BrightLights: It’s “How You Love Me”

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This has been on our “to do” list for weeks now and we’re finally getting to listen to multi-Grammy-nominated, electro-pop artist Heather Bright.

Better know as BrightLights, Heather announced the release of her acoustic version of the EDM hit “How You Love Me’ last month and on a first play, we LOVED it!  Simple and absolutely beautiful. It’s the best and most hopeful sentiment anyone could hope for at the week of Christmas.  We’ve added it to our Soundcloud playlist forever!

Originally recorded as a feature for 3LAU, Bright’s acoustic version strips down the heavy-hitting production that made the original a smash dance hit and it put’s her powerhouse vocals on full display for an emotionally driven, intimate sound.

Bright has lent her vocal talents to notable artists such as Zedd, Porter Robinson and Hardwell.  The new single marks Bright’s first solo release establishing her as an emerging standalone pop artist.

unnamedGet the Full”Bright”

Join her Facebook page: facebook.com/brightlights333
Follow BrightLights on Twitter: @brightlights333 

The Model Critic Reviews: Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing

By Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic

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LOVE, ART, AND LANGUAGE

The Real Thing is a tough, comedic look on love and marriage, and the unforeseen pitfalls encountered by its characters.  The problems that arise are timeless, the circumstances unique, and the positions of the main characters, bold; there is no one in this play who is not totally convinced of his own well-defended perspective.

The action opens with Charlotte (Cynthia Nixon) and Max (Josh Hamilton) in conflict; she, having just returned from a trip to Switzerland–or so she says.  Max has found Charlotte’s passport while she was gone, and questions her. Max catches her in a lie, a lie that she soon confesses has been going on for years with her phantom trips. “What went wrong? asks Max. “You’ve done everything wrong,” she says. “You aren’t anyone I know.” Charlotte, having just arrived, walks out, suitcase in hand.

But we find this is only a play within the play called “House of Cards.” Charlotte is actually married to the playwright, Henry (Ewan McGregor), and has a teenage daughter, while Max is married to another actor, Annie, (Maggie Gyllenhaal). They are all friends, and the play that was presented works as a kind of overture, like in opera, that foreshadows ensuing themes.

Charlotte is nasty, sarcastic and disillusioned in the play, and when she’s at home with Henry in real life, fails to drop character. Or is this her real character with life and art blurred? Henry is an intellectual playwright, witty and sure of himself, but Charlotte openly scorns him when Max and Annie come to visit. Henry has an fizzy answer for everything, but has a strong rational stance, like someone from a Noel Coward play. Charlotte is not impressed and sharply criticizes Henry for the deficit between his real life and his writing life–and the the difference, she says, is “thinking time;” he writes plays, and understands characters, but is not so good in the present moment.

The set is the home of Henry and Charlotte–clean, well-ordered, minimal, linear lines–most of the action takes place here. The order belies the chaos underneath their marriage, however. Henry  loves R&B, and hates foreign music, in foreign languages, with no dancing– people standing in line donating a kidney for a ticket to hear someone named Callas. He is a successful writer. We see Henry as a witty iconoclast, with strong beliefs on everything. His marriage is an accomodating quagmire, marginally civil but emotionally messy. He may have been reduced to using his marriage for his art, as an observer, removed. But he also philosophically respects the concept of marriage, the commitment, the total revealing of oneself to only one distinct person, while Charlotte looks at marriage as a bargain, to be renewed daily, nothing set in stone.

Then surprise! When Max and Annie come to visit, Annie and Henry lustily pounce on each other as their respective spouses are busy in the kitchen. Annie leads the assault guiltlessly and openly, and pleads with Henry to kiss her, and begs Henry to finally tell his wife that he is leaving her.  She’ll do the same with her husband. This reminded me of the funny scene in Noel Coward’s “Private Lives,” when Amanda and Eliot, bored with their new spouses, decide to leave them on their honeymoons, and to escape to Paris.

Gyllenhaal plays Annie as sexually free and liberated, totally adoring of Henry; she doesn’t care a damn about his wife or her husband’s feelings. She lives for honesty and denounces hypocrisy, and takes what she wants. Henry complies easily. Goodbye Charlotte, goodbye Max. Henry is now free with an adoring lover.

