Must-See: Sissi Farassat’s Solo Exhibition at Edwynn Houk

Iranian born (and Austrian raised) artist Sissi Farassat is currently having her first solo show in New York at Edwynn Houk Gallery, and trekking up to Central Park is well worth your time if it means you get to see her work in person. Farassat’s photographs mainly consist of women (often herself, or close friends) in situations that create an intimacy between herself and the audience. She then enhances the photographs with hand-sewn embellishments to create beautiful images that have an unsettling undertone.  

It’s easy to become mesmerized upon viewing her work, perhaps because it dawns on you the sheer magnitude of time and effort put into each image. Or perhaps it’s the sequins themselves, shifting the color in either bold graphic shapes or subtle gradients, all the while echoing the grain in the film of the original portraits. But watching the motion created in the sequins, circling and highlighting the subject, gently leads you to the discovery that a wary juxtaposition exists between the dreamy qualities of the background and the frank stares of the woman looking at the camera. A perfect example of this contrast is demonstrated in Andrea, 2010, a portrait of a woman in a white flowing skirt, with her mouth covered and hands bound, floating in a sea of shiny silver sequins. Despite the subdued disquiet in the images, it’s hard not to feel whimsical and inspired after viewing Farassat’s work, and if you can make it to Edwynn Houk, you simply should.

Sissi Farassat is exhibiting at Edwynn Houk until February 16th.

’56 Up’ In Theaters Now

If you enjoy marathon watching a television series like there’s no tomorrow, then chances are you’re perfectly conditioned to go through the most epic marathon one can enjoy on Netflix. It’s called the Up Series, profiling a group of individuals every seven years, starting as children, up until the latest installment, 56 Up—which is playing at IFC Center now. It started as a one-off televised documentary in the 1960’s called Seven Up!, profiling a group of 14 children from various backgrounds, with the aim of painting a complete picture of Britain. Thankfully, Michael Apted (who was working as a researcher on the original program, but seven years later was in the position to take on the directing role) saw the potential in revisiting the same group of children seven years later with Seven Plus Seven, and since then we have seen the children go through their awkward teens, into their awkward early 20’s, and so on.

The original program was spurred by the notion that Britain’s class system was so strictly structured that one could tell a child’s future at the age of 7. Seven Up! profiled a diverse group of children from mainly the top and bottom social rungs, and had them profess all their hopes and dreams into the camera. I use the term ‘diverse’ loosely her— it was  the 1960’s mind you, and while Apted later lamented the lack of middle class participants, they also didn’t take into account feminism, and only 4 of the 14 individuals are female, and only one participant is from a non white background. Three of the boys from wealthy backgrounds predicted (two of them correctly) the exact trajectory of their education; the less privileged children’s predictions ranged from the more fantastical to the sobering realistic. By the time 21 Up came around, the political undertones had, for the most part, gone by the way side, and the series was now more focused on the personal lives of the young men and women participating. Revisiting them every seven years becomes exceedingly emotional—you are with them when their dreams fail, you are there while they recount marital troubles, and you witness lives spiraling out of control. Particularly, with the case of Neil, who battles with homelessness and mental health issues throughout the course of the series. You are also watching them as they become proud parents, mature individuals, and as Neil turns his life around (with the help of fellow Up-er Bruce – capital AWW!), and despite the weight of the compassion and sympathy you feel while watching their hardships, there are tremendous rewards in growing with these characters. It may sound credulous to say that you truly know and love them by simply getting a summary of their lives every seven years, but I can’t think of any other way to word it. The pay off is truly amazing, and if you are lucky enough to live in a city that will be showing 56 Up in the upcoming months, I suggest you catch up with these people and then go to the theaters to see them— it will feel like seeing old friends again.

Check out the below trailer from the 56 Up series.

Holidays: Get Your Drink On

Hungover from last nights holiday party? Indulged in a little midnight rendezvous? Panicked because you thought there would never be sun again? Regardless of your life choices, your stomach is a bottomless pit and thirsty for more responsible drinking. Let’s all keep riding this festive train with some impressive libations by our friends over at Women & Whiskies. They’ve got a large array of recipes for everyones taste buds this holiday season. Myself and Natasha Kaser made em, drank em, and are now sharing our faves with all yall. You’re welcome. 

Bourbon Balls
One of my favorite things in life is when you can curb your appetite and get your drink on all in one shot. These delectable bite size Bourbon Balls are the perfect blend of sweet and boozey, once you pop you cant stop. One bite and you wont need much else to get the party going, because it will already be your mouth!

Bourbon Balls
2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (lightly toasted)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 cup Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon
Powdered Sugar or other Topping

Combine first 4 ingrediaents in a medium bowl. Stir in corn syrup and bourbon. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar for a classic finish or get creative and roll in unsweetened cocoa powder, crushed nuts, or dip in melted dark or white chocolate. 

Glen Grant Zinger
Have you ever had a drink that is so dangerously delicious you end up downing about 15 of them in 45 minutes? With the Glen Grant Zinger its nearly impossible to not let it take over your body and mind. Whiskey? Apple Cider? You probably feel refreshed already. I recommend making a vat of this cocktail, just scoop and drink, scoop and drink. Christmas came early, to your taste buds!

Glen Grant Zinger
1 oz Glen Grant 10 year old

4 oz Sparkling Apple Cider Juice

Squeeze of Fresh Lime Juice

Combine and serve over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with an apple slice.

The Major’s Afternoon Tea
Here is a simple refreshing drink that packs a punch, and harks back on the pre-civil-war south. Ignoring the obvious troubles with slavery and what not, you can imagine Scarlet O’Hara kicking back and enjoying a boozy afternoon with one. The ‘Afternoon’ in the title insinuates that it is more of a day drink, although I’d easily start my morning with one. Although perhaps that says more about me than the drink…

The Major’s Afternoon Tea
2 oz. Glen Grant

1/4 oz. Dolin Blanc

1/4 oz. Qi white tea liqueur

Stir and serve up.
Garnish with a lemon twist

The Groundswell
This dangerous combination of sweet and sour flavors with a pretty considerable alcohol content, goes down like a treat. One could innocently enjoy a few of these only to find themselves decently drunk. The sort of drunk where you think singing ABBA in a karaoke bar full of metal heads is a pretty solid idea. I still have no regrets about that one. 

The Groundswell 
Created by The Drink in Brooklyn
10 oz. Glen Grant Major’s Reserve

7.5 oz. Japanese sencha green tea

5 oz. lemon juice

5 oz. simple syrup

4 oz. Combier peach liqueur

1 teaspoon blood orange bitters (Brooklyn Hemispherical brand)

Stir ingredients. Pour over ice into punch bowl. Contains approximately 10 servings.

Will-O-The Wisp
As mystical as the name implies, this drink is actually surprisingly earthy. Combining apple cider with Earl Grey Tea and Lemongrass Syrup, instantly floods the taste buds with fresh notes, undercut by rich kick of the Auchentoshan whiskey. 

And the garnishes literately reflecting the ingredients would certainly make Ina Garten proud.

Will-O-The Wisp
1.5oz. Auchentoshan Three Wood

1.5oz. Earl Grey Tea

.5oz. Martinelli’s Apple Cider

.25oz. Lemongrass Syrup

3 dashes Creole Bitters

3 thin apple slices (soak in Whisky, bitters & lemon juice)

Lemongrass blade

Soda charged

Combine all liquid ingredients, including lemongrass blade and shake vigorously with ice. Pour over fresh ice in high ball glass and garnish with apples slices.


For images and more recipes, check out Women & Whiskies.