A tribute to Zappa rounding out observances of his 50th birthday year, the November event will offer the world premiere of a new version of Broadway the Hardway, a satire on contemporary politics and prevailing hypocrisies. The original 1988 production toured internationally, and a recorded version received four Grammy Award nominations. The Ritz version is augmented by a full range of Zappa creations, selected by Frank Zappa and Joel Thome and arranged by Thome, founder and Music Director of Orchestra of Our Time.
Gordon Conway was a Texas-born descendant of James Madison… a self-taught artist who created the famous Red Cross Girl of 1918… the titian-haired inspiration for a 1920’s popular song, “That Red Head Gal”… a leading member of the international social set who was an outspoken feminist and the hard-working creator of 6,000 drawings and designs for fashion magazines, films and musical reviews… an acclaimed member of the dominant Art Moderne school who dropped out of sight at the age of 41 after retreating to the Madison ancestral home in Virginia.
My immediate thought when I look at anyone’s art for the first time is how it sits in the grand scheme of things. I believe all artists are connected somehow, a collective unconscious if you will. In the art of Lebo we see definitive links to Picasso, Basquiat, a little bit of Tamayo and subtly but most importantly to the great Cuban artist Wifredo Lam. Lebo is first and foremost a storyteller. His narratives often span time and place, but they never forget the here and now. His color sense falls somewhere between masterful and mind blowing, a characteristic skillfully coordinated with bold line and big accents. He captures our minds and stirs our imagination in such a way as to turn even the most incidental moment into something beautiful, powerful and poignant.
To look at abstract paintings by Autumn de Forest for the first time, one could easily imagine them on the walls of a contemporary art gallery. They display nicely balanced compositions and a fluid sense of movement.
Often painted with brilliant palettes—whether an expanse of watery blue slashed through with a horizontal band of purple in “Equator” or shadowy pink encroached on by clouds of creamsicle-toned pigments in “Pinkie”—the canvases emanate a sense of light. It could then come as a surprise that they were painted by a five year old.
Shelly Fireman, sculptor and noted restaurateur studied briefly at the Sculpture Center and the Art Students League for his first formal training. Following that, Fireman began the process of self-education approaching sculpting with the same artistry and intense commitment he brings to his restaurants.