Artists are putting their stamp on Chicago exhibitions to spread messages of human communication, global conservation, racial discrimination, and gender inequality through a variety of mediums with maximum style.

In her sculpture exhibition “Future Fossils: SUM” (Sept. 7 – Nov. 13), Chicago artist Lan Tuazon shows how the 109 tons of waste produced during a person’s lifetime could be repurposed into a functional home. Built to scale and exhibited inside the two-story gallery at the Hyde Park Art Center, Tuazon presents a one-bedroom house that is constructed solely with recovered materials.

To extend the lifespan of used objects, the artist dissects, layers, and presses them into a stratification-like form that mimics fossils. Visitors are invited to contribute by dropping off plastic items to be shredded on site, which will then be turned into raw materials for sheet press companies. “I had no idea how impactful her work would be on piloting new materials from recovered plastics. This immersive installation will truly put into perspective the geologic weight of our consumer habits, while literally building inhabitable structures from waste,” says Art Center Director of Exhibition & Residency Programs Allison Peters Quinn who curated the show.

In partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special EventsArt on theMART will project works by conceptual artist Barbara Kruger (Sep. 17 – Nov. 25). The installation coincides with the Art Institute of Chicago’s presentation of “Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You.” (Sep. 19 – Jan 24), a comprehensive exhibition of Kruger’s output. “We are honored to feature the work of such a legendary contemporary artist on our platform,” says Cynthia Noble, Executive Director of Art on theMART. “With this installation, our site extends Kruger’s major retrospective beyond the museum walls and into the urban architectural environment, where the art is free and accessible to all. We are so pleased to collaborate with Kruger and the Art Institute on this significant alignment.”

“For more than four decades, the artist has been a consistent, critical observer of the ways in which images and words circulate through culture and more recently, the accelerated modes in which they inhabit our daily lives. At a time when dispersion has replaced distribution and memes rules the realm of visual information, her momentous installation will invite us to pay attention and carefully consider how we relate to one another,” adds Robyn Farrell, Associate Curator, Modern and Contemporary, Art Institute of Chicago.

Art Institute visitors can also view “Bisa Butler: Portraits” (through Sep. 6). This marks the first solo museum exhibition of the artist’s work which uses the traditionally marginalized medium of textiles and quilts to convey personal and historical narratives of the Black experience. “In my work I am telling the story — this African American side — of the American life,” says Butler. “History is the story of men and women, but the narrative is controlled by those who hold the pen.”

On Aug. 27, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary opens its doors for an opening event at 5 p.m. to kick off “Origins” — an exhibition of images by acclaimed National Geographic photographers/filmmakers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, both of whom are co-founders of Sea Legacy.

“The whole premise of Sea Legacy is that we’re experts at visual communication, and we’re going to be partnering with like-minded organizations that have the same mission that we do, to save the oceans,” explains Mittermeier. “The ocean is the largest ecosystem on our planet, and three billion people depend on coastal and marine resources.” As a ‘National Geographic Woman of Impact’, Mittermeier has worked in more than 100 countries on every continent to connect with an estimated 2.5 billion people about global climate change.

“We have decided to make 2021 our year of conservation. By this, I mean every single sale we make in our gallery this year will benefit a variety of conservation organizations, including organizations that support animals, oceans and other natural resources, in addition to our ongoing support of women’s and children’s causes,” says Arica Hilton, global advocate and Hilton | Asmus Contemporary founder. “Through the arts, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary is dedicated to making every single step and every breath we take, have a purpose. A global purpose. A higher purpose. We will be working with artists who search for solutions addressing the plight of our environment and the human condition.”

Paintings and mixed media works by Swedish artist Anna U Davis are showcased in “Reality Check” (through Nov. 28) at Chicago’s Swedish American Museum in Andersonville. The solo exhibition explores gender inequality, racial discrimination and climate change.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents “Bani Abidi: The Man Who Talked Until He Disappeared” (Sep. 4 – June 5) showcasing nearly two decades of work by multidisciplinary Pakistani artist Bani Abidi. The artist uses her upbringing in Karachi and experiences while studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to inform her work which satirically critiques those in power. Organized by Sharjah Art Foundation, the exhibition includes video, photography, sound, and installations that explore transcultural connections with humor.


First image: Bisa Butler. The Safety Patrol, 2018. Cavigga Family Trust Fund. © Bisa Butler.

Second Image: Untitled (Truth), 2013, Digital image courtesy of Barbara Kruger. ©



Paul Nicklen (Canadian) is a visual artist and marine biologist who has documented both the beauty and the plight of our planet for over 20 years. Paul’s photography informs and connects by creating an emotional bond with wild subjects in extreme conditions.

After a 20-year career of photographing for journalistic publications like National Geographic, Paul’s perpetuating dream is to revisit his archives for the true artistic gems and release them to the world. His ongoing journey is to continue photographing intimate, evocative, powerful subject matter to create a thought-provoking body of work. Paul hopes his viewers look into the eyes of the animals in his photographs and fall in love with their vulnerability.

In addition to being one of the world’s most renowned nature photographers, Paul is a well-known speaker, TED Talks participant, author, and National Geographic Fellow. In the past two decades, Paul has collaborated with scientists, filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers to create awareness and inspire action for global issues such as climate change.

Paul has garnered more than 30 of the highest awards given to any photographer in his field, earning a global following of celebrities, conservationists, and fans.


