Category Archives: art

Gleaning inspiration

Yesterday, my talented artist friend, Adrienne invited me to a preview of The Costume Institute’s spring 2017 –  Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo’s exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through September 4th.  The two of us were reeling with excitement and ideas and decided to collaborate on some of my future photoshoots.

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 6.00.27 AM

I showed her images of some of the hats that two talented designers, Helen of Helena Rose  and Fatima Goldntima created for me and the ideas flowed.  I can’t wait to create some magic with her.



If you get a chance and you love fashion, you should get over to the museum.  There’s an Irving Penn exhibit through July 30th and Age of Empires – Chinese Art of the Qin & Han Dynasties (221 BC – AD 220) which runs through July 16.  And the admission fee is just a suggested donation, give what you please.

I can’t wait to continue shooting my underwater fashion project with some of the creative concepts that are swirling in my head.


Leave a comment

Filed under art, photography

This weekend in the big apple

The 40th Annual 9th Avenue International Food Festival coincides with the 5th Annual Artists in the Kitchen Studio and Art Tour.

Join in on all the fun and festivities, not to mention getting a look at some of Hell’s Kitchen’s finest artists and chowing down on the international cuisines.

A few of my pieces are being exhibited at Basmati Restaurant  – 764 Ninth Avenue (btw. 51st and 52nd St) Choosing images to suit a venue can be difficult but I decided on hanging images from my objects of interest body or work.   I’ve captured the images on walks.  Little things that capture my eye and become somewhat of an abstract view of things most people would not stop to explore.  I love rusty objects… there’s a beauty in an object that is long past it prime.   Maybe it’s my love of antiquity that beckons me, or that fact that in this countries culture, we don’t always value that which is old.  I also like the way the elements alter things, the curls of peeling paint; the new patina that coats metal.   With people, the wrinkles don’t diminish the laughter in the eyes, or the opposite where hardship, pain and sorrow come to light.  Showing it’s age, function, strength and fragility simultaneously draws me in.

rust and blue

© Mary Durante Youtt

Jene Youtt’s photography will be exhibiting at Braai, a South African Restaurant and wine bar (329 West 51st St – btw 8th and 9th Avenues).  Stop in for their Social Lunch specials  $12.95.

Enjoy your weekend –  wander the streets of NYC.


Leave a comment

Filed under art, photography

2 Artists in the Kitchen – Hells Kitchen that is

The 5th Annual Artist in the Kitchen Studio & Art Tour takes place throughout Hells Kitchen – May 17-19th.  Hubby, Jene Youtt has been participating for a few years and this is my first time.  The self-guided walking tour takes you to studios, galleries, local restaurants and venues from West 34th Street to West 60th Street, between Seventh and Tenth Avenues.

A few of my photography images are being exhibited at Basmati Restaurant  764 Ninth Avenue (btw. 51st and 52nd St)  When I previewed the facility, the owner greeted me with a warm smile and was pleased with my selection of images from my “objects of interest” body of works.  The dynamic colors compliment the spice colored walls.  Check out the restaurant, have a bite to eat and take a look around and by all means, feel free to purchase a 20×24″ framed print.  The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner serving Indian Cuisine.  Basmati is fairly new to the block although they have another place a few blocks up called Aaheli.

I can’t remember the last time I had Indian cuisine, but while we were hanging my prints, a lunch time customer was complimenting the chef on the soup.  Just the right blend of curry and spices.   Good to know.

Jene has several of his prints exhibiting at Braai – 329 West 51st St (btw 8th & 9th Ave.).  The South-African Cuisine and Wine bar is open at 11:00am Tuesday through Sunday.  The manager loves the work that Jene is exhibiting and thinks it adds much needed splashes of color to the white painted brick walls.  In the past, I had noted that the decor was similar to Xai Xai on the same street just a number of doors closer to 9th Ave.  I came to learn it’s their sister South African winebar.  No wonder they had the same parchment paper wrapped pillar candles on the table.  Both places have always piqued my interest as I rushed past with a bag of groceries, now we will have to try them out for ourselves.