There is much about the nature of writing, ideas of love and commitment, romance. Henry has the tables turned on him, however, when Annie goes to Glasgow to be in a play.  She is also supporting Brodie (Alex Breaux), a young radical Scotish dissident who has committed an act of civil disobedience, and tries to get Henry to rewrite his book while he is in prison. Henry refuses, saying the lad can’t write, and his book is filled with tired political cliches from the left that have little merit. Annie defends Brodie’s vitality, while Henry thinks he’s a posturing lout without substance–which we later find is true when he is eventually released.

Returning from Glasgow a day late, where she has played in a run of “Tis a Pity She’s a Whore” Henry questions Annie in a similar fashion that Max questioned Charlotte in the opening play. She too confesses, yes, she has had a dalliance with a cast member, Billy, the night before, but tries to explain it meant nothing, that she loves him only.

McGregor is a wonderful presence on stage, good looking, intellegent, and filled with the right energy–(Moulin Rouge, Trainspotting, etc.)  But here, as a character, he remains even throughout, doesn’t transform or have any great moments of insight as to why he has problems in his life with women–his defense is a removed kind of wit to the end, without any deepening. He feels that whenever he gets close to a woman suddenly “a wheel comes off.” He says brilliant insightful things, is funny, but it would be much more interesting for his character to descend, and come up stronger and register new insight.

Gyllenhaal is a slinky, loose and free presence on stage. She exudes confidence, and plays Annie perfectly–self assured, brave, taking what she wants, convinced. She was most believable.  Nixon plays her role properly–shrill, bitter, and sarcastic; she stands straight and delivers her lines with serious intent showing her discontent with her marriage. Josh Hamilton, as Max, showed the most range of emotion with his unbraiding of Henry, while defending Annie’s position on Brodie, and too, with his anguish when Annie swings the velvet hammer and calmly says goodbye.

All this is familiar territory for an audience today, but what Stoppard says and how he says it, is still a thrilling experience.  He packs a lot of knowledge into brief stage time, and nothing ever lags. Catch the show while it lasts.

THE REAL THING

By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Sam Gold

Now Playing through January 4, 201

American Airlines Theatre
227 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon, Josh Hamilton

For showtimes and tickets visit: RoundaboutTheatre.org

Running Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes, including intermission

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NYC: We’re Closed For The Holidays. Watch Our Video!

WHILE CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS, GARIS & HAHN WILL OFFER A NIGHTTIME INTERACTIVE VIDEO EXHIBITION OF SALON VIDÉO

Salon Video

Mock-up courtesy of the artist.

 

Starting December 21st, 2014 through January 11th, 2015 from sundown to sunrise, Garis & Hahn, a LES gallery with a growing reputation for unconventional exhibitions, will present Brooklyn based artist/designer/programmer, Eric Corriel.

The gallery will project nightly, Salon Vidéo, an interactive three channel video installation made with custom software developed by Eric Corriel that brings the 18th/19th century French salon format to the 21st century. Unlike the salon paintings that required months, if not years, to produce, the “works of art”, and the people depicted in them, will be produced and replaced in seconds.

While the salons of 18th century France featured royal subjects and extravagant landscapes, Salon Vidéo democratizes both by featuring ordinary passersby as its subject and an urban street as its background; an act bringing the public into the fold of the art world.

Where: Garis & Hahn, 263 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

Get Ready California For The Cow Parade!

California Milk Processor Board got milk

(C) Steve Jennings/Getty Images

It’s the largest and most successful public art event in the world, having been staged in 80 cities globally since 1999, featuring variously designed and painted, life-sized fiberglass cows.  And it will be arriving in California September 2015.  So mark your calendars!

The got milk? CowParade is partnering with educational nonprofits including THINK Together and STAR Education among others and will exhibit in select cities throughout the Golden State, promoting art, learning and celebrating the California dairy industry.  And if that’s not special enough, here’s a fact that Gia On The Move is excited about: no other state has hosted a public art event of this magnitude.  At the end of the exhibit period, the art pieces will be auctioned and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the organizations.

The got milk? CowParade will connect with adults and children. The goal is to have large art installations in Sacramento, San Francisco/San Jose, Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Diego.