One of the most respected voices in conservation photography and one of the most influential female photographers in the world, Cristina Mittermeier began her career as a Marine Biologist working in her native Mexico.

For the past twenty-five years, she has dedicated herself to inspiring a global audience to care about the delicate balance between human well-being and healthy ecosystems.

Cristina’s work has exhibited at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, The Miller Gallery in Cincinnati, The Paul Nicklen Gallery in New York, Xposure in the UAE , Art Basel Miami, Terras de Salitre/Mar de Mares Festival in Santiago, The Museum of Plastic Pop-Up in New York, The United Nations Headquarters in association with Disney and Girl Up, and at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Sweden.

Cristina is the co-founder of SeaLegacy, the founder and former president of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a board member for the WILD Foundation, an advisor on two major Conservation International programs, an esteemed public speaker, and a recipient of multiple internationally recognized awards for her photography. In 2016, Cristina received the Imaging Award for Photographers who Give Back and in 2018 was acknowledged as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

She is the editor of 26 conservation photography books and her Fine Art Coffee Table book, Amaze, is in its second printing.

Today, Cristina is the Co-founder of the conservation society, SeaLegacy, a National Geographic contributing photographer, a Sony Artisan of Imagery and the editor of 26 coffee table books on conservation issues. She is the first female photographer to reach 1M followers on Instagram and was a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She is acknowledged as one of the most Influential Women in Ocean Conservation in 2018 by Ocean Geographic, and The Men’s Journal recently named her as one of the 18 Most Adventurous Women in the World.

Cristina is a pioneer in the use of powerful and emotive imagery to propel conservation efforts. Born in Mexico, Cristina is a marine biologist, photographer, and writer who specializes in issues surrounding fisheries and indigenous cultures.

Cindy Crawford, 55, shows off her age-defying supermodel figure as she slips back into her denim hotpants to recreate her iconic 1992 Pepsi ad

  • Supermodel Cindy made her first appearance in a Pepsi TV commercial during the 1992 Super Bowl
  • The original featured Cindy wearing a white tank top and blue jean shorts with big hoop earrings on
  • She was driving a Lamborghini and then stops at a gas station for a can of soda which she sucks down
  • And then in 2002 she was asked to appear in a very similar ad, this time for Diet Pepsi  
  • Cindy recreated the iconic ad to raise funds for the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, where her late brother was treated for leukemia
  • Tragically, Jeffery died of childhood leukemia when he was three-years-old

Cindy Crawford lived up to her supermodel status as she slipped back into a white tank top and her blue denim Daisy Duke shorts to recreate her iconic 1992 Pepsi Super Bowl ad.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, the catwalk queen, 55, showed off her age-defying figure in the photoshoot, taken by photographer David Yarrow, to raise funds for the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, where her late brother Jeff was treated for leukemia.

Posing by a red vintage car, Cindy wowed as she once again donned silver hoop earrings and styled her hair into a big bouncy blow out.

Super Cindy: Cindy Crawford lived up to her supermodel status as she slipped back into a white tank top and her blue denim Daisy Duke shorts to recreate her iconic 1992 Pepsi Super Bowl ad

The shoot was set at the Halfway House Cafe, where Cindy shot the famous commercial. Two wolves sat in the retro supercar as Cindy fuelled up on gas.

Crawford shared what the new Pepsi experience was like. ‘It’s always a pleasure and a thrill to work with my friend @davidyarrow,’ began the Versace model.

Wow: Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, the catwalk queen, 55, showed off her age-defying figure in the photoshoot, taken by photographer David Yarrow, to raise funds for the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin

Strike a pose: Slipping into a pair of red stiletto heels, Cindy looked just as good as she did in 1992 as she displayed toned arms, long legs and very small waistline in the tiny shorts and low-scoop vest

Her pack: The shoot was set at the Halfway House Cafe, where Cindy shot the famous commercial. Two wolves sat in the retro supercar as Cindy fuelled up on gas

‘And even more so when it’s for a good cause. We returned back to the original Halfway House from the famous @pepsi commercial I did in 1992 to recreate the moment (with a David Yarrow twist) in hopes of raising funds for the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison Wisconsin where my brother was treated for leukemia.’

Crawford was born in DeKalb, Illinois, and raised with her two sisters, Chris and Danielle. Their brother Jeffery died of childhood leukemia at age three.

Cindy continued: ‘So far, with the help of David’s gallery network across the globe supporting the art and its sales — we’ve already raised 1 million dollars for the cause.’

Important cause: Crawford wants to raise funds to help the hospital where her late brother Jeffery was treated for childhood leukemia. He tragically died aged three

She is generous: Crawford shared what the new Pepsi experience was like. ‘It’s always a pleasure and a thrill to work with my friend @davidyarrow,’ began the Versace model

Close to her heart: ‘And even more so when it’s for a good cause. We returned back to the original Halfway House from the famous @pepsi commercial I did in 1992 to recreate the moment (with a David Yarrow twist) in hopes of raising funds’

Devastating: Crawford (right) was born in DeKalb, Illinois, and raised with her two sisters, Chris and Danielle. The family tragically lost their brother Jeff when he was three

She then credited the members of her glam squad.

‘I also have to thank my dear friend, hairstylist @peter.savic who did the iconic hair for the original commercial… so i was thrilled he was able to be here for this version as well!’ said the wife of Rande Gerber.