With the art pieces hung, one would think all we have to do is sit back and wait for the weekend of May 17-19th but there’s this blog to write and brochures to print.  I put on my design hat and made a single fold brochure of my work and a Z-fold for Jene.  I enjoy designing and manage pretty well with the knowledge I gleaned from designers that I worked with (watching over their shoulders as they tweaked and finessed their creations into perfection.  Okay, maybe my designs are far from perfect but they suit the need and I work for free. (for us).

Picture 6 Picture 8

Anyway, it keeps me out of trouble and away from the shopping malls.

Mark you calendars, take a stroll around the diverse neighborhood of Hells Kitchen, grab a bite to eat and maybe, just maybe you will find that perfect piece of art to decorate your place.  Support art – and small businesses.   Buying art says so much about yourself as well as the artist not to mention it can brighten up a room.  Makes wonderful gifts too.

Take a look at more of my images on my site:    All are reasonably priced and available in various sizes.

Leave a comment

Filed under art, Jene Youtt, photography

Dance, dance, dance

Wednesday night Jene and I went to BAM – Peter Jay Sharp Building,  Howard Gilman Opera House



Trisha Brown Dance Company Jan 30 – Feb 2.  Modern dance is so much about movement and Brown’s choreography is all about that.  Dance void of music pinpoints your focus totally on the dancers and Trisha makes good use of this genre.  But it wasn’t all soundless.  The first of this ecletic repetory. “Les Yeux et l’ame reminded me of  “minuet meets modern”.  The lively classic music was playful and the performers were in continuous contact with their partners – bending, twisting, extending limbs.  The point of contact made me think of the balancing point of a see-saw using each other.

I am not dance critic, just an appreciator of the arts,  Jene spent his early career years in theater, working and learning from some very talented lighting designers, so dance and dancers have held a special place in his heart and art.  His lighting background is apparent in his photography.  And we follow the careers of some of  his past dance models and companies.  We catch Limon Company performances when they come to town and he gets to chat afterward with Carla Maxwell and some of the dancers he lit in days gone by.

Today –  at noon  New Dance Exploration, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch will be performing at the 92nd Street Y and it’s FREE.  Carrie was part of a dance company that Jene photographed years ago and one of my favorite images came from that rehearsal.

Juan Michael Porter II is another one of his dance models that we follow.  Juan Michael will be performing Feb 12th.  This premier of his new piece “Tales of KojikiL Redux” at Dixon Place.  We always try to support the arts and the artists.  Tickets are $12 on line and $15 at the door ($10 seniors and students)

Dixon Place – 161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey.

© Jene Youtt Photography

© Jene Youtt Photography

Leave a comment

Filed under art, Juan Michael Porter, performing artists, photography

A must see exhibit at MoMa thru Monday 1/21

Yesterday Jene & I spent nearly an hour watching the slow, dramatic movements of Eiko and Koma’s Caravan Project at MoMa.   The strength and endurance of these performers are amazing.  The performance runs all day (see museum hours) in the Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, first floor.

Picture 26

Eiko and Koma have been performing together since 1972 and Jene happened upon them a number of years ago I think at City Center.  So when he spotted the advertisement in the NY Times for MoMa, we jumped at the chance.  Their choreography is similar to Japanese butoh and Kazuo Ohno was where they drew some of their inspiration from.

My first impression was that of an aging decaying process which then lead me to feel it was also about birth.  Like any art form, each viewer draws something different from the experience.

1 Comment

Filed under art, dance performances

Life – interrupted by hurricane Sandy

Hoboken’s open studio and art tour was postponed due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.  The original date was November 4th.   Hoboken like many places along the beaches and rivers had tides rushing into basements and first floor homes and businesses and the clean-up will going on for a long, long time.  Sandy’s wrath left a lot to be desired and getting a city back to normal is something each town is working on as best as they can.  Come out and support the people who make city living more about communities then corporations.  Stroll through Hoboken, stopping into various galleries and studios and see how art humanizes the concrete and steel.  To me art has always been about expression, it speaks volumes sometimes without words, it connects the viewer and the artist and touches each individual differently because we all view the world through different eyes.

