- Guernsey’s Auction House is previewing its August 6th Auction at an exclusive New York City event
- Guests will be given the first look at items belonging to the iconic actress and socialite, including her 1960 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II, which Taylor christened “The Green Goddess”
- The items also include a figure hugging Gianni Versace dress, and her Christian Louboutin evening bag and other special motor cars
- All of these items will be sold through Guernsey’s Auction House at an auction on Tuesday, August, 6, at 10:30 AM at The Pierre Hotel.
ROBERT MARS: These Important Years
May 9 – June 6, 2019
Opening Reception Thursday May 9th 7pm
Gilles Clement Gallery is pleased to present These Important Years, a solo exhibition featuring recent works of contemporary artist Robert Mars. Mars has produced a body of artwork from his studio in Connecticut that celebrates the commonplace objects and brands and icons of an America long past in a thoroughly modern and exquisitely constructed manner. His work highlights the importance that 1950’s and 60’s icons bear in the context of American and global history.
“The images evoke a feeling of nostalgia, but I am not looking back to the past. I present them in a modern and current way to speak to their continued relevance in decades later. The images remain alive and fresh through modern techniques and applications.” – Robert Mars.
Through the application of a rich and layered color palette and tongue in cheek attitude, Mars’ paintings evoke a vintage quality of design and pay homage to the idealized age of growth and hopefulness that was prevalent in the USA at the end of World War II a time before the internet and mobile technology, when there was no such thing as instant digital celebrities, but rather the myth of unique, untouchable and iconic personalities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren. Combining vintage wallpapers and quilt patterns, Mars’ delves further into the essence of American culture, incorporating a folk art sensibility into a pop art aesthetic, while capturing the timeless relevance and enduring influence of past and contemporary icons on society, technology, politics and fashion.
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At the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU in Miami Beach
On view now through October 7th
From the Collection of David Wolkowsky,
Scion of Pioneer Jewish Family that Settled Key West in the 1800s and Contributed to the History
of Jews in the State Florida
Long known as “Mr. Key West,” David Wolkowsky, the famed scion of Florida’s pioneer Jewish family that helped to settle Key West in the 1800s, has loaned his paintings by close friend Tennessee Williams to the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU for their premiere in Miami Beach.
This is one of the few times they have been exhibited outside of Key West. The exhibition Tennessee Williams: Playwright and Painter is an intimate showing of nine exquisitely rare paintings by one of America’s greatest playwrights, created by Williams in Key West during the 1970s. One of his closest friends was David Wolkowsky, the Key West developer who owned a private island called Ballast Key (nine miles from Key West), and the Pier House Resort.
Both idyllic locations were the scene of many glamorous gatherings hosted by David and Tennessee, including parties for Hollywood luminaries, heads of state, and society’s crème-de-la-crème.
If these paintings could talk, oh the stories they’d tell . . .
Subject matter includes the writer’s famous cohorts during the 1970s in Key West (including a portrait of a very young Michael York), and personifications from Williams’ own poetry, short stories, and characters from his plays.
Billie Holiday songs played in the background while Williams captured different images on his canvas.
Some of the paintings by Williams feature gay themes. An “open secret” throughout his fabled career, the playwright struggled with societal prejudices from a young age, and the taboos surrounding homosexuality during his lifetime manifested in a number of Williams’ paintings.
His artwork remains widely popular among collectors, most of these sought-after paintings from the last years of his life are in private hands and rarely seen.
These precious gems are the pride of the Key West Art & Historical Society, and the Miami Beach exhibition (on view through October 7 at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU) is an uncommon opportunity to see in person how Williams expressed through painting his feelings about sexuality, loneliness and being gay.
Most of these sought-after paintings from the last years of his life are in private hands and rarely seen.
David Wolkowsky, who still lives in Key West and is almost 100, is from one of the earliest Jewish Families of Florida, and their history is documented as part of the Jewish Museum of Florida’s permanent collection about the history of Jews in the State of Florida. Wolkowsky is revered as a Key West original with a “campy sense of style, whose name every local knows.”
