TIO NYC: Grab Bag- Botero to Great Big Apple Eats

TIO NYC: Grab Bag- Botero to Great Big Apple Eats

The following is a brief overview of more to see and do and a few suggestions about places to eat.

Botero at the Marlborough Gallery, 40 East 57 Street, through November 24:

Primera Dama

Born on April 19, 1932 in Medellín, Colombia, Fernando Botero grew up surrounded by Spanish colonial architecture as well as pre-Columbian artifacts. Initially schooled as a matador, the artist abandoned the profession after two years to pursue his passion for art.

Travelling to Europe in the early 1950s, he copied works of Francisco de Goya and Diego Velázquez at the Prado Museum in Madrid and studied the paintings of Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca in Italy.

In 1960, Botero moved to New York where he experimented with the gestural brushstrokes of the New York School of Abstract Expressionist painters, the gods of the art world at the time. That stylistic dalliance was short-lived.

By the 1970s, Botero had settled into the technique for which he is now known, those bloated, round human and animal forms that reference everything from daily life in Colombia to art historical and biblical themes, from folks picnicking to Adam and Eve and the Mona Lisa. That stylization is may be pointed social critique, water balloons about to burst, as in busting the myths that surround us, personal and universal. Or is the artist celebrating bounty.


You decide.

Dos Hermanas

Botero currently lives and works between Paris, France, New York, NY, and Tuscany, Italy. His works are presently held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museo Botero in Bogotá which is dedicated to the artist and his oeuvre.

“Fernando Botero: Recent Painting” is currently on display at the Marlborough Gallery and not to be missed:

The Directors of Marlborough Gallery present paintings by the world-renowned artist Fernando Botero. These new works revisit the major subjects he has depicted over the course of his career.

The familiar figures in paintings by Botero are as voluptuous as they are charismatic. Whether he is depicting female nudes, bullfighters, dance hall denizens, clowns, revelers, lovers, Grandes Dames, musicians, families or a bowl of fruit, Botero’s skill and style make the work unmistakably his own. As writer David Ebony puts it, “Art audiences, critics, and collectors see the famously rotund figures that populate his compositions as emblematic archetypes: sensuous icons of plenty, of good health and good fortune.”

For the artist, form and color work together to illuminate the heightened reality of each painted figure or scene. In Botero’s paintings no element is gratuitous – “everything is necessary” as he explains. Although a figurative painter, he achieves a balance in composition and color that shows his understanding and assimilation of the essential tenets of abstraction. Light, created byhis synthesis of colors, is especially important. Botero never paints heavy shadows as he considers them the enemy of color. He has stated, “I would say that in my painting there is an interior light that is like morning light. What most resembles this internal, color-like “light” is the light of the morning hours…everything is clearer and more uniform.

Other good midtown addresses:

Yares at 745 5th Avenue, Kronos Gallery.

Will Barnett at 724 5th Avenue.

Art of  Mad Magazine at Society of Illustrators, 63rd and Lexington Avenue.

Fall for Dance:

The 15th annual Fall for Dance just ended. But note the dates on your calendar and get on the phone to get your $15 tickets for next year’s show.

The magical evening was a crazy quilt of textures from classical ballet to hip hop.

The evening opened with a pas de deux featuring bravura performances by Alina Cojocaru and Herman Cornejo in “Rhapsody,” with music by Rachmaninoff, which premiered in London in 1980. Up next was the stylized moves of  the Dutch troupe Introdans dancing Lucinda Childs’ “Canto Ostinato,” which premiered in the Netherlands in 2015. The brilliant Petrushka, “was a parody of classical ballet by hip hop choreographer Jennifer Weber, staring Lil Buck and featuring City Ballet dancer Tiler Peck and Brooklyn Mack. The evening closed with the hip hop of the American Street Dance Theater doing an excerpt from “Funkified,” which premiered in June 20 at The New Victory Theater in New York in June 2018.

LaoNow/Legacies of War:

LaoNow 2018 was a gathering of the national Laotian American community,  featuring inspiring designers, filmmakers, storytellers, performers, and chefs. The all-day event brought together community members to connect and celebrate a shared heritage and the country’s creative evolution, The hope is that once the bombs are cleared, the future will be brighter for the next generation in the tiny country that is always the other side of the ampersand when tourists are traveling to Se Asia, as in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos. 

In one wonderful, very full day, we discovered the talent and warmth of the Laotian community in America. These second generation boat people, most now very successful professionals who identify as Americans, traveled from all over the country to get together.

We were there in support of a friend whom we met in Laos. She is on the board of Legacies of War, a nonprofit dedicated to “history, healing and hope,” which is really all about removing the unexploded mines, a legacy of American forces, that still wreak havoc on locals,  compromising their ability to move past the Vietnam War into the future. Legacies was the primary beneficiary of the evening’s gala.

Great eats:

Trattoria Dell-Arte, authentic Italian by Chef Anthony. 900 Seventh Avenue at 57th Street. Sit at the bar. It’s the quietest place in the house and it is where you might get really lucky and be served your antipasto by Kim or Refaiyat. (In any case, ask for them.) The smiles are free; the yummy food is not.

Fifty, featuring New American cuisine and Latin spices @ 50 Commerce Street near the Cherry Lane Theatre. Ask for Joseph.

Khe-Yo, 157 Duane Street, for killer Laotian and other SE Asia food. The chef was featured at LaoNow.

The Mala Project, 122 1st Avenue,  for Chinese hot pot. The fried chicken and sesame noodles are killer good.

Little Alley, 550 3rd Avenue between 36 & 37th Street, also Chinese – and also very special.

The Flora Bar at the Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue. Worth going even if you are not interested in the shows at the Museum. Try the fried maitake mushroom sandwich and/or the endive salad for lunch.

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