Drue Kataoka’s New App Scans the Hands of Heidi Klum, Christy Turlington + More to Help Children

Touch Our Future
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“Touch Our Future” Homepage

Silicon Valley-based artist Drue Kataoka has made a name for herself melding technological innovation with breath-takingly beautiful aesthetics. She’s presented at TED, was a Cultural Leader at the World Economic Forum in Davos for the billionaires, world leaders, and CEOs who run the world, and is an accomplished flutist. Now, her new project, a global art installation entitled “Touch Our Future” aims to aid in fighting the scourge of infant mortality.

“I took inspiration from the cave paintings at Lascaux and Sulawesi.” Kataoka explains over the phone from Los Angeles. The almost 40,000-year-old hand impressions left on ancient cave walls, signs of our forebearers’ emerging intelligence and creativity, led her to trace the handprints of mothers and infants today, especially in areas where the infant mortality rate was high. She wanted to give infants a voice, and that evolved into a global project.

Heidi Klum

Image courtesy Evolutionary Media Group

A true product of Silicon Valley, Kataoka accomplishes these handprint scans with a mobile app: anyone with a mobile device can take a picture of their hand, which is then silhouetted perfectly in an instant with an image of a sun taken from somewhere in the world. Once submitted, your hand joins the likes of Heidi Klum, Chelsea Clinton, and the Dalai Lama in a fluid spiral towards the horizon on the project’s homepage. Thousands of handprints already populate the site.

“I wanted to leverage art to build a bridge to people and build a lasting message to them that would be the first step in engaging people around the issue,” she says.

“Touch our Future” is one piece of a large oeuvre that seeks to break down barriers between disciplines and illustrate how art and technology can converge beautifully and with great meaning. Kataoka is inspired by a lineage of creators that includes not just other artists, but also scientific minds, for instance, Richard Feynman, the celebrated physicist who became entranced with artistic creation and began drawing, and is perhaps best remembered for his beautiful representations of particle interactions and decays, commonly called Feynman Diagrams.

“His work was only something he could create because of his deep knowledge,” says Kataoka. “I think if we are very welcoming of each other across the different cultural gaps and disciplines, there are many positive things that can arise.”

Christy Turlington

Image courtesy Evolutionary Media Group

Moving forward, Kataoka hopes to emulate Pablo Picasso, who politicized his work in the aim of promoting peace (Guernica, anyone?). His meetings with President Truman and President de Gaulle echo the diplomacy Kataoka activates to propagate her work, but she is aware that the divide between politics and art has become larger.  “You would be very hard-pressed to see an artist meeting with Barack Obama,” she says. “I think that’s sad.”

This summer her piece “Twelve Minutes of Thinking” (a piano with a brain wave musical score) will be displayed in Carl Schurz park, in New York, as part of the city-wide installation “Sing for Hope Pianos”. Again weaving the nexus between arts, public policy and tech, Kataoka proceeds in a mission to inject creativity into society.

“Touch Our Future” is currently on display at the TEDWomen Conference in Monterey, and is available to download on the Appstore and Google Play.     


Everything You Need to See at Frieze, According to Cynthia Rowley

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Photo: Cynthia Rowley by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com

We sent designer Cynthia Rowley into the madness of Frieze to do a little reconnaissance, and she came back with these gems. Here’s everything you need to see at Frieze, according to Cynthia Rowley.

If you want to get your hands dirty, stop by Gavin Brown’s DIY make-the-painting-yourself art booth, created by Jonathan Horowitz. It is totally genius.

If you need to recharge a bit, visit Korakrit Arunandchai’s massage chair at Frieze Project space.

Martin Creed’s ginormous wall paintings at Hauser and Wirth are positively exuberant. Please come paint the outside of my whole house, Martin!

Get Inspired in L.A. This Weekend with 5 Major Art Shows

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JOHN CURRIN, Tapestry, 2013. Photo by Rob McKeever. Courtesy of Gagosian Galley. © John Currin.


