Alex Katz in Fashion, Shepard Fairey Honors Muhammed Ali

Barbie Pink Pops Out On the Walls at VFA

Alex Katz is a consummate New Yorker. He was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, studied at Cooper Union in Manhattan and has been living in his SoHo studio since 1968.

 

 

A focus on fashion has always been a part of his portraits and of his life in New York. He showed up, opening night, at his recent retrospective at the Guggenheim, wearing a white suit, white shirt, white shoes and yellow tie. It was a stark contrast to the mainly black attire worn by guests…and even painted on Katz’s aluminum sculptures that were placed around the exhibit.

 

A current exhibit at the Portland Museum focuses on Katz’s interest in the relationship between art and fashion. The artist himself helped to curate the exhibit. Alex Katz, Wedding Dress is currently on exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland Maine and will run through June 2, 2024.

 

Poetry, and poets, have been an important part of Katz’s life. He has created portraits of many of the poets he befriended when he was a young artist. His son, Vincent Katz, is a poet and translator.

 

Katz’s successful Guggenheim retrospective inspired both wonderful reviews and marvelous poetry: https://bombmagazine.org/articles/poems-by-bob-holman-after-alex-katz-show-guggenheim/

 

In addition to the exhibit in Maine, Katz’s work is currently on display in France, and the Netherlands. Upcoming solo shows are planned for New York, Chicago, Seoul and Rome.

 


 

Shepard Fairey recently completed a a seven-story mural honoring Muhammed Ali in Louisville, Kentucky. The mural is on the wall of the Chestnut Street YMCA, just two blocks away from Ali's alma mater Central High School.

 

Louisville hosts an annual Ali Festival in June to mark the anniversary of Ali’s death and celebrate his life. This is the seventh anniversary commemoration.

 

During his visit to Louisville, Fairey  met with several local artists, hosted a public workshop with Louisville Visual Art, and participated in the group exhibition “Outside Influence,” an event organized by guerillaone and Artists for Trauma.

 

He also left a surprise gift on the wall of the High Horse Bar; a mural of his famous OBEY painting.

 


 

For the past few weeks we’ve all been inundated with Barbie previews, Barbie trailers, Barbie ads, Barbie movie reviews and even debates about the Barbie movie.

 

All things Pink in the gallery have just popped out at us this week. We created a small montage above of the pretty in pink artwork that we can picture clearly in a Barbie Dream House.

 


 

References:
Alex Katz. Invented Symbols: An Art Autobiography. Colby College Museum of Art, 2012.
Bob Holman. Poems After Visiting Alex Katz’s Show at the Guggenheim by Bob Holman. Bomb Magazine. July 17, 2023.
Scott Recker. Shepard Fairey and Ralph Steadman touch Louisville’s art scene with lasting imagery and themes. Louisville Public Media. May 10, 2023.
Amy Barnes. Artist Shepard Fairey Leaves Louisville With A Significant Pop Culture Replica. LEO Weekly/Lousiville Arts and Culture. May 1, 2023.

July 26, 2023
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