February 20, 2017
Johannes VanDerbeek is one of the most compelling young artists in the world and I want to tell you a little more about him. But, before I do, I also want to tell you right at the top of this note that his new exhibition opens this Thursday at Marinaro NYC and you need to go see it for yourself.
I met Johannes in 2011 when I was early into my compulsive exploration of contemporary art and my focus was to figure out “what was well done AND what was for me.” This dual challenge would ultimately help guide me as a collector but also allow me to challenge my senses when I was impulsively interested in an artwork.
One of my first amazing studio visits was to Johannes’ studio at the urging of his gallerists Zach Feuer and Lauren Marinaro. They told me that Johannes was leaving for three months and just had a studio visit from a museum so that I would get a great look at a studio installation that was really thoughtfully put together. You don’t always get this…sometimes it’s work in progress, other times it’s new stuff that artists haven’t quite figured out. The place was set up like a MOMA or Whitney Museum installation.
I bought the installation. That day I became a real art collector. But, the key ingredient was Johannes. Smart, vibrant, interesting, different and built to make one of a kind materials and artworks for the long haul. We have since become great friends and I am a huge advocate for him.
Go see this show…his work is one part of the moment, one part throwback to modern art and one part unique and unlike anything you will ever see. Come hang with me…I am a fan and excited for this event.
Thursday, February 23, 6-8PM
319 Grand Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10002
February 22, 2016
For the last ten years, I have been deeply involved in music education as Founding CEO and Partner in School of Rock. Our basic philosophy is to celebrate the gift of playing music by performing music from the most influential musicians over the last 50 years. The Loser’s Lounge formed in 1993 by Joe McGinty (Pyschadelic Furs), predates our School of Rock by five years and I am proud to say I have seen at least 20 shows over the last ten years. There is nothing like it and I have some snippets for you to view at myInstagram page here.
It is such a visceral experience…buy a ticket and go see them at Joe’s Pub. Support musicians and artists because they make our world better. My deepest respect goes to Joe and his crew…they even invited some students from the NYC School of Rock onto the stage this weekend…my son Jason got a chance to be a part of it.
Giving back…Loser’s Lounge has the winning formula in every way.
July 20, 2015
I saw the movie about Brian Wilson’s life and it is really worth seeing. There are lots of stories built into the overall theme that shares the struggle Brian Wilson faced dealing with mental disease.
It is fascinating how many people with exceptional brilliance also deal with overcoming exceptional personal challenges. There is something about being tested that often brings out the greatest talent and virtue in people and it is why we all love listening to tales of perseverance.
For most people, the support systems at home help to level the playing field. Brian Wilson’s story is special and I admire him and everyone who deals with emotional, mental and environmental challenges with strength and courage.
Great art and great music require great perseverance too…lots of quiet time, searching, exploring, self-doubt and so on is par for the course. Fortunately this struggle often produces outcomes that make all of our lives better and Brian Wilson represents one gifted artist that we are all a bit indebted to.
Monday, July 20, 2015
February 23, 2015
It is amazing how things change over time. Like fine wine, Howard and the perception of Howard have mellowed and at 62 years old, he is viewed as an elder statesman, revered by a generation of young comics, actors and broadcasters. I remember when he hit the air in NYC on WNBC and radio changed on the dime.
Clearly Howard can be polarizing and while I think he is a genius there are times where I disagree with him. In fact, this morning he ranted about how bad a movie Birdman was and I think it was one of the best I have ever seen. Truth is movies and art are subjective but interesting enough, he and I have a major point of unison that I find fascinating and truly exciting: Howard has become a passionate visual artist and spends the bulk of his free time learning to paint and draw. Go Howard!
Eat right. Get your exercise. Do your Yoga and Pilates….it’s all good. But nothing compares with the feeling you get when you create something. We have continued to evolve our Adult Art Programs here and beginners through experienced artists are loving coming to One River and carving out their personal art program. Ba Ba Booey!
P.S. Hey Howard! If you want some lessons, were only one river from NYC!
Monday, February 23, 2015
January 12, 2015
Sometimes you meet people that just have “it.” Hard to put your finger on what that is, but to me “it” has to do with a few things: authenticity, character and talent. It helps when this person also makes people around them better and happier…this infectious combination is embodied in my friend Adrianne Rubenstein.
