Groundbreaking contemporary works by Brendan Murphy and Mr. Brainwash are among the highlights at the prestigious and much anticipated ‘tent site’ art fair

By Brandy Billinghurst

South Florida art enthusiasts recovering from their annual Art Basel come downs, have another weekend to absorb some of the planet’s best contemporary art–courtesy of Art Miami. This time, it’s the 3rd edition of Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary, a world class fair poised for a breakout year in 2019.  Palm Beach’s Contessa Gallery, still glowing from a fabulously successful exhibit during Art Basel, will feature works from renowned artists Mr. Brainwash, Hijack, Maria Svarbova, Daniele Sigalot, and Cayla Birk, as well as the world premiere of Brendan Murphy’s latest sculpture series.

Brendan Murphy, War and Peace Series: Warrior 1 Pose

Brendan Murphy’s most recent works are the result of a pivotal period of personal stress and hardship, namely, the destruction of his Malibu neighborhood caused by devastating wildfires. Artists often produce their most poignant work during dark times, and Murphy’s “War & Peace Series” (pictured above) are no exception. Created using an exclusive process which generates a vibrant chrome-based painted finish, the series of large-scale soldiers in yoga poses garnered national attention when premiered at Art Miami 2018. New “War & Peace Series” poses will be debuted at Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary 2019. Do not miss!

Mr. Brainwash, Believe in Magic

Brendan Murphy, Lightning

Following up another blockbuster solo exhibition at Art Miami 2018, Contessa Gallery will bring the electrifying works of Mr. Brainwash to West Palm Beach. This brilliant artist with roots in the world of street art was eventually introduced to Bansky, arguably the most famous street artist alive, and has continued to blaze a path of artistic experimentation throughout his career. This year, the gallery will showcase his new paintings consisting of neon light bulbs, paper collages, and fiberglass, as well as his newest broken vinyl record collages which give both material and subject a new life by, “making singers live forever with what they sold.”

Hijack, Balloon Head

For more detailed information about the artists or gallery, which will remain open during the week of the art fair, please visit www.contessagallery.com or contact Steve Hartman at 216-956-2825 or via email at art@contessagallery.com.

Learn more about Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary 2019 at https://www.artpbfair.com/

 

Tortoiseshell: A Timeless Trend

From bags to shoes to glasses, tortoise shell is seemingly everywhere, and I’m not complaining. Especially after finally finding its way into my personal jewelry collection! I recently popped into one of my favorite shops, Sequin, on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and couldn’t resist these faux tortoise shell earrings. Not only are they made to look like the coveted tortoise shell, they also have coral colored gems which accentuate the tortoise shell design. What girl doesn’t want to mimic Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn, who sported the timeless black and brown spots on a variety of their accessories, right? And the best part—they are super lightweight so they can be worn comfortably all day long!

A rule of thumb for seamless inclusion into your wardrobe: simply consider tortoise shell a neutral. A maximalist neutral that will be sure to catch everyone’s eye!

Finding Your Own Sunshine with Vivre Couture

Hand painted artwork worthy of a gallery exhibition? Lusciously tropical garments guaranteed to turn heads at any of life’s premier moments? Yes, please! Vivre Couture, a partnership between designer Kristen Alyce and artists from around the world, fuses the highest quality elements of art, design, and construction into their hyper-inspired line of wearables. Their line, which includes apparel for men and women as well as accessories including handbags, bow ties, luggage tags, shoes, cardholders, and belts represents the best of the Palm Beach experience and happens to be my latest obsession. vivre couture

What sets Vivre Couture and their “wall to wardrobe” concept apart is this team’s unmatched commitment to advance the meeting of fine art and couture fashion. Each item is carefully crafted with fine canvas and linen, then hand painted with thick bodied acrylic paints. Gowns and cocktail attire are created with in-home custom fittings and require between 24-80 hours of hands-on attention to include  designer, seamstress, and artist. Take a look for yourself at https://vivrecouture.com.

PapiChulo Tacos, bringing flavor to Jupiter

To me, the best food is the freshest with the fewest ingredients. Simple enough, right? This brings me to everyone’s favorite Tuesday night fare–the taco. Everyone is sure to have an opinion on where to find the best of this deceptively simple dish. This is where I return to my “freshest and fewest” philosophy. To be sure, there are plenty of taco spots that I happily visit to satisfy my cravings, but there can be only one spot I call the best!