Here’s another detail we LOVE:  National and internationally renowned artists and local talent as well as celebrity supporters will be invited to participate in the exhibitions.  So…California artists get your creative juices flowing and your skills on the table.  We’d like to see YOUR art in this one!  For participation and/or submission info, visit www.gotmilkcowparade.com.

CowParade New York City 2000 Frida Astaire and Ginger Rogers aka The Dancing Divas

CowParade New York City 2000 Frida Astaire and Ginger Rogers aka The Dancing Divas

“The got milk? CowParade is a fun, entertaining and whimsical art exhibit that highlights education and California’s thriving dairy industry,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “At the same time it generates funds for educational groups that do important work for our students.”

Follow the got milk CowParade via social media on Facebook @gotmilk, Twitter @gotmilk and Instagram @officialgotmilk. Join the conversation via #gotmilkcowparade.

Past cities includeChicago (1999), New York City (2000), London (2002), Tokyo (2003), Dublin (2003), Stockholm (2004), Mexico City (2005), Sao Paulo (2005), Buenos Aires (2006), Boston (2006) Paris (2006), Milan (2007), Istanbul (2007),Taipei (2009), Rio de Janeiro (2011), Hong Kong (2013), and Shanghai (2014).  The cow sculptures, mounted on a 300 pound cement display base, are made of fiberglass with steel rebar reinforcement. The sculptures come in three basic positions – standing (head up), grazing (head down), reclining. The Standing Cow is 95″ long x 29″ wide x 57″ high, the Grazing Cow is 84″ long x 29″ wide x 48″ high, and the Reclining Cow is 88″ long x 44″ wide x 42″ high.

CowParade

About the CMPB

The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of got milk? is over 90% nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. Got milk? is a federally registered trademark that has been licensed by the national dairy boards since 1995. The CMPB’s Spanish-language campaign began in 1994 using the tagline “Familia, Amor y Leche” (Family, Love and Milk). The TOMA LECHE (Drink Milk) campaign replaced it in 2006, in order to better align the English and Spanish language work. The CMPB is funded by all Californiamilk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

“Indian Ink” Is a Tom Stoppard Gem

BY CARLOS STAFFORD, THE MODEL CRITIC
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When you see a Tom Stoppard play certain elements are always present: he dazzles with his useage of the English language, while at the  same time offering theatrically challanging and provocative ideas.   As playwright and thinker, he often accomplishes his concepts by crafting historically ambiguous, but plausible humanistic visions from the past, and linking them in a time warp to the present, as people and emotions become linked in time, immutable. The trip is breathtaking, and his scope is large.

Luckily, two plays presented by the Roundabout, The Real Thing, starring Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon and Josh Hamilton, now playing, and Indian Ink, with the incomparable Rosemary Harris and Romola Garai etc, which has recently closed at The Laura Pels, have thrilled Stoppardphiles.  Thanks must be extended to Tood Haimes of the Roundabout for his vision in bringing these two fine works to delight audiences this fall season.

Ms Harris and Ms Garai are peerless in Indian Ink; a play concerned with a magical romance in India between an English woman and an Indian man in the early 20th century; one that time-shifts to 1980’s England, uncovering a long-ago correspondence betweeen sisters. Much like Stoppard’s Arcadia, crafted in a similar telescoping motif, costumes and music are sometimes the only clues that indicate the period separation. Present characters are siblings, biographers and offsprings linked to the past that try to uncover secrets buried long ago. Clues remain, bits and pieces, but enigmas remain undefined.

Essentially, for Indian Ink, Stoppard has said that in the beginning, he wanted to have a play about a conversation between a poet and a painter.  Since Stoppard spent part of his youth in India, having been taken by his parents out of Czechoslovakia during the Nazi Invasion of  WW11, he decided to use India as rich source material for his fictional, free-spirited poet, Flora Crewe visiting India, while suffering from TB, and Nirad Das, a local painter (a wonderful Firdous Bamji) who creates a nude painting of her that survives as a legacy and clue for an English biographer 50 years later researching Flora’s life and poetry. Questions abound from the collected letters, secrets exposed perhaps, but all is imagined from the gauzy view of history.

The backdrop is Jammapour, a fictional Indian locale. The time is 1930’s India, where the English have had colonial rule since the early 17th Century under Queen Elizabeth 1. English culture dominates, but change is imminent as the gracious hosts are primed for independence with the Great Salt March, led by Mahatma Ghandi, in a non-violent protest opposing British rule that disallowed salt to be collected and sold by Indians.