John Currin at Gagosian Gallery, 456 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills


JOHN CURRIN, Tapestry, 2013. Photo by Rob McKeever. Courtesy of Gagosian Galley. © John Currin.

John Currin is back, with more eroticism and perplexing imagery than ever! While the layering of painting on top of painting characterizes his newer works, the same thematic exploration of balance between the beautiful and the monstrous remains.


Alma Allen at Blum & Poe2727 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles


Alma Allen, Installation view, 2015. Courtesy of Blum & Poe.

Allen, a high school drop out and teenage runaway, is having his first solo exhibition since his success at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. His sculpture is a paradox of solid form, but fluid shape, creating a complex balance between the two. Ends February 28.


Jacci Den Hartog at  Rosamund Felsen GalleryBergamot Station B4 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica


Jacci Den Hartog, Conversation In the Garden: A Chill To Repartee, 2013-2014.  Courtesy of Rosamund Felsen Gallery.

Hartog’s second exhibition at Rosamund Felsen, The Etiquette of Mountains is an scrulpture exploration into landscapes and mountain terreraine. Using cool blues with pops of bright color, the textured shapes provide an new perspective on nature. Ends March 14.


Brendan Fowler at Richard Telles Fine Art, 7380 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles


Brendan Fowler, From South, 2014. Photo courtesy of Richard Telles Fine Art.

The exhibition features sound and printed art that examines repurposing and the value of the unintentional. Through both sound and imagery, Fowler ignores the uniform purpose of mass production, by tweaking common sound and embroidery instruments to create a unique print or noise. Opens February 21.


Stanley Whitney at Team Gallery, 306 Windward Avenue, Venice


Stanley Whitney, Aura of the Sandfall, 2014. Photo courtesy of Team Gallery.

In his debut Los Angeles show, Whitney’s works are a study in color and grid patterns. The orderly structure dictated by the bold colors are combined with the spontaneity of the drip to exude an interesting combination of mixed textures and complex layering. Ends February 22.

In NYC This Weekend? Here Are 4 Art Exhibitions You Must See

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Brendan Lynch, Mountains Collection, Winter 2015

Chris Ofili at the New Museum, 235 Bowery

Ofili’s mid-career survey “Night and Day” spans six different bodies of work. The hugely popular show closes Sunday, so this is your last chance to see it all.

Chris Ofili, Pimpin’ ain’t easy, 1997. Oil, polyester resin


Steven Meisel at Phillips, 450 Park Avenue

Steven Meisel, legendary fashion photographer, opened “Role Play” at the Phillips Auction house this past week. Meisel’s photographs have been at the forefront of fashion photographer for is entire career, capturing models Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and others in their supermodel prime. Get your wallets out; “Role Play” is a selling exhibition.


Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington, Los Angeles, 1989


 Hugo McCloud at Sean Kelly Gallery, 475 Tenth Avenue

“Palindrome” by Brooklyn artist Hugo McCloud opens this weekend at Sean Kelly Gallery. The artist separated the exhibition in two, dividing the works by color; silver in the front gallery and black in the lower. Monochromatic enthusiasts rejoice!

HUGO MCCLOUD, phaeton, 2015, aluminum foil, aluminum coating and oil paint on paper © Hugo McCloud. Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York


Brendan Lynch at UNTITLED, 30 Orchard Street 

Remember Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting? Of course you do. Old episodes will stream from monitors in Brendan Lynch’s Mountains Collection at UNTITLED, where the works of Mary McLeod, Brandan Meade, a work from a thrift shop, and more artists will also be on display.



Five Illuminating Art Exhibitions to See in Miami This Weekend

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With February almost upon us and galleries gearing up for what’s next, now’s the time to scope out these five incredible shows.