‘Thanks also to @samvissermakeup for makeup and @allowitzstyles for styling. I think we nailed it! Such a fun day –– I can’t wait to show you more. More on stories xo.’

Stars praised her move. Reese Witherspoon said, ‘Truly gorgeous ! And for a great cause ❤️.’ Helena Christensen said, ‘❤️cool in every way.’

Thrice before: Cindy seen far left in 1992, then in another ad in 2002 and on the far right she is seen in 2018

The winner? Some say that Cindy looked her very best in the original 1992 ad while others prefer a more mature Crawford

The winner? Some say that Cindy looked her very best in the original 1992 ad while others prefer a more mature Crawford

The original featured Crawford in a tank top and jean shorts – made from her own jeans she brought to the set that day – driving a Lamborghini and stopping at a rural gas station to buy a can of soda.

Two young boys in a nearby field can be seen watching on in awe and amazement as the beauty guzzles the can in one go.

‘It was one of those moments in my career that when I walked down the street, people were like, “Pepsi!” Or I’d be at a bar and people would send me over a Pepsi,’ Crawford said, laughing. ‘And it’s funny because during Halloween a lot of women will dress up as me in that commercial. It’s like an easy Halloween costume.’

In the 2018 ad she was with her son Presley Walker Gerber who was a teen at the time.

Crawford also appeared in an an ad for Diet Pepsi in 2002, where she drove to the same gas station, this time dressed in a tight white blouse and jean shorts, driving a white Jeep.

Crawford’s modeling talents have not only extended to her son – her daughter, Kaia Jordan Gerber, is also a top model.

What are the symptoms of leukaemia in children?

Fatigue and pale skin – this is because leukaemia can cause anaemia which makes a child feel weak, tired and light-headed.

Infections and fever – children with leukaemia lack normal white blood cells which would normally help fight infection.

Rash – children may have small, dark spots that look like common rashes if the leukemia cells spread to the skin

Easy bruising or bleeding – this includes frequent nosebleeds, bleeding gums and bleeding a lot from small cuts.

Bone or joint pain – this is caused by a build up of leukaemia cells near the surface of the bone or inside the joint.

Swelling of the abdomen – leukaemia cells may collect in the liver and spleen causing them to enlarge.

Loss of appetite and weight loss – if the spleen and liver swell, they can press against the stomach causing loss of appetite.

Swollen lymph nodes – some leukaemias spread to the lymph nodes causing them to swell.

Source: American Cancer Society

The ad on the back of a bus: Here the ad i seen for the David Yarrow show which runs until November 6, 2021




Paul Nicklen, Ephemeral Palace, 2012, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist.

CHICAGO – Hilton | Asmus Contemporary today announced a specially curated exhibition of images from the archives of acclaimed National Geographic photographers, filmmakers and marine biologists Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier. “ORIGINS,” will feature works from Nicklen and Mittermeier, co-founders of leading ocean conservancy organization Sea Legacy and partners with nearly 9 million combined followers on Instagram.

There will be an opening event open to the public on Friday, August 27 at 5 p.m. at Hilton | Asmus Contemporary’s new location in the Morgan Arts Complex at 3622 S. Morgan Street. Additionally, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary will host a VIP reception and book signing during the opening week. The Morgan Arts Complex is a newly renovated building dedicated to the arts, design and film in Chicago’s burgeoning arts neighborhood of Bridgeport.

“ORIGINS” runs through Saturday, October 2.

About Paul Nicklen

From ice diving with leopard seals, studying the horizon with lions in Africa, and battling the sub-zero temperatures of the arctic, Canadian born Paul Nicklen has spent the last 20 years documenting both the beauty and the plight of our planet. As one of the world’s most prominent nature photographers, TED Talks favorite (with almost 2.5 million views), Nicklen has used his art to spotlight endangered ecosystems and ignite a global awareness of climate change. After a 20-year career of photographing for prestigious publications including numerous cover images for National Geographic, Nicklen revisited his archives for the true gems to fulfill his lifelong dream of releasing them to the art world.

Nicklen has garnered more than 30 of the highest accolades given to any photographer in his field, earning a global following of prominent individuals, conservationists, and fans. He has published more than 20 stories for National Geographic and has been the recipient of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award and the prestigious World Press Photo award for photojournalism.

In the foreword to Paul Nicklen’s book “Born to Ice”, actor and environmental activist, Leonardo DiCaprio wrote:

“To witness the Arctic and Antarctica through Paul Nicklen’s lens is to experience hope in action. “Born to Ice” showcases the life’s work of an artist whose love for the landscape and each animal in it is so palpable that emotion echoes throughout every image. As a collection, the images build in scope and power, leaving you profoundly affected and deepening your sense of commitment to protect these stunning parts of our planet.” – Leonardo DiCaprio, June 2018

Paul Nicklen, Ice Waterfall, 2014, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist and Hilton | Asmus Contemporary.

In addition, Pearl Jam’s recently released album “Gigaton” features Nicklen’s photograph Ice Waterfall on the cover. Pearl Jam management’s Scott Greer, who oversaw the album’s marketing roll-out told Variety Magazine, “The band wanted to scale something globally and create a unique fan experience so that wherever they were in the world, they were all discovering it in the same way at the same time. Everyone interacted with it differently. Some people were walking in front of the animation, and then we saw one little girl tapping on the moving waterfall. That engagement and interaction made it more than just a Pearl Jam album cover — it made it universal.”

About Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier

Mexico City-born Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, who dedicates her photography towards the conservation movement, is an adventurer, conservationist, writer, photographer and marine biologist who for the past 25 years has been globally recognized as one of the most influential wildlife writers and conservationists.

Mittermeier, a Rolex Brand Ambassador, has received accolades of the highest esteem, including the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award, and was named one of National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurers of the Year.

As a ‘National Geographic Woman of Impact’, Mittermeier has worked in more than 100 countries on every continent in the world, reaching an estimated 2.5 billion people and sparking global conversations about climate change.

Christina Mittermeier, Bubblegum, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist and Hilton | Asmus Contemporary

In 2015, she co-founded the conservation group Sea Legacy, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the ocean with her partner, Paul Nicklen. Recognized as one of the World’s Top 40 Most Influential Outdoor Photographers by Outdoor Magazine, Mittermeier’s work has been published in hundreds of respected publications, including National Geographic Magazine and TIME. In 2020, she was honored on the She’s Mercedes platform, where she led “Let’s Be Friends”, a mentoring session with five women from around the world to discuss their dreams, shared challenges, and self-worth.

As a biochemical engineer specializing in marine resources and as a regular contributor to the scientific dialogue on the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity, Mittermeier’s work strives to use science to explain the importance of preserving earth’s ecosystem. She is the founder of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

“The whole premise of Sea Legacy is that we’re experts at visual communication, and we’re going to be partnering with like-minded organizations that have the same mission that we do, to save the oceans.” says Mittermeier, “The ocean is the largest ecosystem on our planet, and three billion people depend on coastal and marine resources.”

Global advocate of Hilton | Asmus Contemporary founder Arica Hilton says, “We have decided to make 2021 our year of conservation. By this, I mean every single sale we make in our gallery this year will benefit a variety of conservation organizations, including organizations that support animals, oceans and other natural resources, in addition to our ongoing support of women’s and children’s causes. Through the arts, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary is dedicated to making every single step and every breath we take, have a purpose. A global purpose. A higher purpose. We will be working with artists who search for solutions addressing the plight of our environment and the human condition.”

How to photograph a dinosaur

German photographer Christian Voigt turns dinosaur skeletons into stunning artworks -- without ever touching a bone.

The fossils in his “Evolution” series are shown in complete isolation, making them look almost alive and giving the impression of highly staged studio photographs.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The shots are, in fact, taken in museums and without ever moving the precious specimens.

“I cannot move the skeletons, of course, so I have to work within the existing situations. And I don’t use any (additional artificial) lights, just available light. Museums don’t like it when you start to lay down cables and tripods that can fall; they want minimum risk,” Voigt said in a phone interview.

The only tool of his trade? A black drape. “Sometimes I can work with a very large black cloth that I put either behind the skeletons or behind myself, if the animals are under glass, to avoid reflections. The setup takes a long time, usually up to two hours for each photo.”

A Triceratops from the Senckenberg Naturmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany. Credit: Christian Voigt / Senckenberg Naturmuseum / Frankfurt am Main

'Take them out'

Voigt first imagined the series after walking through London’s Natural History Museum and taking a photo of the magnificent blue whale skeleton that hangs in its entrance hall.

“Museums are always packed with skeletons. They have up to 20 in a single room — sometimes that’s overwhelming. My idea was to take them out, to give them space, and put them in the right position and the right light,” he said.
He shoots using a mix of old and new techniques. The camera is analog, but it transfers the image to a digital file to take advantage of the high resolution. The post-production work mostly involves digitally removing everything that isn’t the skeleton.

It wasn’t easy, at the beginning, to convince museums to let him work inside them — even on days they were closed to the public. But once he could show the initial pictures, doors started opening (usually for a fee, to pay for the extra hours and security). His main criteria for selecting which skeletons to photograph is that they must be authentic and complete.  Because he cannot move them, it’s sometimes tricky to fit them into the frame, which makes positioning the camera the most difficult part of the shoot, although he can gain an advantage by using wide-angle lenses. Voigt says that although the subject is hardly new, nobody had photographed dinosaur fossils this way before.

“There is not too much manipulation on the structure itself. I play a little bit with lighting to give them a similar, smooth look, but the color range is more or less the original one for most, if not all of them,” he said.

The series also includes the skeleton of a Smilodon, a sabre-toothed cat that went extinct aorund 10,000 yeras ago. Credit: Christian Voigt / Senckenberg Naturmuseum / Frankfurt am Main

In recent years, actual dinosaur fossils have been selling for record prices.  In 2018, a near-complete, 30-foot long T-Rex skeleton from Wyoming sold at auction for $2.4 million, and earlier this year, a fossil hunter listed a T-Rex skeleton on eBay for close to $3 million. (It hasn’t sold yet.) A number of scientists have decried the sales, saying that such specimens belong in museums where the public can appreciate them.

Voigt hopes his photographs bring the fossils the right kind of attention. “I named the series ‘Evolution’ because these were really living animals, not a Hollywood production or a ‘Game of Thrones’ prop,” he said.

“We still don’t know too much about them, yet when you go into the subject deeper and deeper, it just gets more and more amazing.”

Top image: a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull from the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.