Papichulo Tacos Palm BeachFortunately, I have found my personal El Dorado, courtesy of the cozy and authentic PapiChulo Tacos. Recently opened, and nestled near the Jupiter Lighthouse, the eatery attracted me with its creative cocktails and menu promising authentic Mexican-style street food. Homemade tortillas? Check. Mexican Shrimp Ceviche? Of course. Housemade Sangria? Yes, please!

And yes, I had the perfectly prepared street corn smothered gloriously in chipotle mayo, along with the quesadilla stuffed with cheese straight from Oaxaca. So many salivating choices on my path to the main event. For my first visit, I tried Carne Asada, Pollo, and Repollitos (crispy brussel sprouts with secret sauce and queso frecso, YUM!). Each was to die for in their own unique way, but I’m wondering what it would take to get a bottle of the chimichurri sauce! Hands down, dare I say, best tacos I have had in Palm Beach County. I plan on returning ASAP to taste what I could not manage to order before being rolled out. Get a peek at their menu and specials here: https://www.papichulotacos.com/menu. Tell them Brandy sent you!

 

Siamak Hariri’s aesthetic reverence and deep respect for sacred spaces results in works of enduring value

It was only natural that award-winning Canadian builder and developer Great Gulf would partner with world renowned architect Siamak Hariri for the design of its first luxury condominium in Florida, La Clara, slated for completion 2021.  Great Gulf is a vertically integrated firm in business since 1975 and has 18 projects under construction in North America; this is its first foray into Florida. Hariri is internationally renowned and feted with 60 major architectural awards.

Among Siamak Harari’s most notable masterpieces is the Bahá’í Temple of South America  which he discussed on a TED talk, receiving over 1.8 million views on line. A graduate of Yale School of Architecture, Hariri, age 53, has in his own words, a “profound interest in light, form, site, material, and craft.”  In 2003, Siamak answered an open call for the design of the first Bahá’í Temple in South America, a continental temple, an extraordinary milestone for the Bahá’í community. Siamak needed to create a circular sacred space, with 9 sides, 9 entrances and 9 paths to the temple from all directions welcoming people from all faiths and background. With no models to draw from, he asked himself “how do you design sacred space today?  How do you define what’s sacred today?” He found his answer in Bahá’í quote which led him to illumination from within.  See his TED Talk presentation below.

Siamak Hariri focused on illumination — from the temple’s form, which captures the movement of the sun throughout the day, to the iridescent, luminous stone and glass used to construct it. This same illumination and is the inspiration behind Harari’s design of La Clara.

La Clara– Blending sacred space with community

Like all great communities, La Clara offers the perfect balance between privacy and surroundings.; clarity and luxury.  Light, sacred space, clarity and community are evident throughout:  La Clara’s deep private balconies face south-east toward the water and over-sized windows are throughout the residences.  The flowing spatial interiors, are carried throughout the entertainment room, fitness center and all common areas.   Outdoor amenities include swimming pool with cabanas and a dining area.

“La Clara takes great advantage of Hariri’s vision and talent, particularly with regard to the light and vistas in each unit. Great Gulf has supported his vision wholeheartedly, and it has committed to launch as a good neighbor in our community,” said Chris Leavitt, Director of Sales for La Clara.

 

La Clara

Residence Private Balcony

For more information, please visit La Clara or email sales@laclarapalmbeach.com

Tel 561.898.2171

 

 

Mr. Brainwash continues to be highlight of Art Miami

Last year Mr. Brainwash painted Contessa Gallery’s booth causing quite a stir, this year Contessa’s Mr. Brainwash caused a media frenzy. The solo exhibit was highlighted on CBS Evening News and Miami Herald.  

Mr. Brainwash (born Thierry Guetta in 1966) began his artistic career over 17 years ago documenting the underground world of street artists. Eventually this endeavor introduced him to Banksy, who is arguably the most anonymous and famous street artist living today. With the encouragement of Banksy, Guetta began creating his own street art.

In 2008, Mr. Brainwash produced an explosive first solo show, Life is Beautiful. The epic display hundreds of breakthrough works revolutionized the art scene not only in Los Angeles, where the show was held, but worldwide. This phenomenal exhibition skyrocketed Mr. Brainwash’s popularity. His artistic evolution is chronicled in the Academy Award nominated documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, coincidently directed by Banksy. Known for his stylistic combination of pop and street art, Guetta creates his works by brilliantly fusing together historical pop imagery with contemporary cultural iconography. This year, the special exhibition showcased energetic and never before seen works by Mr. Brainwash at Art Miami which employed neon light bulbs, paper collages, broken vinyl records, metal and fiberglass.