Through intimate, tender and honest conversations between Flora and Nirad, we learn of Hindu culture, Krishna, Brahmin, Vishnu, Gita Govinda, etc., and the the concept of Rasa, “the essence of emotion.” Flora asks Nirad if his painting of her has Rasa. The answer gives meaning to their possible love affair, implied rather than specific, as the painting is found years later with Flora’s younger sister, now the aging Eleanor Swan (Rosemary Harris) living in England. Sensual and evocative, Flora’s and Nirad’s romance crosses cultural boundaries of what was then acceptable.

RASA: is an aspect of Hindu tradition that is defined as the essence of emotion. It has many literal meanings in Sanskrit such as “taste” or “juice.”  The term originates from the ancient Hindu teachings and is used to describe the “emotional essences” of art, literature, and the performing arts. There are nine rasas in total: Shringara (love), Hasya

(joy), Shanta (peace), Raudra (anger), Veera (courage), Karuna (sadness), Bhayanaka (fear), Vibhatsa (disgust). According to Nirad it is the artist’s duty to evoke these rasas in the viewer of a work of art. (Upstage Guide, Roundabout Theatre Company)

The story is nothing if not magically lush and transporting. Real life characters are woven into the fictional story throughout–E.M Forster, and A Passage to India is referenced, H.G. Wells, who is Nirad’s favorite English author, The Bloomsbury Group, Modigliani, who also once painted Flora (again fictionally), Arthur Conan Doyle, Gunga Din from Kipling–all embodied in conversations as life and art merge. Colonialism paints another type of reality and determines the obvious tensions and struggles with power and caste.

Stoppard succeeded in delivering Rasa. And Carey Perloff’s superb ease of direction conveyed a familiarity and understanding in guiding characters from two cultures in two distinct times.  Plus, she well understood Stoppard’s intent, and created a naturalistic, tangible environment. With one set only, used in imaginative ways, an hypnotic world was created between dream and memory, language and perhaps another Passage to India of sorts; I would say it covered as a warm breeze passing on a quiet hillside of memory.

Finally, we have an outstanding story with a beguiling sweep of romance, art, history, colonialism, religion, together with the more intimate and private reminisces of a sister, and a biographer, and the untold story of what really happened to a unique character in an equally unique place in time.

The acting was superb all around, a big success.

INDIAN INK
BY TOM STOPPARD
At the LAURA PELS THEATRE, NYC
CAST:
FIRDOUS BAMJI…NIRAD DAS
ROMALA GARAI…FLORA CREW
ROSEMARY HARRIS…ELEANOR SWAN
BHAVESH PATEL…ANISH DAS
Limited Run No More Performances

 

Paul McDonald Is Here “For You” On December 18

Indie folk/pop star Paul McDonald will be playing at The Sayers Club in Hollywood, CA on December 18.  He’s also preparing for his solo debut album, For You, to be released in 2015.
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“Bright Lights isn’t a love song,” McDonald explains, “but a song about love and the idea that when you share a deep connection with somebody, no matter where life takes each of you, you hope in some way that you’ll always be there for each other.”
 
Boasting a sound that incorporates a mix of indie, pop and folk, McDonald’s influences range from the melodic pop sensibilities of Ed Sheeran, to the earnest songwriting of Ryan Adams, and the vocal rasp and presence of a young Rod Stewart meets Adam Levine.
CTurn of the auto-play above and watch the video of the first single, “Bright Lights“: 

Paul McDonald has been gaining additional notoriety after placing in the Top 10 of FOX’s American Idol. McDonald has also appeared on shows such as Jay Leno, Good Morning America, Regis & Kelly, and co-starred on NBC’s Parenthood.  and, he’s been featured by taste-makers such as Billboard, Baeble Music, and JoonBug.
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10259700_791629047567460_2492886319799114721_nWhen:  

Thursday, December 18th

Where:  

The Sayers Club                 

1645 Wilcox Ave Hollywood, CA, 90028.

 

Rediscovering LA Art Show’s 40 Year Old Buried Masters

A Solo Exhibition of Gil Cuatrecasas at the LA Art Show Curated by Peter Hastings Falk for Rediscovered Masters January 14th – 18th, 2015