Marilyn & Me: A new book shares unseen photographs of the icon

"You’re already famous, now you’re going to make me famous"

A new photography book, Marilyn & Me, shares the intimate story of the legend Marilyn Monroe and a young photographer starting his career. Lawrence Schiller captured more than 100 images of the Hollywood icon, including rare outtakes from the set of Monroe’s final films; The Misfits, which aired in 1961, and Something’s Got to Give – which was part filmed in early 1962 but never completed. She died aged 36 in August 1962. This new photography book shares a glimpse of the star in her final months.

“You’re already famous, now you’re going to make me famous,” Schiller said to Monroe, on the set for Something’s Got to Give in 1962 – a film which was never completed. “Don’t be so cocky,” she replied, “photographers can be easily replaced.” But he was right, of course; his intimate portraits of Monroe kickstarted his career as a photographer and were used on the covers of leading magazines at the time, such as Life, which used one of his shots for the cover of its August 1962 issue. “It’s the Marilyn I most remember,” recalls Schiller. “I was stunned to discover that they had used one of my photographs on the cover, the ethereal shot where she looked like an angel.”

Monroe, whose full name was Norma Jeane Mortenson, was known around the world as the glamorous actress and sex symbol that defined an era. She was born in Los Angeles in 1926 and had a difficult childhood, during which members of her family were institutionalised, resulting in her growing up in foster care. Monroe was determined to make a life for herself, so pursued a career in acting, dyed her brown hair to that iconic blonde, and called herself Marilyn Monroe. She was known for iconic films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), and Some Like It Hot (1959). In 1962, the star was found dead in her home at 36 years old following an overdose.

Here, we share a preview of the book and Schiller’s insight into his time spent with the icon in those last few months of her life.


Monroe in her dressing room, on the set of 'Let's Make Love' (1960)

“Looking over her left shoulder, she flashed a coy smile that told me all I needed to know about Marilyn Monroe: she knew who she was, she knew who I was, she knew what to do.”

Monroe celebrates her 36th birthday on set (1962)


“A huge birthday cake was brought in with sparklers for candles, and Marilyn posed behind it looking joyful and appreciative.”

Written By  |  Jessica Davis

‘Meteoron’ by internationally renowned Greek sculptor Kostis Georgiou placed in Thessaloniki

‘Meteoron’ by well-known and internationally-established sculptor and painter Kostis Georgiou, was installed opposite Thessaloniki’s City Hall on Tuesday.

The sculptural composition consists of 12 bright-red metal forms intertwined with each other on a vertical axis.

The work was placed on a marble base, designed by the artist himself.

“This work is a composition that from a young age I wanted to exist in the place where I was born. My heart and soul are always here,” Georgiou said.

“This piece belongs to Thessaloniki. I hope my compatriots love it as much as I love it and I hope it becomes a landmark in the city that people will enjoy,” the well-known artist added.

Referring to the symbolism of the project, Georgiou stressed that everyone has their own ‘code of life’ and will interpret it differently. “We could say that it is a moment of life in which friendship, solidarity and cooperation exist.”

On his part, the Mayor of Thessaloniki Konstantinos Zervas thanked the sculptor for the “new landmark” the Greek Cultural Capital has.

“Kostis Georgiou returns to his city and gives us an important creation of his. What we have been discussing for years today is taking shape and in this part of our city an important work is being placed that symbolises many things…From today the city will have another destination, another reason to visit, another nice photo for those who come to the city,” he said.

The sculpture reaches a height of 11 meters, and will soon be fitted out with lights.

Kostis Georgiou

Kostis Georgiou is a Greek contemporary artist and painter, born in 1956, in Thessaloniki, Greece.

He studied stage scenery in Florence, painting and sculpture in the School of Fine Arts, Athens, with Dimitris Mitaras and Dimosthenis Kokinidis, as well as at the Royal College of Fine Arts, London, with Peter de Francia. His first one-man exhibition was in Thessaloniki, in 1974.

Since then, his work has been represented in numerous solo and group exhibitions, all over the world and won several international awards.

Recently, Georgiou’s works were exhibited in a five museum tour in China.

His paintings and monumental sculptures can be found in public squares, sculpture gardens and numerous foundations & organizations throughout the world.

He has had exhibitions at the Benakis Museum, in Athens, State Museum of Modern Art, in Thessaloniki, Bank of Piraeus, Ministry of Greek Tourism, Ministry of Greek Culture, Osaka Museum of Modern Art, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, in Japan, National Bank of Greece, Eurobank, Greek Postbank, Absolute Americana Museum, in Florida, Museo Civico, in Italy, Red Cross, in Cyprus, Suzhou, in China.

His works can also be found in important private collections, such as the Commanderie de Peyrassol, a sculpture garden at a 1200s vineyard, in Provence, South of France.

Written By  |  GCT Team

Imitation of life: He almost duped Andy Warhol's estate. Now Charles Lutz is targeting the auctioneers

In the wake of Damien Hirst’s ground-breaking Sotheby’s sale this week, which fetched a jaw-dropping £111.5m, what could be more timely than an exhibition that explores the notions of authenticity and value in the modern art market – and fetishises those involved?

The Brooklyn-based artist Charles Lutz, a former assistant of the American king of kitsch Jeff Koons, was so intrigued by the cult of the modern artist that he meticulously copied Andy Warhol’s 1954 Self Portrait with silver hair 12 times, in four different colour versions. He then submitted his forgeries to the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board. There, they were officially stamped with “Denied” and returned to the artist, who promptly put the tampered-with works on show.