Chaplin Subway, Original Stencil and Mixed Media on Metal, Plywood an Fiberglass

 

Mr. Brainwash, Life is Beautiful, 2018
Enameled Steel Sculpture

 

Mr. Brainwash, Imagine, 2018
Neon Light Bulb on Paper Collage

 

Mr. Brainwash, Marilyn Monroe, 2018
Broken Vinyl Records on Canvas

About Contessa Gallery

Founded in 1999, Contessa Gallery offers artworks of exceedingly high quality as well as art acquisition counsel to collectors, museums and institutions. Areas of expertise include pre-20th century, Modern and Contemporary sculpture, paintings, photography and works on paper. While many galleries focus primarily on artist representation and promotion, Contessa Gallery is collector focused. The gallery’s mission is to assist clients in developing collections that have deep personal meaning. Contessa encourages its clients to view their collections as a legacy that can be passed down through generations or to institutions.

The gallery continues to expand its clientele and reputation through its participation in prestigious art fairs, such as; Art Miami, Art New York and The Armory Show – Modern. At the philanthropic level, Contessa Gallery aims to make a difference in the community through the contribution of time, expertise, sponsorship and educational programming for museums and organizations dedicated to the arts.

For more detailed information about the gallery or artists please visit their website: www.contessagallery.com or contact Steve Hartman at 216-956-2825 or via email: art@contessagallery.com

Carolina Wickenburg is a New York–based sculptor whose work ranges from life–size public statues to portraits of her impressive clientele of European royals and distinguished art patrons. Her sculptures are striking, emotive and figurative pieces cast in bronze.

“Her Hippos” are born

Carolina’s foray into wearable sculpture was prompted by her love of jewelry and matured into a fundraising project for breast cancer research. Her hand–sculpted hippos are cast in gold, silver or brass, and inlaid with emerald eyes. Baby Hippos have recently been added to the family! Adopt a baby hippo and support Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

 Why was the hippo your inspiration for this project?

“Sculpting is an ancient, yet timeless, art form. The hippo is an ancient Egyptian mythological figure; a protector of women. The hippopotamus seemed the perfect subject for its reassuring, strong yet sensuous form, as well as its mythology. They came together for me. They made sense.”

 

How did you come into sculpting in particular?

“With a major in Psychology and a minor in Art, I began my career as a social worker focusing on the assimilation of immigrants into their local communities. During that period, we opened a community arts center. My early work there brought sculpture to my attention and that’s when I began to dabble. I quickly realized how much I enjoyed this hands-on approach to art.”

 

Do you prefer to sculpt in stone or clay?

“While I enjoy transforming stone into “flesh”, stone remains rigid and structured. The malleability of clay, however, allows for spontaneity and the freedom to let the piece evolve naturally, and as needed. The tactile feel and flexibility of the clay. The three-dimensionality of it. It’s magical.”

Tell me about your creative process?

 “Hah! I do enjoy the process, but the creative part of sculpting is highly intense, intricate and introspective. You are very much in the moment.” With an eye for detail, Carolina follows a strict approach to capture her subjects using photographs and live sittings. After completing her piece in clay (which can take up to 6 months or more depending on the size), a rubber mold is made and eventually a Bronze piece. Her goal is to capture the essence of her subjects. In her full-bodied pieces, she uses the body’s anatomy, its muscles and facial features to evoke an emotion or capture a feeling. For her portraits, her goal is not only to resemble her subjects and convey their essence, but to make each portrait a piece that stands on its own.  After every portrait is complete, Carolina prides herself in asking “would I like to have this sculpture in my house?” Her answer has to be “yes”. She finds portraits the most difficult of her works.

Carolina

 I have heard that you were born to be an artist. Tell me about that.

“I am surrounded by artists!”, she laughs. “My father was very creative. He was an avid painter and my brother is highly artistic.  And as you might expect, I married into an “artsy” family as well.”

About Carolina Wickenburg

 Born in Havana, Cuba, Carolina immigrated to the US at an early age. She and her Austrian husband, reside in New York (when not traveling to the family hotel, Casa Mia, in Austria). They have two sons. As a successful NYC based architect hailing from a long line of artists (including world-renowned Alfred Wickenburg), and with a creative eye himself, her husband recognized Carolina’s talent and encouraged her to pursue art shortly after their marriage.

Please visit Carolina Wickenburg Sculpting to see her works.

 

Swimming Pool Series débuts at Bridgehampton Museum July 5-8

Contessa Gallery welcomes Maria Svarbova to their roster of critically acclaimed artists! The 2018 Hasselblad Master of the Art Category, Maria’s distinctive style has gained her prestigious recognition in the art world. Her photography departs from traditional portraiture and focuses on experimentation with space, color, and atmosphere.

