A picture’s worth a thousand songs… Now this is a diva picola, if I’ve ever seen one! Go, girl!
From Robin Leach’s ever-fab Las Vegas Sun column:
It was Celine Dion’s own crazy idea for a stunt photograph, and it turned out to be a first. All four of the superstars performing at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace — Shania Twain, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Celine — agreed to a unique photo shoot that next week in People magazine.
“I don’t like to do things that are easy,” 46-year-old Canadian songbird Celine told the weekly celebrity publication. It was a coup to have all four pose for the photos. Celine was hauled 11 feet into the air to pose in the arms of the hotel’s replica of the Michelangelo masterpiece of the statue of David.
The original ideas for the shoot didn’t get Celine excited, and she came up with her own “dream” of winding up in David’s arms. The magazine photographers loved her idea and said, “Let’s do it.” Afterward, Celine told People’s Mark Gray: “I don’t know if anyone else went into David’s arms, but, if I am the first, I am very honored.” Turns out she was the first… *
Meanwhile, a wondrous collection of still shots from Celine & NeYo’s “Incredible” video (courtesy of Facebook’s Celine Dionn).
Norfolk’s recently renovated Chrysler Museum of Art celebrated its reopening with a splash, showcasing the second U.S. appearance of Florentijin Hofman’s “Rubber Duck” in the museum’s Hague during the week leading up to Memorial Day. The duck has previously appeared in London’s Thames River and Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor.
The inflatable duckie offers 40 feet of giddy delight, and just makes you… smile. I saw “RD” on the Sunday before Memorial Day, joining hundreds of onlookers, admiring a piece of art that requires little interpretation, just giggles. To my surprise, I heard one cranky woman at the display complain, “I’m disappointed. I thought it would be bigger.” All I could think is, “Seriously, lady? Well, duck you!” *
And just like that, the whole damn thing was white-washed. The famed city-sanctioned Graffiti Mecca Five Pointz in Queens’ Long Island City that was centered across a 200,000 square-foot building, has vanished overnight.
Developers Jerry & David Wolkoff intend to raze the former water plant and replace it with a 1,000-unit apartment complex, comprising two high-rise luxury apartment buildings, 47 and 41 stories tall.
For the last 20 years, Five Pointz has served as an outpost for writers and artists from around the world. More than 1,500 panels of art by 300+ artists from around the world were painted over November 19, as protesters rallied unsuccessfully to save the landmarked locale.
The nabe there is still pretty shady, but like much of New York, boutiques and creative restaurants have been inching in, likely because of the presence of the mammoth Citibank office complex just blocks away from Five Pointz. Sad, yes, but such is the price of gentrification. Take a look at Manhattan’s Bowery district if you want to see the ultimate gentrification….
I visited Five Pointz for the first time in April 2013, when Ayhan Sahin’s Young Pals Music lensed a dazzling music video for Erica Jacob’s launch single “Run” around the colorful motif. It was, indeed, an amazing spectacle.
Just below: Five Pointz now… Below that, more from April. *
What the fuck? After releasing its mildly amusing first single in nearly a decade, the ska/pop/sing-song “Settle Down,” No Doubt previews the official album artwork for Push And Shove, No the group’s sixth studio album, due September 25 on Interscope Records.
The gruesome black & white pencil sketch was executed by muralist and painter El Mac. Lead Gwen Stefani mustered, “His technique and ability is just mind blowing! The idea of him working with us on this record is classic.”
Mind-blowing, yes, in the worst possible way. Classic… about as much so as a stinky tennis shoe. No go. WTF, No Doubt? *
Pal Leo has been kind of enough to loan me a sensational painting of Kate Winslet, created by British artist & photographer David Gamble (b 1953), who has been based in East Hampton, Long Island since 2000.
Among his claims to fame, Gamble was given access to Andy Warhol’s New York apartment just after his death in 1987. Sotheby’s allowed him eight days to explore the pop artist’s home, producing an intimate portrayal of Warhol. Gamble has also captured images of the Dalai Lama and Margaret Thatcher.
His Winslet acrylic on canvas work is spectacularly detailed, with vivid blue eyes and textured “crackles” across her face, making it a mystical exploration of simultaneous beauty and horror. (29″x28″)
It has all the more meaning to me because of Kate Winslet’s connection to Celine Dion, as the co-lead in Titanic, for which Celine, of course, sang the Oscar-winning theme “My Heart Will Go On.” I hope Kate and I remain fast friends for a long time. She really dresses up the joint. *
Now that Whitney Houston has been buried, bless her heart, it’s appropriate for the reverent tributes to be supplanted with a little tough love… We all know that despite her wondrous gifts, Whit has been a mess for more than a decade and that Celine Dion is right: Ultimately, drugs killed the 48-year-old singer.
And so… how brilliant is this? Artist Jason Mecier, who creates celebrity collages from unexpected materials—circuit boards for Lady Gaga, bathroom notions for Carol Channing, household doodads for Tina Fey—has come up with a series of homages to those that left us too soon, including Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger and now, Whitney Houston. Her portrait is constructed out of brightly colored prescription pills. Genius. *
Michael Albert, a 44-year-old collage artist based in Westchester, created one of the most unique New York City maps we’ve ever seen. He spent months spelling out a painstakingly detailed map of the city using letters collected from advertisements and commercial packaging. Resembling a gigantic ransom note, it’s endlessly fascinating and embedded with little delights, including streets, neighborhoods, museums, stores, bridges and subway stops. Click to see it even larger. *