Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Helena Rubinstein: Genius Entrepreneur

Beauty is Power
and Power is Beautiful
This week we visited the Jewish Museum, accompanied by friend Elke Kuhn, to see the splendid exhibit, "Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power."

Born in Poland in 1872, Helena Rubinstein formed a cosmetics empire with salons in New York, London and Paris. Her story is remarkable, because she really was a genius who was ahead of her time. At the turn of the century, "painting" the face was only for actresses and prostitutes.

But Helena knew that every woman wants to look beautiful and young -- and her products served that purpose and more.
Elke and I pose at the door to the exhibit.
I am wearing a Lola hat, my Monica Byrne vest and
pants by Henrik Vibskov.
Elke is wearing a Marimekko dress and a 
Patricia Underwood straw hat.
 Helena Rubinstein was a consummate marketer
and understood her clients implicitly.
The exhibit consisted of portraits of Rubinstein,
her collection of paintings, sculpture and African objects,
and photographs and memorabilia from her life.
 An advertising booklet.
She elevated beauty to an elegant experience
to be coveted by females everywhere.
 Helena Rubinstein was an art collector and
wore magnificent clothes by the likes of  Poiret and Balenciaga.
Here a model wears a Balenciaga dress while
posing in front of a Miro painting.
 A painting by the surrealist, Leonor Fini, in
the Helena Rubinstein's collection.
She favored female artists who portrayed
exquisite beauty.
She particularly admired Frida Kahlo.
Helena and Frida were so different, and yet so
alike in their fierce determination.
 Helena Rubinstein with one of her African sculptures.
A beautiful portrait of Rubinstein by the French artist,
Marie Laurencin.
The exhibit included a whole wall of portraits of Helena.
 Elke displays a makeup case in the museum shop.
 The museum shop's two enchanting sales associates, 
Barbara and Ariana, 
admire Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Style book.
They recognized me from my pictures in the book.
Elke and I peruse a giant book:
Helena Rubinstein - Over the Top
by Suzanne Slesin.
 It was a glorious early Spring afternoon on 5th Avenue.
After the museum, we went to Bemelmans Bar
 in The Carlyle Hotel.
Ludwig Bemelmans is best known for his Madeleine books.

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.”
Portrait of pianist, Bobby Short, at The Carlyle.
 A lounge at The Carlyle.
 Harbinger's of Spring,
Pussy willows with a Daffodil-yellow settee.
 The magnificent entrance to The Carlyle.
 Our cheese plate from Murray's Cheese Shop,
and Malbec from Argentina.
 This is what we hope is over.
The piano in Bemelmans Bar.
Last year I attended an exhibit, 
"Madeleine in New York" at the
New York Historical Society.

Oh how glorious it is to live in New York City!

À Bientôt!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Orient -- the Novel.

From the Causeway to Bug
Light -- Suspense Grips
the North Fork
Christopher Bollen, a writer living in New York City, has written a suspense novel set in the quiet village of Orient, New York. Faithful readers of Femme et Fleur will know the village well, as "Lazy Girl" posts from Orient during the month of August.

Christopher read from his novel last evening during a benefit event for the Oysterponds Historical Society, held at the Martos Gallery in Chelsea.

Orient will be published by Harper in May, 2015.
 Christopher regularly writes about art, literature and culture.
He is the Editor-at-Large for Interview Magazine.
As Christopher explained it, he first came to Orient as a renter, and found the nights scary because it was so dark and quiet. Perhaps that was one impetus that led him to write a tender kind of narrative about Orient, with a "dark" side of multiple murders. The parts of the story that he read at the gallery were quite literary and evocative of time and place.

Christopher said he had to keep reminding himself to go back to the murders and move the plot along past the lyricism of his story. Here is an apt blurb for the book.

"A thoughtful literary thriller—The Great Gatsby meets Donna Tartt. Suspenseful, beautifully written, and wonderfully atmospheric, Orient is that rare treat that is both page-turner and a book you will want to savor." —PHILIPP MEYER

Richard and I at the Red Cat, where
we dined before the event.
 Jeanne Markel and Libby Wadle, President, J. Crew brand, 
and guest.
Jeanne is wearing "Tomato Plant"
by Carol Markel.
 Richard meets the young Martos Gallery assistant.
 Guests with Dick Gillooly,
(in red tie).
 Libby Wadle with her husband,
David Potter.
 The gallery scene before the reading.
 Left to right: artist, T.J. Wilcox, and gallerists
Servane Mary and Jose Martos.
 Art on display in the Martos Gallery.
 You can find out more about Christopher Bollen's
new novel here.
Lazy Girl will return to Orient in August.
À Bientôt!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Out of Bounds: Freedom of Expression

Blockbusters Come in
Small Packages
An Exhibition in Yonkers is Full of
Energy and Color

I am so honored to be included in a wonderful exhibition now on view at the Blue Door Art Center and Gallery, 13 Riverdale Avenue in Yonkers, New York.

Curated by Shelita Birchett Benash, with help from Arle Sklar Weinstein and Luis Perelman, the show is called: Out of Bounds:Freedom of Expression. The works in the show exude energy, which seems to be transfused from Shelita who has a larger-than-life dose of enthusiasm for art and life.
 Shelita and me in front of my hats.
Shelita discusses the show's concepts with friends.
"The exhibition is an international, all-media exploration of how
deep creativity and fearlessness push artists outside the lines
of traditional methods, applications and ways of seeing."
 I made this hat to wear to the show.
 An undisputed star of Out of Bounds, is the outsider artist,
Sue Kreitzman. Her work is displayed against a splendid red wall
on the stage-like mezzanine of the gallery.
 Sue creates these paintings, assemblages and necklaces
using found-object materials and
lots of fully saturated color.

 I love these giant heart creations.
 Sue divides her time between London
and New York.
 Sue is currently being honored by Selfridges
Department Store in London as one of 14
"Bright Old Things."
Her art installation occupies one window of
Selfridges on Oxford Street.
One of Sue's incredible goddess wonder women.
 An elegant, patchwork corset by Shelita
Birchett Benash.
Shelita's "The Offering III,"
ceramic mixed media salvaged, organic fiber,
metal and wood.
Jeanne Markel admires Anothai
Hansen's "Spirit Girl Big Doll"
Doll by Shula Weinstein
 "Side Show" by Miz Thang
Julia Sisi, "Inner Seas"
Arle Sklar Weinstein, director of the Blue Door Gallery and
artist, chats with Jeanne Markel and Inge Brown.
 Golda Solomon, poet-in-residence,
Blue Door Gallery
Nonnie Balcer looking charming and
lovely as she is decked out for the cold day.
Hand-painted, mixed media dolls
by Noel Donaldson
"I always wanted to be free."
Thornton Dial
 I was so happy to see how Shelita had
displayed my hats as sculpture.
 Vistors were asked to express themselves, so
Inge wrote a note to say that perhaps Mary,
of Downton Abbey, might have worn one
of my hats with her new haircut.
Inge is the founder of the Katonah Gallery,
now the Katonah Museum of Art.
Arle Sklar Weinstein's kimono is on
the back wall.

I hope you all can visit the show.
The catalog is available here.

À Bientôt!