Maria was born in 1988 and currently lives in Slovakia, where she was named one of Forbes 30 under 30. Taking an interest in Socialist era architecture and public spaces, Maria transforms each scene with a modern freshness that highlights the depth and range of her creative palette. The human body throughout her oeuvre is more or less a peripheral afterthought, often portrayed as aloof and demure rather than substantive. Carefully composed figures create thematic, dream-like scenes with ordinary objects. Her images hold a silent tension that think at emergent possibilities under the lilt of clean and smooth surfaces. Maria’s unique work continues to garner international acclaim and is setting new precedents in contemporary photography.

Maria Svarbova

Maria Svarbova, Symmetry, 2017

Maria’s largest series to date, In the Swimming Pool, is inspired by her fascination with the geometric beauty of public swimming pools in Slovakia. Her compositions bring a futuristic quality to old, retro spaces. The colours and smooth tones of these photographs create a dream-like atmosphere. The stillness and artificial detachment of the figures relate to the cool, sterile setting and offer the viewer a uniquely pleasurable visual experience.

Contessa Gallery is excited to show photographs from Maria’s In the Swimming Pool Series and will be debuting them at Market Art + Design July 5th – 8th.  Click here to Preview Photographs

For inquiries on Maria’s photographs, please contact Steve Hartman via cell: 216-956-2825 or via email: steve@contessagallery.com

For inquiries on Market Art + Design VIP passes, please contact Katie Butler via email: media@contessagallery.com

Hijack Bubble Gum Girl, 2018
Oil, Stencil and Mixed Media on Cement
48 x 60 inches

Complimentary Passes to Art New York, courtesy of  Steve Hartman, President of Fine Arts Dealer Association (FADA) and owner of Contessa Gallery

If you happen to be in New York when you receive this email, then you may want to accept the complimentary passes courtesy of Contessa Gallery and visit the 2018 Art New York at Pier 94.   Art New York has established a well-known reputation for providing fine art collectors with the latest in high quality Contemporary and Modern Art. The fair will begin on May 3 and run through May 6, 2018. Contessa booth is ANY142.  Email Anna to request complimentary passes.

Contessa Gallery will be unveiling new works by Brendan Murphy, Hijack, Daniele Sigalot, and Mr. Brainwash

Hijack is one of the most talked-about, up and coming artists in today’s contemporary art scene. Hijack’s works are a revelation in street art. His imaginative and brilliantly constructed pieces are seen globally, from Los Angeles to London. Contessa Gallery will be showcasing many of Hijack’s powerful works at Art New York 2018, including his ever-popular Bubble Gum Girl in an updated version incorporating more detail and oil paint. (featured above). These new works by Hijack create colorful and meaningful perspectives on life, and Contessa Gallery is excited to highlight them in this exhibition.

Art New York, Contessa

Static Attraction, 2018, Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas by Hijack

Brendan Murphy (B. 1971) is a popular California Artist well known to collectors from Art Basel to Silicon Valley. Using a wide range of different materials and tools in his work, Murphy goes beyond traditional painting technique. In doing so, Murphy has developed his own unique style, dynamic in its combination of the abstract and the figurative. Murphy is well-known for his chalkboard series, and Contessa Gallery is proud to showcase a brand-new piece in this series at Art New York 2018.  View Inside is a monumental work created on a silver metallic chrome background. Murphy’s new use of chrome appears in another groundbreaking work that will be on view at Art New York, entitled Squeeze.

Brendan Murphy, Contessa Gallery Art New York

Brendan Murphy (B. 1971 – ) 1 View Inside, 2018
Oil, Acrylic and Gouache on Silver Metallic Chrome Background
60 x 96 inches

 

Daniele Sigalot (B. 1976) born in Rome, has had a powerful career focusing his works on big aluminum installations and unconventional mosaics. Sigalot is most well-known for his massive paper plane installations, which he has exhibited in more than thirty cities to the four corners of the globe. Upon first glance, the individual plane components of the installation are made of paper, but in actuality are each carefully hand crafted out of metal. For Art New York 2018, Sigalot has installed a brand-new installation at Contessa Gallery’s Booth,Unsent Poems. This piece is a striking addition to the exhibition. Collectors will also find a unique engraved metal piece, A Portrait of You in New York City. This piece allows the viewer to engage with and become part of the artwork.

