Month: January, 2007

Goude times

Friday, January 12th, 2007 | All Things, Arts, Events

The Gen Art Collector’s Circle hosted a tour and reception at Hasted Hunt Gallery for the international gallery debut of Jean-Paul Goude’s solo exhibition, So Far So Goude, featuring photographs and drawings by the world-reknowned French photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, magazine art director and advertising film director. The exhibition is being produced in conjunction with the publication of Goude’s monograph So Far So Goude (Assouline 2005) which “chronicles his artistic journey not only as a photographer but also as major creative force in the US and Europe.” The Hasted Hunt exhibit opened on January 4 and runs through February 17, 2007.

MA was working at the gallery that night, keeping careful watch over the Gen Arters, who apparently have earned themselves a reputation for debauchery.

Goude has worked in drawing, poster design, photography, cinema, video, and event design since the 1960s. He is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Grace Jones on now-legendary works of performance and video art. Jones was Goude’s muse and his onetime wife; together they have a son, Apollo. His avant-garde artistry was instrumental in guiding Jones through a number of career transitions. One pair of improbably posed 1978 images — created around the time of their marriage — figured prominently at the exhibit entrance. The final, composite version (pictured at right, below) was used as the album cover of Jones’s album Island Life.

Jean-Paul Goude Exhibit

Goude’s theatrical staging and use of scale and color were evident in the pieces on display. Working with some of the world’s most beautiful women, and using only the most basic tools (an exacto blade, paste, and paint), Goude managed to create iconic images without the benefit of computers and PhotoShop. Other works on view that night included photos of boxers in training and some fairly sexually explicit (read: NSFW) illustrative storyboards and elaborately posed shots with callipygian models. I most admired the series of highly stylized fashion photographs, several featuring designers (John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, Azzedine Alaia, Jean-Paul Gaultier) with their muse-models (Linda Evangelista, Estella Warren, Farida Khelfa.)

Jean-Paul Goude Exhibit

Jean-Paul Goude Exhibit

Goude (center, in striped shirt) spoke of finding inspiration in the female form (prompting cries of “Hear, hear!” from the assembled), declaring himself a deep admirer of women — most of all, his wife, Korean-American former fashion editor Karen Park Goude, “The Queen of Seoul.”

Jean-Paul Goude

Goude has created several well-known campaigns for Perrier, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy and Chanel. He created the award-winning French Egoïste de Chanel commercial, which featured shrieking demoiselles bursting in and out of louvered doors as Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet boomed and swelled in the background. A couple of years later, he scored another coup for Chanel with Vanessa Paradis swinging in a birdcage to the tunes of “Stormy Weather” for Coco.

On the way home, a sign:

Never Enough

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Your vote counts

Thursday, January 11th, 2007 | All Things

After the 2000 Florida debacle, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), mandating voting process reform in all the states. HAVA establishes specific safeguards to ensure integrity in our elections: chief among them that all voters be able to verify their ballots before they are cast and counted.

The primary considerations for a voting system are accuracy, anonymity, scalability and speed of results. New York State has the dubious distinction of being the first state ever sued by the Department of Justice for its worst-in-the nation record of complying with HAVA. Under HAVA, New York was required to phase out our nearly 20,000 mechanical lever machines and replace them with new technology accessible to people with disabilities in time for the 2006 elections. By March 2006, the state was so delayed in the conversion process that compliance would have been logistically impossible: there simply wasn’t time before the primaries to evaluate options and purchase new voting machines to replace the existing 1960’s models, then to train tens of thousands of election workers, and to educate political parties and the general public in using a new system. On April 10, New York State formally submitted its “Plan B” solution to the Court, through which a small number of ballot marking devices would be centrally located in each of New York’s 62 counties for use by disabled voters. The submission proposed delaying full replacement of the non HAVA-compliant machines until September 2007. After some negotiations on the details of the plan, the DOJ approved New York’s proposal, as the most realistic solution under the circumstances. On June 2, 2006 the Court signed a remedial order, effectively bringing the case to a close.