Peter Marino’s One Way at the Bass Museum of Art, 2100 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach


Peter Marino installation images courtesy of the Bass Museum of Art

Art has long influenced iconic architect Peter Marino’s work–and also encouraged him to create across many disciplines. This exhibition goes in depth on Marino’s influences, invoking his own personal collection of contemporary art, cast among his own creations. This group showcase also features newly commissioned work, all for the sake of getting inside Marino’s eccentric environment at the crux of design, fashion, and art.


25 Years of Art Discourse from Buenos Aires to Miami at Diana Lowenstein Gallery, 2043 North Miami Avenue, Miami

Courtesy of Diana Lowenstein Gallery

This group gala showcase of 50 artists, spanning 4409.72 miles and 9125 days of work, marks the 25th anniversary of the Diana Lowenstein Gallery. These contemporary art pieces span sculpture, painting, and photography created across the far reaches of the world. Curator Ombretta Agró Andruff has arranged all the pieces in eight groups: Color; History; Human Body/Portraits; Materia y Forma; Patterns; Symbolism; Text; and Vacío–altogether delivering a powerful presentation of art that’s passed through the Diana Lowenstein Gallery walls.


Nick Farhi’s Don’t Need Roads at Bill Brady Gallery, 7230 NW Miami Court, Miami

Courtesy of Bill Brady Gallery

As far as debut solo exhibitions go, this collection of art marks a new talent taking inspiration from the skies. Featuring 12 paintings and installation work, the exhibition encourages a balance between release, relaxation, and adventure. There’s definitely a sense of briefly capturing fleeting moments here, but the atmosphere is definitely something viewers will want to hold on to.


Ashley Oubré at Robert Fontaine Gallery, 2349 Northwest 2nd Avenue, Miami

Courtesy of Robert Fontaine Gallery 

Striking, photo-realistic paintings from graphite, carbon pencil, and india ink on canvas, these large scale works deftly capture “socially damaged” subjects. With a remarkable attention to detail and an eerie understanding of her figurative models, Oubré’s paintings carry as much power as they do depth. Light, shadows and texture yield humanity.


Leon Berkowitz: Cascades of Light, Paintings from 1965-1986 at ArtSpace Virginia Miller Galleries169 Madeira Avenue, Coral Gables

Courtesy of ArtSpace Virginia Miller Galleries

While it may be difficult to capture the essence of an artist’s life work in one show, a trip to Coral Gables delivers impactful insight into the world of color-defining Leon Berkowitz. The selections range from his earlier striped canvas works to his more mature abstractions. It’s fascinating to chart an artist’s develop over time–all in one room–but that aside, the mesmeric paintings are reason enough to check this out.


Who Are You Following, Richard Prince?

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Main image via Gagosian Gallery

Seeing Richard Prince’s latest exhibition “New Portraits” makes you think about a lot of things: exposure, internet presence, identity, artistic ownership, and the ever so wicked six degrees of separation city kids experience when they drop names left and right at art gallery openings, fashion parties, and, yes, within their own Instagram accounts. 

As an appropriation artist, Richard Prince certainly knows how to reconfigure and distort, often manipulating what we feel and yet what see or maybe even who you know. As I spied all the canvased grams, the occasional music video star, downtown musician, or model blew up before my eyes magnified like I had never seen before (pixelated and massive). (I wonder what Kay Kasperhauser’s parents would think of that photo with her legs spread? Oh, well. It’s a Richard Prince show.) It’s the proportions (167 x 123.8 cm) of these ink jetted canvases that bewilder you as if blurry shrines have been constructed. 

Take a photo on your phone and where does it go? It either goes into your iCloud, your iPhoto, or your social media or, basically, the public realm. After that iCloud scare, perhaps people will start using it more just to get attention? Then, again, Andy Warhol couldn’t have been more politically correct when he prophesied that everyone (Gen X? Gen Y?) would be famous for fifteen minutes. What is fame, anyways?


A snapshot I took on my iPhone of RichardPrince4 snapshotting my own photo that I had taken here for Blackbook — You want a puff, Richard Prince?

