin to 1846, when French dealers Goupil & Cie opened a branch in New York, as […]

Read the full article →

Coralie Bickford-Smith — A Love Story

February 12, 2016

        The Boulevardiers have a new friend, Coralie Bickford-Smith ~ the book designer.  When you read about Coralie and her magnificent work, if you don’t know Coralie yet, you will be envious of our friendship. Don’t despair, it’s ok to fall in love, read on…!     In Coralie’s words from her […]

Read the full article →

DAVID IRELAND – San Francisco’s Most Famous Art Home

January 17, 2016

  The first time I had the honor to walk into the home at 500 Capp Street of the renowned artist in 2001, about whom I knew very little, I realized it was a special place. I was introduced by the Director of Crown Point Press, Valerie Wade, a friend of Ireland. Ireland was elderly […]

Read the full article →

Albertopoulis…the V&A…and an “extremely capacious handbag”

December 25, 2015

  Happy & Beautiful Holidays to all our Boulevardiers & Readers…thank you for another inspiring year!   The Boulevardiers recently did London, from top to bottom, Shakespeare to the Houses of Parliament, to Bond Street & Saville Row, to museums, many, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is really one of the wonders of […]

Read the full article →