After over 40 years of service, 2006 was the last year lever machines were used. Public demonstrations of the proposed new voting machines, ranging in cost between $5,000 and $9,000 each, were held around town this month. The new systems have new features to enrich and facilitate the voting experience, e.g., alerting voters to races where they failed to vote, presenting ballots in multiple languages and allowing visually impaired voters to hear their ballot options.

The systems under consideration fall into two general categories. Some states have chosen optical scan systems, where voters fill out paper ballots to be read and tallied by scanners. While optical scan systems have the advantage of low cost and ease of use, critics point out the inherent inaccessibility for the visually impaired, and the fallibility of the scanning system — it’s similar to the one that resulted in widespread scoring errors on last year’s SAT’s, with discrepancies of up to 450 points out of a potential 2,400. Touch-screen machines exhibit what is known as a full-face ballot, displaying the entire ballot to the voter at once. To comply with HAVA’s requirement for a “permanent paper record with a manual audit capacity,” voters will be able to see their votes printed out on paper encased by a small glass window.

This month, the companies seeking state certification for their machines held demonstrations and participated in a public hearing on the new systems. Each of the four vendors — Avante International Technology, Election Systems & Software, Diebold Incorporated and Sequoia Voting Systems — gave a formal half-hour presentation to the public (followed by a question and answer period), and made their machines available for public trial.

Voting Machine Demo





On Tuesday, January 23 at 4PM, the New York City Board of Elections will hold an open public hearing on the proposed voting systems.

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Bebop and BiBimBop

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Friends, Music

Wednesday night at the Samsung Experience. The expansive blue-lit space, located on the third floor of the Time Warner Center, is designed exclusively as a showcase for Samsung technology. None of the products are actually available for purchase, so it is decidedly not a store — more like a 10,000 square foot interactive commercial for the brand. Interesting concept. Different areas on the floor offer users the opportunity to test out Samsung products in varied settings, e.g., bedroom, office, lounge. Staff is available to answer questions or provide demonstrations of the cool products, some of which are not even (or not yet) available in the United States.

I’ve always been fascinated by the horizontal maps of Manhattan installed just outside of the Samsung Experience, where users can navigate the island by neighborhood, interfacing with the broad screens via hand gestures, Minority Report-style.

I’ll have to come back to explore this gadget geek’s paradise in greater depth, but tonight I was there for the jazz series concert sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center. The evening included light bites and cocktails, and a brief lecture on the evolution of Bebop by jazz historian (and Swing University professor) Phil Schaap.

Samsung Experience

Performing tonight: JALC Orchestra alto saxophonist Sherman Irby and his trio. I was impressed by their prodigious renditions of “I’m in the Mood for Love” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia” — those were the two pieces I recognized, anyway.

Sherman Irby Trio

As the show was wrapping up, I slipped out to meet SC, JG, A and D for an impromptu late dinner in Koreatown. Furthering our goal to eat our way across the 32nd Street restaurants to determine K-town supremacy, we met at perennially popular Kunjip, which translates to “big house” in Korean. (Actually, though, it’s one of the smaller, less obtrusive restaurants on the neon-lit row.) The complimentary panchan (small side dishes) included the usual array of kimchi, pickled radishes and vegetables, dried anchovies and tofu, plus a steamed egg dish that was served piping hot in a porcelain bowl, like a soft and salty custard, topped with slivers of scallion. It was the first time I’d been served this particular dish in a Korean restaurant, although Chinese jing don and Japanese chawanmushi compare very similarly. SC and I spied a couple of interesting-looking dishes on other diners’ tables, but for the most part our group stuck to the basics — kimchi pajun, soon dubu, jap chae, bibimbop, ssam… carefully steering (mostly) clear of pork and seafood per our new friends’ requests.

Kunjip’s jap chae may be my favorite so far, but I still prefer the soon dubu at Seoul Garden.


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