I hadn’t had a clue of Richard’s exhibition until my own thirsty curiosity struck as fast as an Instagram notification. Wait, hold on. Richardprince4 liked my photo or wait- Hold on. Isn’t Richard Prince that one famous artist? I forget what pieces he’s done. Does that make me not in the scene? I know he’s famous but have I ever been to a Richard Prince exhibition? When fame merges with local celebrity, the end results typically create a conversation between the tastemakers and the “followers” (no pun intended). A debate has been created and, thus, Richard Prince you have succeeded. But what if someone took a photo of a photo and paradoxically curated a show of your life or just a mere image you wanted to project for others to see? Would that offend you? Or would you be flattered?

“New Portraits” makes me reminisce upon older times when texting became the norm for young 14 year olds circa 2006. It was the Motorola Razor that became a recurring object in every peer of mine’s hands and we were only in middle school. When a text arrived, you showed it to your friends. You were reading the text envisioning what consequences or imagery it may provoke. Fast forward to present day, iPhones are in the hands of younger children. For most young subjects Prince has portrayed, they too might remember when words were taken out of context and their middle school crushes demolished their feelings via text. Just think what we can do today with both word and image. I suppose press is press but just be careful what you post. You don’t want Instashame but, at the same time, most want Instafame.

Richard Prince’s “New Portraits,” on view at Gagosian Gallery, closes in about a week (October 25th). Go see it now, I urge you.

What a small world we live in…..


Last Friday Night Richard Kern Release Party + Yelle Afterparty

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Last Friday night New York City, the incredibly talented Richard Kern—an artist that has inspired me with his youth portraits, particularly Contact High and his younger video works (Lydia Lunch)—held a book release party for his latest, titled Girlfriend Boyfriend (Shizen Books, Design by Peter Miles).

At the top of Webster Hall, a long narrow room was decorated with his collective photos featured in the book being sold, depicting the ever-so colorful backdrops he’s known for. In attendance: Olivier Zahm from Purple Magazine, my former boss and exceptional New Yorker Chrissie Miller, alongside friend (Purple Mag) Caroline Gaimari. A fresh batch of hip Japanese youth, which is always dope. The turn-up was successful and everyone had a great time.

May I also mention…..There were limited edition Richard Kern panties!


Yoko and Richard

Shake Down 1979. Cool kids never have the time.

DSCF8230 DSCF8229
Chrissie Miller with Purple Mag’s Caroline Gaimari

Olivier Zahm

Following the Richard Kern book release party, I had attended Yelle’s post-Iriving Plaza performance after party, meeting my favorite one and only Blackbook Editor-in-Chief Jacob Brown. Sophia Lamar, the fairy godmother of my dreams, was there, cherished by all young gay boys that surround her and artists alike. Yelle had her own table surrounded by cute French guys, which, in my drunk stupor, had flirted with only to find that most were straight. Oh well!

It was a fun night and she looked amazing. New York loves you, Yelle. Check out her latest single featured on the latest album.

Yelle being fierce.


Queen bee Sophia Lamar



Four Art Shows You Should See This Weekend

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Checkpoint, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York © Roxy Paine

A giant steel sculpture, a life-size wooden diorama, a solo exhibition as imaginative as a Lewis Carroll fantasy world, and a group show of satanic ceramics will have your running around downtown Manhattan this weekend. Over in Chelsea Marianne Boesky Gallery presents “Denuded Lens,” a solo exhibition featuring new works by New York-based artist Roxy Paine. The show’s centerpiece is a diorama replica of an airport security checkpoint made entirely of maple wood. Paine has a propensity for recreating banal scenes of contemporary life in his large-scale dioramas. His new diorama “Checkpoint” excels at neutralizing a space of intense surveillance and scrutiny, enabling viewers to observe a familiar environment without the irksome apprehension. 

“Denuded Lens” remains on view through October 18, 2014 at Marianne Boesky Gallery.