“The authentication board was right down the street from Jeff Koons’s studio, where I was painting the big lobster that runs across Koons’ billboard-sized Triple Elvis painting of three female nudes,” says Lutz, now 26. “I pretended to be a delivery boy. It’s a three-month process because they only review work a few times a year.”

Now his Denial and Acceptance Series (2007) is being exhibited for the first time in the UK, along with his new works, including the Sold series of round paintings. They feature Sotheby’s auctioneer and world head of contemporary art Tobias Meyer, in enamel and 23-carat gold on canvas over panel, based on the designs of 19th-century gilded French porcelain.

How did it all begin? Lutz was initially inspired to copy the paintings after a Warhol self-portrait, owned by film producer Joe Simon and valued at $1.4m, was deemed a fake by the Board. “They stamped his painting on the reverse in red and black ink that bled through to the portrait. Now they stamp it in a lighter blue-green ink on the wrap-around of the canvas, where it’s stapled,” says Lutz. In an instant the painting became worthless. “They don’t have to answer to anybody but it is in their own interests to keep genuine Warhols low,” says Lutz. “Its authenticity should have been questioned more – but the uproar fizzled out quickly.”

The portrait had been deemed authentic by the late executor of Warhol’s estate Fred Hughes, before Simon bought it. The board is secretive about how it determines what is and what isn’t a Warhol. Lutz went on to copy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe canvas as well as the artist’s oxidation portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat – both now stamped with “Denied” and appearing in the show.

“They serve as a commentary on the easily reproducible aspect of Warhol’s work, as well as how we apply value to a work of art,” he says.

Lutz is the highlight of Project One: Icons, a show that celebrates iconic images from pop to urban art at 108 Fine Art in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and includes paintings, sculpture, and prints by Peter Blake and Julian Opie, as well as Sex Pistols artwork by Jamie Reid and works by Banksy and Blek Le Rat. It is the first time that he has exhibited outside the US.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1982, Lutz attended the Pratt Institute in New York, where he studied painting before becoming Koons’s photo-realist painter from 2005-2007. Lutz found the experience with Koons invaluable. But working for such a high-maintenance artist, one famous for Puppy – a 43ft tall topiary sculpture of a west Highland white terrier – and the sexually explicit Made In Heaven series featuring his Italian porn star wife, La Cicciolina (Ilona Staller), had its challenges.

“Jeff presented himself as a family man – not as flamboyant as you would expect,” says Lutz. “The Denied series was my way of replicating something that Jeff was doing but on a more basic level. Jeff might reference a Warhol Elvis painting – but rather than take it and try to over-intellectualise it, I take it for what it is, and the problems that arise in creating something that already exists.”

Having pulled off his Warhol coup, Lutz turned his attention to a series of circular paintings, Sold, which critique the art market, and in particular contemporary art at auction. Hawk (Tobias Meyer) – depicting the esteemed auctioneer alongside a gilded hawk –spares no expense in its attempt to mirror “the indulgent nature of art collecting” and the “flock-like atmosphere of auctions”.

“Like Hirst, I am acknowledging the importance of the secondary market, especially auctions. It is interesting that it has taken so long for artists to take new work straight to auctions.”

Two Birds – another round piece – set against a lime-green background shows Meyer’s face, alongside two chubby birds. Christ – also in the Sold series – is clearly a play on the word Christie’s, whose shiny logo is plastered on the wall behind another of his auction paintings. “There is conflict in having a charismatic auctioneer. Meyer has the power to create a demand for something and to influence prices in contemporary art,” says Lutz. “These paintings reflect the character of the market. We are in a time of financial uncertainty yet the rich are spending even more now in the US. The paintings are not preaching to a mass but to the powers that be.”

Lutz is also exhibiting a towering sculpture – Stacked – in the show. Made up of three stacked boxes, hand-tacked in leather vinyl in Louis Vuitton-style print and silk screen printed in enamel paint with Brillo, Heinz and Kellogg’s logos, it refers to Warhol’s sculptures of the Sixties such as Brillo Box and Heinz Box. “But I raise the stakes of everyday objects from the level of high art, to the level of luxury.” Lutz also sells his own Brillo Box sculptures in a limited-edition run of 50 for $4,000 each online. The round paintings are all one-offs, with Hawk (Tobias Meyer) selling in the exhibition at £7,000. The Warhol copies start from £1,500 for a red Self-Portrait.

Written By |  Charlotte Cripps

Tour a Tribeca Apartment with Blue-Chip Art in Every Room

The New York–based interiors firm Pembrooke & Ives has expertly designed a home to celebrate its owner’s colorful contemporary collection.

Appreciating art in a museum or gallery is one thing; owning a piece and living with it is quite another. To be sure, it’s more gratifying to be around an artist’s vision all the time and to be able to interact with it on your own terms whenever you like. Once you buy a work and hang it in your home, you’re in charge of it — where it’s placed, how it looks, what kind of frame surrounds it and whether the kids or the dog can get at it.

New York–based PEMBROOKE & IVES recently designed the interior of a four-bedroom, 5,300-square-foot apartment in Lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, conceiving a scheme to best show off the terrific collection of CONTEMPORARY ART amassed by the homeowner, a real estate executive living with his wife and three children. The design firm, known for its LUXURIOUS AND COMFORTABLE RESIDENTIAL INTERIORS, took the lead in sensitively arranging the works while still providing for a comfortable family life.

