Binge Art

I have largely avoided binge-watching TV series, even Game of Thrones. Sure I dabble here and there (Fauda, Breaking Bad), but for the most part, I find myself gravitating away from delving super deep. It has been a long time since I have willingly crawled deep into a rabbit hole, but the past few weeks I have even shocked myself. I've spent the past month binge-ing on... Leonard Cohen. I was familiar peripherally with his music (Hallelujah), but barely so. When I learned that his museum show was coming to the Jewish Museum, I started to do a little (then a lot of) exploring. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I examined his poetry, novels, music, and even movies where his music was utilized. I would like to think that everyone has (at least) 50 hours to explore art, or an artist, deeper. Okay, it may be Game of Thrones, but I suggest you consider something in the real, tangible world. Through my exploration into Leonard Cohen, I had incredible conversations with people in the know. So, I implore you this week to in fact go deep, meet people who are also deep, and see where it leads! In this week's Loupe, we binge! 

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything
The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave at 92nd St. New York, NY 10128

Whether you are a Leonard Cohen fan or not, he's your man, and you will love this show! The Jewish Museum has been transformed into an intimate portrait of Leonard Cohen. It is a celebration of music as an art form. This show was initiated in Leonard's Cohen birthplace Montreal and New York is its second stop, appropriate given the influence this city had on him and he on it. The show contains art pieces conceived by contemporary artists influenced by his words. They are powerful works of art that save the stage for Cohen's voice and message. This is a show where you will want to spend considerable time, likely even go back multiple times! Do not miss, the depression chamber by artist Ari Folman. This is by appointment only, and you are given the room to yourself. You lie down on a sofa and projected above you is an image of yourself, along with symbols and lyrics by Leonard Cohen to Famous Blue RaincoatCan't remember a time I was that relaxed ... 

App, Website

I have never been a die-hard music person. While I gravitate to certain artists at different times in my life, I wouldn't classify myself by any specific band or genre of music. I know what I like when I hear it, but more often than not I am listening to a book or Podcast during my prime listening hours. Nonetheless, if one wishes to delve into live music further, there is no better app than BandinTown. It will probe into your digital music files so that it can figure out which artists and music you like and tells you who is playing where. You even get updates from the bands you love telling you when they are coming to your town. If you are merely looking for discovery, you can peruse what is playing nearby. Of course, Leonard Cohen won't be performing anytime soon, but maybe I can find Rufus Wainwright singing Hallelujah or Martha Wainwright's version of Chelsea Hotel. 

NY Art Beat

Art is everywhere and around every turn in NYC, but where/how can the average person learn of what to see and where to go. Of course, the obvious place to start is the world-class Museums (The Met, Moma, Whitney, & Guggenheim), and Auction Houses (Christie's, Sotheby's, and Phillip's); At these locations, you will see the greatest assemblage of art available.  But, if you want to dig around and see the latest in contemporary art, you need NY Art Beat! It is the most comprehensive listing of New York shows I have found online. Further, the app (and website) allows you to look at what's around your present location or search by area (Chelsea, Lower East Side, etc.). It sorts by most popular shows, openings and closings, and even type of media --- now you can really be in the (art) Loupe! 

The Brant Foundation: Jean Michel Basquiat
421 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

This new building is a marvel and should be visited regardless of the artist on display. The building was a former power station that has been 'transformed' into an incredible viewing space. There is a copious amount of light and air, and the art looks incredible on the walls. Nonetheless, to see it with the incredible grouping of Basquiat works is next level amazing. I will note that I was in attendance with a well-informed art group, people who have 'binged' on this artist; truth is, these collectors knew the artist and have absorbed his contribution to contemporary art and culture over 40 years. The grouping of works came from a show in Paris organized in collaboration with the Fondation Louis Vuitton. This inaugural Brant exhibition brings together 70 Basquiats, created from 1980-1987 (at age 19-26), gathered from museums, private collections and the Brant Collection itself. Interestingly, to see Basquiat at this converted building in the East Village was perfectly fitting, as the art scene of the 1980's centered around a grittier, grungier Manhattan. Hanging with the likes of Madonna and Andy Warhol, Basquiat became an art-world darling and lived on the edge, ultimately dying of an accidental drug overdose at 27. Posthumously, his paintings continue to take the art-world by storm. See for yourself why, and maybe binge on Basquiat! 

Julia's Cookies

Now onto the art of cooking! If you are going to binge on something, it may as well be delicious cookies! Even better, when the proceeds are going to a great cause. April is National Autism month, and my friend, Julia M. is making cookies and donating 100% of the proceeds to benefit Autism. Julia, Master Baker, is a 20-year old with autism and a passion for putting smiles on people’s faces. She is delighted to share her delicious cookies, a result of her desire to, "Bake Us Happy." All proceeds will benefit NEXT for AUTISM and Community Mainstreaming.

Don't be a casual observer of the arts, feel free to binge ... consider Leonard Cohen, A Crack in Everything, bandsintown, NY Art Beat, The Brandt Foundation, and Julia's Cookies Found!