Four years ago at the very infancy of my art venture, I met Adrianne while she was the Director at James Fuentes Gallery in NYC. She has provided me with so much knowledge and support and has enhanced my journey as art educator and collector. Adrianne is rooted at the intersection of main and main when it comes to the best emerging art…she gets it and knows what it looks like. Today she is the Director of Canada Gallery—one of the most important galleries in the world and the home of three artists featured in the current MOMA exhibition: The Forever Now.
I am proud to say that this Saturday from 6-8PM, Adrianne will be at One River with a select group of young artists for the opening of our next exhibition titled, “Lady Macbeth’s Bat Mitzvah”. The group she has chosen are making some of the most compelling artwork around…this is a show you should not miss. Hope to see you on Saturday.
Monday, January 12, 2015
April 21, 2014
Somehow I try to see the art in everything around me. Now, we can debate whether making cookies is an art form but when you watch and listen to 9 year old Mr. Cory from Englewood tell the story, you quickly get a sense that cookie making is seriously “articious” (sorta delicious in an art vibey way…look it up).One year ago, Mr. Cory walked into One River and I ordered a couple dozen cookies on the spot. His spirit and attitude provoked a sense of wonder. I love watching people, young and old, find something of personal meaning to them and I especially dig it when they take it out to the world and share it.That’s why I get extra pleasure from creating our student exhibitions at One River and the next one is coming up on June 12th. Mark it on your calendar and make sure you come and see what we are doing. Just like Mr. Cory, our artists of all ages are creating their own “cookies” every day … you just may not want to eat these. More info to come soon!
PS: Check out Mr. Cory’s website and other videos HERE. And if you want to buy some cookies, I will put an order in for ya.
February 10, 2014
Not sure if you caught the special on the Beatles last night, but there were so many epic moments, including watching Yoko Ono–who is now eighty years old–flop around in a surreal dance in the front row. That felt like performance art.
The highlight for me was Joe Walsh and Gary Clark’s performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” I love these unique tributes because they set up a new context for appreciating legendary art and music.
The musicians at School of Rock, in a way, pay tribute to groundbreaking musicians in each of the shows they do. I am proud to announce that on March 16th, the School of Rock All Stars are doing a Tribute to the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees right here at the Bergen PAC. Ranging from Nirvana to Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens to Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates to Kiss, the show is bound to be amazingly entertaining. Tickets are only $20, and half of the proceeds go to Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. Buy tickets HERE.
There are very few aspects of my life that have been as powerful as watching talented young artists and musicians do their thing. Bring your kids and your friends to this event–it will be one of the most moving concert events in recent years.
Monday, February 10, 2014
January 20, 2014
Football haters, stay with me for a minute. This note is not about football, this is about excellence. At the age of 37, Peyton Manning is back in the Super Bowl after a season where he also broke numerous records. This is on the heels of neck surgery and a two year window where Peyton could barely throw a football 10 yards.
What makes Manning amazing besides his natural talent? It is his work ethic. Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, wrote that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. Natural Talent + Work Ethic + Goal Orientation = Winner. That’s how I see the formula for the most successful people.
I often try to convert these observations back to what drives success in art and music. Isn’t it funny that people talk about a “born artist” or a “natural musician,” but often overlook the disciplined “training” time that goes into developing greatness in these creative fields. I love to see our students working on their first thousand hours and it gives me great hope for what the next nine thousand will bring.
Monday, January 20, 2014
November 18, 2013
Monday Thoughts: JFK
Founded in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was established to support and provide funding to the arts. This year the entire budget for the NEA was $154 Million. Last week, one painting sold privately at Christies for $142 million! How is it that our entire national arts budget now equals the cost of one painting sold privately? Now you know why we exist! One River is committed to Lifelong Creative Learning and hoping to stimulate a greater interest in art and culture.It is so hard to communicate in objective terms the benefits of art education and the value of arts culture to society. But, to me at least, it’s black and white.Monday, November 18, 2013
November 4, 2013
Last week I celebrated Halloween by doing something that used to be an annual routine for me. I attended a concert in NYC titled: Zappa Plays Zappa. For those of you who know me well, I am a Frank Zappa freak and I saw him play live 30 times. To me, Zappa’s music is the highest form of contemporary music, blending rock, jazz, orchestral and avant-garde with some comedy and theater. Nowadays, Frank’s son Dweezil carries the torch and has formed a band of the most impressive players you will find anywhere.