Designing a four-bedroom, 5,300-square-foot apartment in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, the New York City firm PEMBROOKE & IVES conceived a scheme around the homeowner’s impressive collection of CONTEMPORARY ART. Seen above in the main hallway are, from left, KAWS’s Tension (2019), MICKALENE THOMAS’s Portrait of Lily (ca. 2012) and Juan Genoves’s Alba (2015). Top: Visible from nearly anywhere in the joint dining and living area are works by Manolo Valdés (left) and Liu Ye.

The collector emphasized that it’s an art-first kind of place. “We don’t lead with the home and then figure out the kind of art we buy,” he says. “Color appeals to me, so we asked the designers to keep the background and furniture more neutral in order to let the pop of color come from the art.”

The overall collection numbers more than 75 pieces, spread between the family’s apartment, their Hamptons home and, when necessary, storage. “I don’t think of myself as a collector,” the owner adds. “I just started small and worked my way up by going to galleries.”

“They wanted a gallery feeling,” says Pembrooke & Ives’s Jessica Iwaniec, who led the project’s interiors. She notes that “the art informs the design” of the apartment’s spaces. “The palette of the fabrics, the wall colors, pretty much all soft upholstery play to the works to some extent.” Portrait by Dustin O’Neal

Pembrooke & Ives designed the building itself too — an exclusive address with a limestone facade housing only seven apartments. Jessica Iwaniec, the lead interior designer on the collector’s place, says that the firm typically would be involved with helping clients choose art, working with a consultant to get the right pieces. But in this case, with what she calls a “mature” collection, “the art informs the design.”

The bold patterns and colors of works by KEITH HARING, JEFF KOONS, YOSHITOMO NARA, MICKALENE THOMAS and MEL BOCHNER, among others, meant that Iwaniec and her team made sure the art held the spotlight. “The palette of the fabrics, the wall colors, pretty much all soft upholstery play to the works to some extent,” she says.

The apartment’s art-filled main hallway demonstrates that even interstitial spaces can be boffo showplaces for great work — a museum on the go. “They wanted a gallery feeling in there, and it’s packed with rich artwork,” says Iwaniec, noting that three major pieces are visible in a hallway right by the apartment’s entrance.

These are Alba (2015), a tondo by the 90-year-old Spanish painter Juan Genoves, Mickalene Thomas’s Portrait of Lily (circa 2012) and KAWS’s Tension (2019), which evidences the superstar artist’s more abstract vein. With that much color and form, not too much else was needed in the space. But the Pembrooke & Ives team did add a suede binding to the runner on the floor — “just to elevate it,” Iwaniec notes.

Joining Ye’s Leave Me in the Dark (2008) in the dining area is YOSHITOMO NARA’s Sprout the Ambassador (2001). In the center of the space, a sculptural chandelier by Frederik Molenschot hangs over a custom lacquer-topped table surrounded by Cliff Young chairs. The seats incorporate two different leathers.

“Paintings, especially figurative ones, have caught my eye more often than not,” says the owner of his collection. Three prime examples of such pieces surround the dining table: Liu Ye’s Leave Me in the Dark (2008), YOSHITOMO NARA’s Sprout the Ambassador (2001) and a painting by Manolo Valdés.

The works by the Chinese-born Ye and the Japanese-born Nara jibe well with the painting by the New York–based Spanish-born Valdés. The global combination certainly demonstrates the strength of international figuration and how engaging it is to have faces around the dining table beyond the people who sit at it.

The collector bought the Nara painting, depicting a rebellious girl in the artist’s signature comic-book style, at an edition of Art Basel several years ago, and, as always, he was working on instinct. “There was no plan. I was walking through the fair and got mesmerized. I impulsively bought it, and it turned out to be one of my favorite pieces,” he says, adding that it was the image’s juxtaposition of “innocence and darkness” that he found captivating.

Flanking the living area’s fireplace is custom shelving backed by leather, which plays off the dining chairs. The couch is custom.
Opposite the fireplace, behind the sofa, is a built-in, back-lit bar that rests against a marble-slab wall.

A custom dining table with a lacquered top, Cliff Young chairs incorporating two different leathers and a sculptural chandelier by Frederik Molenschot join the paintings. “We were just trying to make it very harmonious and soothing,” says Iwaniec.

Sharing the same large open space as the dining area is the luxurious living room, which opens onto a terrace. At one end of the sitting area is a built-in, back-lit bar that rests against a marble slab wall set with floating glass shelves. On the wall opposite the bar is a marble fireplace flanked by custom shelving, which is backed by leather to play off the dining chairs, Iwaniec notes.

A custom cream-colored sofa in chenille makes a good perch from which to appreciate the paintings. “It was meant to be subtle,” the designer says of the couch. “We didn’t want to pull attention from what’s on the walls.”

The lighting in the space follows Iwaniec’s principle of “very intentional decisions” when it comes to illumination. “Light brings the art to life and gives it dimensionality,” she says. “Sometimes a piece warrants a picture light above.” Such was the case with Ye’s painting, which is a favored work of the collector and can be seen from almost anywhere in the large, open space.

Holding pride of place in the owner’s home office is conceptual artist MEL BOCHNER’s Money (2007), which is joined by a JEFF KOONS balloon puppy and a BRENDAN MURPHY soldier doing yoga. The black glass chandelier is by HOLLY HUNT, the desk storage by USM and the Almora armchair by Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien for B&B ITALIA.