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Gil Cuatrecasas, Celebration, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 80” x 86”

Rediscovered Masters, the organization dedicated to identifying largely under recognized late-career artists with historically significant oeuvres and raising institutional, academic and public awareness about their works, is pleased to announce its first art fair exhibition at the 20th Anniversary edition of the LA Art Show. The exhibition will inaugurate Rediscovered Masters’ new program of curating solo presentations of carefully selected artists at major international art fairs with a surprising new addition to the history of American art: the “Cuatrecasas Discovery”. From January 14th through the 18th, 2015, the art world will have its first opportunity to attend the unveiling of Cuatrecasas’ extraordinary lost collection at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This story of the Cuatrecasas Discovery begins with the artist’s death in 2004. While his younger brother was cleaning out the artist’s apartment in Barcelona, he discovered an old invoice for a lease at an art storage facility in Washington D.C. In Cuatrecasas’ brother’s visit to that storage facility, he discovered his brother’s large collection of lost paintings, all of which had been perfectly preserved for the past four decades.

Falk reiterates the significance of this exhibition, stating:

Here was a genius of single-minded pursuit who created his own unique style and found great critical acclaim in Washington. Then he suddenly slipped from sight. Now his collection presents a new and compelling chapter in art history, shared by America and Spain.

The Cuatrecasas Discovery also reveals a tragic side to the artist’s history. Cuatrecasas had found early success in the nation’s capital — including a solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1964 — only to depart shortly thereafter for Spain, never to return to Washington, D.C. In the summer of 1976, the artist was scheduled to premier a new series of paintings at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, but in June the city was suddenly hit with the worst flooding disaster in regional history. The flood resulted in damage to all of Cuatrecasas canvases stored in the museum’s basement — many damaged beyond repair. As a result, just two weeks before the artist’s exhibition of a lifetime was to open, it was cancelled. Cuatrecasas returned to Spain despondent. He never painted again, and his life after the cancelled exhibition followed a devastating series of health events that began with alcoholism, followed by tuberculosis, and ended with cancer.

Although his health deteriorated, the artist did take great care of his undamaged paintings, rolling the canvases up and placing them in storage. Now 40 years later, canvases from Cuatrecasas’ Torino Collection, named for the Italian city in which the artist painted from 1970 to 1976, will be on on exhibition at the LA Art Show.

The solo exhibition of Cuatrecasas’ Torino Collection is curated by Peter Hastings Falk, Founder and Chief Curator of Rediscovered Masters. Cuatrecasas was selected by Rediscovered Masters intensive Art Advisory Board review for his significant contributions to the Washington Color School through the 1960s and unique approach in the 1970s. Falk points to colleagues and friends of Cuatrecasas, Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, who have both been enshrined in the school of great American Color Field painters, a movement that paralleled Abstract Expressionism in New York. More recently, other members such as Gene Davis and Tom Downing have each enjoyed a critical reassessment of their works through museum exhibitions. Unfortunately, until now, no one was ever aware that the compelling collection of one of their comrades lay forgotten and buried in a storage facility in Washington, D.C.

About the Artist
Born in 1935, Gil Cuatrecasas grew up in the United States after escaping Spain with his family during the brutal Franco regime. Cuatrecasas received his undergraduate degree in fine art from Harvard in 1957 and that same year attended the Yale University School of Art to study under Josef Albers. After a promising start as a member of the Washington Color School he returned to Spain, developing a complex technique to arrive at his own unique style. After being lauded by many major collectors and curators he returned to the United States for a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, but a series of tragedies ensured his collection remained buried for forty years. Thankfully, the paintings of this brilliant colorist have come to light for the first time in the United States after the artist’s death in 2004.

About Rediscovered Masters
Rediscovered Masters is an online platform and organization founded to champion late-career artists (and those who have died) who, for various reasons, have not expanded or sustained the exposure they deserve. Artists are elected after vetting by an Art Advisory Board composed of critics and art historians. Once an artist is elected, Rediscovered Masters alerts the art world (museum curators, gallerists, collectors, historians, and critics) who might otherwise remain unaware of their works with the goal of these artists being included in exhibitions at museums and galleries.

For more information go to: www.rediscoveredmasters.com