Jene and I will be exhibiting our photography at the Monroe Center – 720 Monroe Street, Hoboken. NJ  (free parking in the rear of the building) this Sunday November 18th – noon – 6 pm.  Come join us and celebrate Hoboken, it’s art and community while the city rebuilds itself again.    Mingle with NJ/NY Metro artists and art lovers. 

Leave a comment

Filed under art, art objects, fine art nudes

Culture overload… museum hopping in 3 days and a dance performance tonight

I love art as much as the next person and NY certainly has plenty to see and do as far as being a cultural center of the world.  Like a tourist who only has a limited time in the big apple, you try to squeeze everything in.  That pretty much has been our week.

Monday and WednesdayMoMA.  Jene was interested in seeing the Quay Brothers exhibit and heeded the advice of a fellow photographer, we spent 2 days walking through their exhibit.  With so many videos to watch, we sat in many make shift “theaters” viewing their first animation films, commercials, and my all time favorite dance series.    We try not to whiz through as if on conveyor belts, stopping to read the excerpts of each work.  The Quay brothers work reminds me of Tim Burton’s exhibit in some ways.  The raw technique of the first works giving way to more funding and equipment to enter into more finished almost refined fantasy realm.    The Polish graphic design element certainly influenced the brothers and was evident in this retrospective.

It’s so nice when twins can play well together – collaborate their minds and efforts over a sustained period of time.  Mixing so many mediums together and exposing the different facades of their imaginations.  I guess this is what happens when you don’t put restraints on your creativity.   I wish I knew how to free myself like that (other than tripping on hallucinogenic drugs).  How to start with one idea and build upon it until it spills into another.  Creating and overlapping, weaving, jutting outward, twisting and spiraling and coming up for air to see where your movements have taken you.  Sometimes I feel that I need to close my eyes and open my mind.  To lock myself away with no outside distractions coming into play, just letting go to wander inside myself, not afraid of where it might take me…

Then the phone rings and I am forced back into my reality.  What I marvel the most about what I consider art innovators, is that they are self absorbed (not in a bad way), in their quest to create and almost all else seldom is center stage.  I’m a dabbler in the arts, playing upon the fringes as my life has always revolved around my family and obligations.  That’s okay, I may never be famous or hang in museums but my work does get some recognition and is purchased by a number of art collectors and I’m fine with that.  For my art is not so much a statement, I am not trying to change the world, just share a little of its beauty with others.  It does show how I perceive the world.

Tuesday – MMA :  Jene and I spent the day with a woman we had met at Jene’s solo photo exhibit in Kyoto, Japan.  She was a student at the time and now was in the US for a eco-conference in Ohio and decided to spend some time in NYC.  We took her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and wandered through the Faking It – Manipulated Photography before Photoshop exhibit (runs through 1/27/13) and Regarding Warhol – Sixty Artists, Fifty Years. (runs through 12/31).  I worked in advertising – print production most of my adult life and was always in awe of the photo composite artists – the manipulation and techniques were not foreign to me.  My career spanned the 20th and 21st centuries and I became aware early on for the need of digital manipulation.  At first the craft was left in the hands of technicians but soon artisans learned how to work with a new tool –  computers and the creations became flawless and artistic once again.  Me, I’ve not mastered photoshop in any way, shape or form and would love to manipulate some of my images into the visions that dance around my mind.  Oh well.  It was an interesting exhibit, none-the-less with in-depth explanations of what was done to create the finished photos.

Friday:  – Ailey TheaterYup tonight we are hoping to get tickets for a performance at the Alvin Ailey Theater.  One of Jene’s former dance models Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, (a former Martha Graham dancer), is now with 360° Dance Company in their 5th Anniversary Season performing at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Joan Well Center for Dance this weekend.

4 out of 5 days spent surrounded by art, some may call it overload, others call it bliss.  Hopefully tonight’s performance is not sold out.

Mary Durante-Youtt

Leave a comment

Filed under art, dance performances