Just blocks away Polish artist Monika Sosnowska’s new 110-foot sculptural work “Tower” occupies Hauser & Wirth’s gallery on 18th Street. Sosnowska’s massive piece is an amazing mass of twisted steel that evokes the architectural framework of the built environment and outlines the contours of a giant figure reclining across the warehouse-like space. “Tower” is a must-see and feels like a stark parenthesis to what Rosalyn Deutsche describes as the “mangled, shattered, and pulverized architectural remains” that dominate the National September 11 Memorial Museum. 

“Tower” remains on view through October 25, 2014 at Hauser & Wirth. 

At David Zwirner, Marcel Dzama’s 2013 film “Une danse des bouffons (or A jester’s dance)” makes its U.S. debut with an exhibition of accompanying sculptures, drawings, and dioramas. “Une danse des bouffons” is a silent film that offers a fantastical account of Marcel Duchamp and Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins’ troubled love affair. Two versions of the film appear at the show, one cast in a red filter with Kim Gordon as Martins and the other in blue with Hannelore Knuts playing the lead role. Dzama pairs lighthearted choreography by Vanessa Walters with moments of macabre action (think Cronenberg’s Scanners). The film is masterfully lit, utilizing simple cutouts and rotating set pieces to play with light and shadow. The film ephemera outside the screening rooms are also divided into red and blue realms. The drawings and dioramas not only bring the imaginative work to life, they give a glimpse of the storyboard process that defines Dzama’s practice.  

“Une danse des bouffons” is on view through October 15, 2014 at David Zwirner.

Ceramics may be a neglected art form, often sidelined as a craft, but Mary Frey, Pat McCarthy, JJ PEET, and Tom Sachs are making ceramic art cool again at Salon 94 in the Lower East Side. The irreverent exhibition conceives of the group of artists as an underground clay caucus, abiding by The Contemporary Ceramics Manifesto as penned by JJ PEET, which reads, “Brain to Hand to Object [Clay].” Highlights include Pat McCarthy’s zine-like approach to the medium and Mary Frey’s reinterpretation of tourist souvenirs decorated with naughty imagery, the perfect gift for your creepy suburban relatives.

“Satan Ceramics” will stay on view through October 25, 2014 at Salon 94.

Screen shot 2014-09-12 at 2.33.21 PM
Tower, 2014
© Monika Sosnowska

m2Tower, 2014

© Monika Sosnowska

Screen shot 2014-09-12 at 2.35.22 PMCheckpoint, 2014
Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York © Roxy Paine

Marcel Dzama 1Kim Gordon in still from Une danse des bouffons (or A Jster’s dance) © Marcel Dzama
Photo by author

Screen shot 2014-09-12 at 2.32.34 PMInstallation photo by author
© Marcel Dzama

Cory Arcangel’s “tl;dr” Show at Team Gallery

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Pop icons receive artist Cory Arcangel’s technologically inclined treatment in his latest exhibit “tl;dr”.  On display at Team Gallery’s Wooster street location, the exhibit consists of a series of works entitled Lakes, in which Arcangel applies the Java applet “Lake” to pop culture related images on flat screen televisions turned vertically.  The humorously relevant works include an Instagram post of Larry David and Skrillex and Diddy boarding a private jet. Arcangel’s televisions function as unconventional frames for the pop icons, while the application of the applet creates an entrancing liquid reflection of the images on the lower half of the screens.  The artist’s post-internet savvy subject matter coupled with the integration of the applet mirrors his signature affinity towards utilizing technology as his choice medium. Arcangel’s decision to cover the gallery’s floor with a red carpet subverts the traditional notion of the white cube space, and provides a quasi showroom environment for the works. “Tl;dr” will be on view through October 26th.

CA 14 tldr install 22 print CA 14 tldr install 24 print

Team Gallery
47 Wooster Street
New York, NY

Image courtesy of team (gallery, inc.), New York

photo credit: Joerg Lohse