Williams was often found at Wolkowsky’s private, celeb-drenched affairs. Guests included the likes of Truman Capote, British Prime Minister Edward Heath, and members of the Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Mellon families. According to Key West lore, Wolkowsky was notorious for serving plain hot dogs, white wine and potato chips to his famous guests, while Tennessee painted and drank red wine.
“The story behind these paintings, and the close friendship between Wolkowsky and Williams, is just one example of the many unexpected treasures in the rich history of Jewish culture in the State of Florida, spanning four centuries,” said Susan Gladstone, the Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.
“The fact that Williams painted, much less that he painted in Key West, is a surprise to many and his paintings have mostly remained outside of the public eye. We are honored to have these works here at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, and to be one of the few museums that David Wolkowsky has selected to exhibit these works outside of their Key West home,” adds Gladstone.
Read more about the life of David Wolkowsky and his contributions to the history of Florida, in “This Man Is An Island,” written by Michael Adno – bittersoutherner.com/this-man-is-an-island-david-wolkowsky-key-west/
More about Tennessee Williams:
Tennessee Williams’ plays during the 1940s and 1950s were innovative, confrontational, and presented audiences with controversial subject matter such as deep, dark family secrets, Southern Gothic themes, and other taboos that had never been seen on the stage before.
His Southern dramas, The Glass Menagerie, A Street Car Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof were blockbusters that were adapted into iconic films.
For more than 30 years, Williams lived part-time and wrote in a small cottage on Duncan Street in Key West, and took up oil painting in the 1960s. On his patio, he would sketch friends, acquaintances, various literary characters and authors. Guests would often visit his home on Duncan street and purchase his recently created paintings.
By the beginning of the 1960s, American theater shifted, and Williams’ new plays were not as popular. In 1963, his lifetime partner Frank Merlo died of lung cancer in Key West. The years following Merlo’s death were difficult for Williams although he continued to write until his own death in 1983. His literary career includes plays, short stories and novels. As a writer, Williams was persistent and tireless. His later plays strove towards innovation and bold experimentation and continue to be revived and performed today.
Like most writers, William’s life was fraught with hardships and struggles.
Upon viewing these paintings, it is clear that painting provided solace and refuge for one of America’s most celebrated playwrights.
In this exhibition, Williams pays homage to his own literary works (including his first novel, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone), writers he admired (Jean Genet, Arthur Rimbaud and Wallace Stevens), and a portrait of a very young Michael York, who starred in the 1973 production of Williams’ Out Cry. Of significance is the fact these works were created during the 1970s, a progressive era for artists, activists, and forward thinking, with the notion of liberation being key.
These rare paintings now on view in Miami Beach at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU through October 7 capture the essence of a strong and independent artist living in a particular time and place.
Project Angel Food’s 27th Annual Angel Awards Provide an Unforgettable Evening Under the Stars
Gala Event Raises $600K and Honored the Late George Michael, Nordstrom, Jason Ball and Gayle Anderson of KTLA
Project Angel Food hosted its 27th annual Angel Awards Gala at on Saturday, August 19, 2017, honoring the late George Michael, at the organization’s Hollywood headquarters, turning the parking lot and adjacent street into a world class wonderland for the 470 supporters, celebrities and media members in attendance. Charitable attendees, including presenting sponsor Chaz Dean, combined to raise $600,000 for Project Angel Food, during an evening that included an auction, celebrity presentations and was highlighted by a once-in-a-lifetime performance by Queen front man Adam Lambert. Lambert sang George Michael’s hits “Faith” and “One More Try” before finishing with Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” which George Michael had also covered.