The collector installed Bochner’s Money (2007) in his office. The work, which incorporates several bright-green hues, proves itself the star of the otherwise neutral-colored room. The drippy, verdant words in the painting include “Gelt,” “Dough,” “Cash” and “Moolah.” It’s in keeping with the oeuvre of the 80-year-old American conceptual artist, who is known for his playful text works.

“It’s an easy piece to hang and live with,” says the collector. Going into the project, he told the designers that he wanted it hung over his desk.

“The room was designed around it,” says Iwaniec. The office’s furnishings include a striking black glass chandelier by HOLLY HUNT, a custom sofa in linen and a custom desk with USM storage below. If there’s a piece with almost as much flair as the painting, it’s the Almora armchair, designed by Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien for B&B ITALIA.

Christian Voigt’s Philae Temple (2010) — taken in Aswan, Egypt — all but fills a wall in the main suite, where a DDC bed nestles up against a suede-covered wall.

The main bedroom features a photograph by German lensman Christian Voigt, Philae Temple (2010). It holds pride of place on a 15-foot-long wall.

“I had all the dimensions of the walls with me when I was at an art fair with my daughter, and she said, ‘Daddy, I really love that photograph,’ ” the homeowner recalls. Voigt is acclaimed for his hyperreal images of architectural spaces — such as this one of a sacred space in Aswan, Egypt — and “the scale and vibrant color jumps out,” the homeowner adds. “It was the perfect piece, but a pain to get into the apartment.”

Iwaniec and her team added a bronze-and-smoked-glass chandelier and a hand-tufted wool-and-bamboo-silk carpet to complete the bedroom’s look.

Even the kids’ bedrooms are graced by colorful, pop-y figurines from KAWS’s “Companion” series and Koons’s whimsical balloon-themed collection. In one of the bedrooms, the pieces sit above a custom desk set against splattered-dot wallpaper and a blue carpet.

The children’s rooms also feature pieces from the owner’s art collection, including the works by KAWS and Koons that sit on shelves above a custom desk here.
KEITH HARING’s Untitled (1984) creates a focal point in the open family room and kitchen. A sheet of plexiglass covers the bottom of the painting to protect it from little fingers. “My kids know never to touch the art,” says the homeowner. “It’s more for when other kids are in the house.” A DDC SECTIONAL SOFA embraces a custom ottoman, and the barstools are from THOMAS HAYES STUDIO.

The cozy family room, open to the modern kitchen, is dominated by KEITH HARING’s Untitled (1984), a graphic, ebullient figurative painting in the late artist’s hieroglyphic street-art style. “That piece was the first big step up in collecting for me,” says the owner of the 2003 purchase. “I think Haring was undervalued compared to JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, and I’ve always loved the work.”

Given the presence of three young children, Pembrooke & Ives took protective action to preserve the piece — an important consideration for any collecting family. “We created a plexiglass enclosure for the bottom of it,” says Iwaniec.

Adds the collector, “My kids know never to touch the art. It’s more for when other kids are in the house.”

Written By  |  Ted Loos


The world in focus: David Yarrow's latest photo exhibit stars in Chicago

Majestic animals, the American West and supermodels are the highlights of a recent photography show at Chicago's Hilton|Asmus Contemporary, a gallery in Chicago.

The show “On the Road Again” stars the work of fine art photographer David Yarrow, a native of Scotland.

Yarrow’s extensive portfolio of work puts the spotlight on wildlife as well as other images of nature and humanity.

During a recent visit to Hilton | Asmus Contemporary, which is owned by Schererville resident Arica Hilton, Yarrow gave a presentation about his work to a small audience of socially distant art lovers as well as a Zoom audience from other locales. The show will be displayed through June.

Yarrow said he’s always been focused on “authenticity and originality” in what he does. His photos feature strong and dynamic images of wildlife that it’s hard to find in many other photo collections.

“I want to be the best at what I do,” said Yarrow, while speaking to the group. His “On the Road Again” display features more than 35 photos that were taken this year while he traveled through Montana, Texas and Wyoming as well as Africa and Iceland.

Many of the photos star models such as Cindy Crawford and Cara Delevingne as well as a stunning wolf-like dog breed called Tamaskan dogs.

The photo "Hostiles," by David Yarrow, features model Cindy Crawford.

While Yarrow is a photographer by profession, he’s also a conservationist and has used his art to raise money for various charities. He said it’s important for him to “work with purpose.”

Pictured is David Yarrow's "Chief."
The photo "Out of Towner" was taken by David Yarrow

Among photos starring in the “On The Road Again” show are “Hostiles,” featuring model Crawford; “Girl on the Train,” starring model Delevingne; and “Chief,” a photo of Chief John Spotted Tail of the Lakota tribe. Yarrow said the photo of the chief is one of his personal favorites. “This is exactly how he should be photographed,” Yarrow said about the photo which features the Chief in full Native dress atop a regal horse.

About the process of photographing, Yarrow said he’s persistent.

“I’m all about patience and never quitting. You must never quit,” he said. That attitude is especially helpful in photographing his various wildlife subjects. The photographer said he prefers using wide-angle lenses in his work and also photographs in black-and-white.

The current Yarrow show features photographs that the public hasn’t been exposed to before.

“These pictures haven’t been seen anywhere in the world yet. And some were taken three or four weeks ago,” Yarrow said adding that he was happy to debut them in Chicago.

“We love Chicago. That’s why we keep coming back,” he said.

Written By  |  Eloise Marie Valadez