On an unseasonably cold Saturday afternoon, rogue taxidermy diva Divya was setting up scalpels, Borax and a table of colorful items at the prop warehouse-cum-event space Acme Studio in Brooklyn. If it weren’t for the animal heads on the wall, we may have been more disturbed when Divya brought out the day’s “project”: dead mice, ready to be turned into art.
But the strangest plot twist of the day was yet to come: At 6:30 p.m., when most people were still putting the finishing touches on their dead mouse tableaux—a gynecologist named Jerry had created a gruesome/cute doctor mouse who was performing his own internal surgery—the class was ushered out. Acme began to transform into something resembling an old-timey mental institution, complete with working hospital gurneys and what looked to be a genuine gynecologic table. (No word from Jerry on this.)
World-renowned concert pianist and painter Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, known to her friends as Coco, spent last Wednesday morning running around her gigantic two-floor apartment in Soho preparing for an “artist showing” that was to be held in her honor that evening at the BoConcept store on Greene Street. There, the walls were being covered with the Vietnamese-born artist’s paintings: bright splashy watercolors, some of which had already been bought by the litany of notable New York names that make up the 37-year-old’s inner social circle.
“I’m having all my friends wear traditional Vietnamese dresses made by my friend Duc Hung,” Coco told the Transom, motioning to her own walls, where the exotic gowns hung like art. Mr. Hung himself sat quietly nearby, an old friend from the Hanoi School of Music and Fine Arts, where Coco studied from age 8. (It was still the morning, so Coco was in daytime Missoni.)
“We’re collaborating on an underwater opera as well,” she said, while Mr. Hung smiled bashfully. This type of collaboration is not unusual for Coco, who runs her home like a cultural salon for all types of creatives, from gallery owners and tech entrepreneurs to celebrities and artists.
Boys of Girls
Out of all the actors on Girls, that HBO show that has attracted the same kind of specific, rabid New Yorker-type fan base as Sex and the City [ed. note: see our front-page story], Alex Karpovsky is the most visible. That’s not to say he’s more famous than Lena Dunham. But unlike the show’s creator, he gets around quite a bit. The National Book Awards, N+1 parties, Cinema Society premieres–the man who plays the caustic, anti-social Ray on premium cable is in real life quite the butterfly of the New York literary and film scene.
And his fans aren’t always those you might expect.
Price of Punk
It’s rare to find a passport for sale by a reputable vendor, but if you can pass for a young man named Jeff Ross Hyman, then the New Hampshire-based RR Auction has an item you might be interested in. Sure, the current bid is $4,840 for the international identification card once owned by Joey Ramone, but it’s worth every penny.
In fact, each of the 81 lots currently up for auction in the Joey Ramone Collection is a priceless piece of punk-pop history, as evidenced by the bevy of fans lined up outside The Bowery Electric on February 7, hoping to catch a glimpse of the artifacts during a special two-hour display. They might have been surprised by the contents.
Though RR deals mostly in signed items such as: letters, photos and books, according to the company’s vice president of marketing and sales, Bobby Livingston, there’s always room for exceptions—especially when it came to Joey Ramone.
The Transom caught a 5 o’clock Metro-North train up to Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville on a recent Monday night and directed the cab driver to 45 Wrexham, a new building that houses specialty programs for graduate students. Not in the habit of auditing English classes, we remained silent as the seats filled with gradate students, all chattering before their workshop with enigmatic writer Tao Lin. The course? “The Contemporary Short Story.”
If you were wondering what kind of people fork over money for a class taught by the guy who live-blogged Hurricane Sandy for Thought Catalog while on Ecstasy, well, they’re pretty much what you’d expect.
Last night at the Cinema Society’s after party for the premiere of the dark satire Butter, The Observer found Animal Practice‘s Justin Kirk lounging around on one of the black leather couches at Double 7, just one day after his show’s second episode.
Animal Practice has been getting a lot of love, so much so that New York magazine dedicated four whole pages in this week’s issue to its star. Not to Mr. Kirk–who had just finished up the last season of Weeds, on which he stole the show as Nancy Botwin’s free-spirited brother-in-law Andy–but to Crystal, a capuchin monkey who earns $12,000 per episode on the NBC hit.
We just had to ask … did Mr. Kirk feel a tiny bit jealous of all the monkey business?
“It’s gone viral!” Senator Charles Schumer cried, summarizing Internet Week. Mr. Schumer delivered the keynote address this year, during which he announced his desire for a working group aimed at making New York America’s tech capital.
Mr. Schumer also boosted his own Brooklyn bona fides.
“Close to my house, there were these Jelly Pool concerts Read More
“I had no idea it was so hard to sell art,” deadpanned architect Terry Riley. He was speaking to the Transom at a party promoting Christie’s forthcoming auction of artist Urs Fischer’s monumental, 20-ton, fluorescent-yellow bronze bear with a lamp springing out of its head, currently on display at Seagram’s Plaza.
The bear, one of Read More
Last week, a gallery and bar on the Lower East Side—called, appropriately enough, Gallery Bar—played host to a style installation by the 33-year-old artist Damon Johnson. The choice of neighborhood was key. “The Beautiful Chaos: A Style Installation,” which attracted a scarf-heavy crowd who guzzled red and white wine while dodging multiple photographers, was an Read More