Auction items included two sets of Will & Grace tickets that included a set visit, taping and a meet and greet with the cast, which sold for $10,000 each. A McLaren driving experience with a 2018 McLaren and a professional race car driver was auctioned for $12,000 and attendees also combined smaller individual donations to raise $20,000 to send 100 children of clients and their parents to “Cinderella” at the Hollywood Pantages Theater. This included a donation by actress and Angel Awards presenter Sharon Lawrence. The Angel Awards also had an anonymous donor donate $10,000 for a one-on-one reading with “Hollywood Medium” Tyler Henry.
As food is at the center of Project Angel Food’s mission, guests were treated to delicacies created by some of Los Angeles’ most famous Chefs. This included Rory Herrmann, Chef/Owner Barrel & Ashes as the evening’s Culinary Director, Jason Neroni, Chef/Owner Rose Café on starters, Neal Fraser, Chef/Owner Redbird/Vibiana for the main courses and Private Chef Stuart O’Keeffe on dessert.
This year’s event held a special significance, as it posthumously honored the legendary performer George Michael, a dedicated friend, volunteer and supporter of the organization and to date, its largest individual donor. George Michael received Project Angel Food’s Elizabeth Taylor Leadership Award, named for the iconic star, who was both a generous and loyal benefactor. One of Project Angel Food’s clients and beneficiaries of the medically tailored meals they deliver every week accepted the award on his behalf.
“George Michael was responsible for keeping our doors open and keeping critically ill members of the Los Angeles community fed when we were in dire need of help,” said Project Angel Food Executive Director Richard Ayoub. “His generosity and kindness will never be forgotten, and through the Goss/Michael Foundation’s support, every meal we provide still has some of his spirit.” Ayoub also added that, “Project Angel Food has entered a new era. It was announced Saturday night that for the first time the organization is receiving funding from the state of California for a pilot program to prove that medically tailored meals can bring down health care costs. As we have long known, food is medicine.”
“When George volunteered here in 1998, I was here with him. And I’ve got to tell you he was so impressed with the staff and volunteers, the quality of the food and the compassion embedded in the meals,” said Kenny Goss. He continued, “I’m so happy that George is finally getting the recognition he deserves with Project Angel Food’s Elizabeth Taylor Leadership Award. There’s been a lot said about George since he died, but I’d love for his legacy to be his music and his generosity.”
George Michael was a special guardian presence for Project Angel Food, when the organization was going through its most trying times. In 1993 Project Angel Food persevered to feed the influx of AIDS patients who turned to them during the height of the epidemic. Struggling to make payroll while sacrificing internally for the good of the community, Project Angel Food received an unsolicited donation, placed on the organization’s doorstep. Contained in an envelope was a check and note from George Michael, for the amount of $25,000. He would donate that same amount every year until his tragic passing in 2016.
Nordstrom was also honored, as a longtime corporate partner and active participant in the Project Angel Food mission.
“Nordstrom is committed to giving back to the communities we serve, and for more than 15 years we’ve supported the outstanding work of Project Angel Food,” said Leslie Martin, Nordstrom Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Southern California. “We’re humbled to play a part in helping Project Angel Food deliver more and more nutritious meals each year, along with encouragement and hope, to thousands of individuals in need right here in our own backyard.”
KTLA- 5’s Jason Ball, Vice President News and Gayle Anderson, KTLA 5 Morning News Reporter were also recognized for their outstanding commitment to Project Angel Food and its ongoing support of individuals and families in need.
Project Angel Food, since its inception has provided more than 10.5 million meals, free of charge and continues to prepare more than 11,000 meals a week. These lifesaving deliveries bring love and sustenance to people living with critical illness. Project Angel Food has expanded the initial mission of serving people living with HIV/AIDS to include medically tailored meals, prepared by the staff and volunteers, for men and women combatting cancer, kidney failure, congestive heart disease and diabetes. The mission has always remained intact, to feed and nourish the sick, by delivering healthy meals throughout Los Angeles County. More than 98% of the clients are living well below the poverty level, and Project Angel Food is their lifeline, filling a vital need in all communities. The client demographics are testimony to this, 40% Latino, 30% African-American, 21% Caucasian, 5% Asian and 4% other.