The Unbearable Banishment: <i>Chay-Chay-Chain. Chain of Nudes.</i>

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chay-Chay-Chain. Chain of Nudes.

Photographer David LaChapelle got his leg-up from Andy Warhol shooting for Interview Magazine. That lead to a whole slew of gigs shooting wealthy, famous celebrities.

His current (FREE) exhibit in the architectural landmark Lever House lobby is Chain of Life. It's a huge, playful, paper chain constructed from strips of photographs. The chain stretches and dips the length of the lobby. Quite an impressive feat!

It's hard to tell because of my shitty camera skills, but the color tone at the front of the chain (by the Park Avenue entrance) is dark. As it stretches through the lobby, the tone lightens considerably, giving it an effective dark-to-light blending.

The chain stretches down to the floor. It's hard to resist giving it a good tug!

Upon closer examination, you'll see that all of the photos are of nude bodies! [Go ahead. Click on them.]

The exhibit write-up speaks to "...humanity's need for one being to affect or connect to the next." I never get these write-ups. They always sound superficial to me. I enjoy art on a very visceral level. I'm shallow that way.

I consider sneaking this exhibit into a big, public space like Lever House a real coup! I've been back twice on my lunch hour; not because it's titillating (there are too many male genitalia for my taste) but because I can't imagine too many public spaces putting up with this sort of thing.

It's up through September 30. If you anywhere nearby it's worth a look. If you go, walk across the street, south a few blocks and have a look a the lobby and floral displays of the Waldorf-Astoria. Always a treat.



Blogger Kono said...

Write-ups are bullshit for the uppity to feel good about themselves... getting that much nudity into a public space, brilliant.

August 25, 2011 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Kono: Have you ever read ArtForum magazine? It's terrible. It'll make you hate art.

August 25, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger lx said...

I like the purple orb one on the glass as well.

August 25, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

lx: That's actually a completely separate part of the same exhibit. There are two orbs. Get close enough and you'll see that they're made of twisted naked bodies. One orb is all men; the other all women. I was going to include pics but they seemed less effective than the chain.

August 25, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Sausage Fingers said...

Hey I thought I saw an old girlfriend in one of the slides..

August 25, 2011 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

LOL@the title! much better ekphrasis* than their writeup!

*katie couric's word of the day on twitter recently. and no, i'm not going to give you the definition. look it up. xoxoxox

August 25, 2011 at 3:14 PM  
Anonymous dinahmow said...

Before I read that these are nude photos, the little girl in me saw "paper chains" and thought of the miles of decorations I made as a kid.
And yes, good on Lever House for showing this. I think it looks lovely, as a colourful chain, and the fact that it's naked bodies doesn't bother me.Hell! I have a couple on my own wall!

August 25, 2011 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

SF: A little walk down memory lane, is it? She's out there for the office workers to see.

Sav: I've been wondering if the post title resulted in any earworms for anyone. Did it for you?

dinah: The pics aren't very erotic. The lighting is bad in a lot of them (intentionally, I presume). Lever House is tops with me for giving up their lobby space to art exhibits. I can't wait to see what's next!

August 25, 2011 at 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn! I wish I was still in New York

August 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

nurse: Can you get here by September 30?

August 25, 2011 at 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To many male genitalia? I couldn't find a exhibit thought. I would have like to see it.

August 25, 2011 at 6:39 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

honey, i got the ear worm. at least it's one of my all time favorites.

oh, and BOOBIES!

August 25, 2011 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Keep your head down when Irene comes through! Good luck!

August 26, 2011 at 2:44 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

I like the jewel effect over all but close ups of pubic hair aren't my bag.
Off topic my son and grandsons enjoyed playing chess in NY with Hustlers. IN fact out of Vermont, Florida, Baltimore and NY, New York was the favourite with all the family.

August 26, 2011 at 4:40 AM  
Blogger lx said...

Hope you and yours are safe from the hurricane.

August 26, 2011 at 6:09 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MT: If you want to see more male genitalia pics, c'mon out here, take your own photos and upload them to your facebook page. They're not my thing.

daisy: Being musically inclined, I assumed you would be affected.

dinah: Thanks, dear. My plan is to make a bowl of popcorn and sit in my living room picture window and watch it roll by.

Pat: Don't you love the fact that there are chess hustlers? How old world and charming is that? I'm happy to hear that they enjoyed NYC. It's not to everybody's liking so good on them!

lx: Thanks, pal. See response to dinah above. It'll be like being in a movie theater except a tree could crash through my roof at any moment!

August 26, 2011 at 7:20 AM  
Blogger Adam Kenny said...

I might have less appreciation for art than any man alive (maybe it is the DAMN write-ups that turn me off) but this seems to me to be a very cool idea for an exhibit. Great stuff.

August 26, 2011 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Mitzi G Burger said...

I love Paper Art. Nice micro-macro effect. Little nudes, big chains...which sounds like a badass club I once went to...

August 27, 2011 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Adam: Appreciation is a very slippery slope. Stumble across one very cool idea and the next thing you know, you're spending the afternoon at MoMA.

Mitzi: Can you imagine the hours it took to put this together? They were probably sick to death of looking at nudes.

August 27, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

just checking in, sugar. xoxo

August 27, 2011 at 11:35 AM  
Anonymous looby said...

I really like things which change according to how close you get to them. I've got a great idea for Christmas now, to have little pictures of a corsetted Daisyfae, or a suitable English substitute in daisy chains all over the room.

(Coughs and turns quickly away to something dreary to take mind off idea).

August 29, 2011 at 4:52 AM  
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