Daniele Sigalot, Contessa Gallery, Art New York

Daniele Sigalot (B. 1976 – )
Unsent Poems, 2018
Acrylic Varnish on Aluminum
35 x 82 inches approximately

Mr. Brainwash (B. 1966 – ) is an internationally-known Pop Artist whose street art and Contemporary pieces are highly valued by collectors. Mr. Brainwash utilizes popular artistic and historic icons, including Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Mickey Mouse, and Andy Warhol, and alters them in significant ways. Mr. Brainwash also partnered with famous street artist, Banksy, to collaborate on work and film a documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop based on Banksy’s secretive life. Contessa Gallery will be exhibiting a variety of works by Mr. Brainwash at this year’s Art New York, including a few brand-new pieces. Contessa Gallery is privileged to world premiere the first ever Mr. Brainwash Balloon Girl as the central icon of a painting.

Art New York, Contessa Gallery

Mr. Brainwash (B. 1966-)
Balloon Girl, 2018
Stencil and Mixed Media on Metal, Street Signs and Fiberglass Brick Wall
85 x 68 inches

About Contessa Gallery

Founded in 1999, Contessa Gallery offers artworks of exceedingly high quality as well as art acquisition counsel to collectors, museums and institutions. Areas of expertise include pre-20th century, Modern and Contemporary sculpture, paintings, photography and works on paper. While many galleries focus primarily on artist representation and promotion, Contessa Gallery is collector focused. The gallery’s mission is to assist clients in developing collections that have deep personal meaning. Contessa encourages its clients to view their collections as a legacy that can be passed down through generations or to institutions.

The gallery continues to expand its clientele and reputation through its participation in prestigious art fairs, such as; Art Miami, Art New York and The Armory Show – Modern. At the philanthropic level, Contessa Gallery aims to make a difference in the community through the contribution of time, expertise, sponsorship and educational programming for museums and organizations dedicated to the arts.

For more detailed information about the gallery, artists, exhibition history, art fair schedule and philanthropic support, please visit our website: www.contessagallery.com or contact Steve Hartman at 216-956-2825 or via email: art@contessagallery.com

 

Contessa Gallery’s booth for Art New York 2018 is #ANY142

For a complimentary pass email Anna@ContessaGallery.com

 

Mr. Brainwash booth blockbuster attraction at Art Miami

Contessa Gallery will be participating in the 28th annual Art Miami Fair, December 5- December 10. Contessa Gallery will hosts two booths, one entirely dedicated to Mr. Brainwash’s electrifying works. The brilliant artist will design the booth, and it is sure to be a blockbuster attraction at Art Miami.  Mr. Brainwash began his artistic career over 17 years ago documenting the underground world of street artists. His artistic evolution is chronicled in the Academy Award nominated documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by Banksy. Known for his stylistic combination of pop and street art, Brainwash creates his works by fiercely fusing together historical pop imagery with contemporary cultural iconography.

 

Contessa Gallery sets up roots on Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue

Steve Hartman, current President of FADA (Fine Art Dealers Association) and owner of internationally renowned Contessa Gallery, experienced first-hand the depth of the local Palm Beach area arts and cultural scene when he experimented with a West Palm Beach satellite gallery last year.   This year a unique opportunity fell into his lap:  A high-prized locale on Worth Avenue belonging to well-known art collector and Andy Warhol muse, Jane Holzer (AKA Baby Jane)  unexpectedly became available.  Contessa Gallery is up and running at 247 Worth Avenue (former Calypso space).

Contessa Gallery’s Current Featured Exhibit

Currently on display is a specially curated collection of works by leading contemporary artists, including a very extensive selection by pop and street art sensation, Mr. Brainwash. Contessa Gallery is excited to showcase the artist’s continual revolutionary experimentation with new techniques, media, materials and subject matter. The Palm Beach gallery also features major artwork by Chuck CloseHanneke BeaumontDavid Drebin,HijackGilles CenazandottiCayla Birk., Jasper JohnsLouise NevelsonDaniele Sigalot (Blue and Joy)Tom Wesselmann and most recently, Brendan Murphy.

“The response we’ve seen to our presence in the South Florida art scene is off the charts. We’ve experienced a phenomenal welcome from Collectors.  We think our highly curated collection of impressive artists will continue to attract important patrons.” explains Steve Hartman.

 

 

For detailed information, contact Steve Hartman at 216-956-2825 or via email: art@contessagallery.com

 Art Miami (December 6-10)

One Herald Plaza at NE 14th Street on Biscayne Bay.  Contessa Gallery’s booths for Art Miami 2017 are #A137a & #A137b.