Rotella Gallery opens in SoHo featuring Art Wolfe

This is Art Wolfe's "Human Canvas: Clay Study #1," now showing at the newly opened Rotella Gallery. Credit: Provided
This is Art Wolfe’s “Human Canvas: Clay Study #1,” now showing at the newly opened Rotella Gallery.
Credit: Provided

If you’ve seen Woody Allen’s “Manhattan,” you may remember the art gallery scene when Allen meets Diane Keaton for the first time. The two share quips on personal art preferences, with Allen preferring black-and-white street photography, with Keaton deriding his simpleton taste. This scene is a satire of art world elitism, but it’s a false preconception. Gallery openings are a fun, free social activity offering a rendezvous with friends to drink wine, eat snacks, chit-chat, make brunch plans and sometimes, but not necessarily, talk about art.

Oct. 16 marked the grand opening of Robert Rotella’s second gallery, with his flagship location in Las Vegas. This 468 W. Broadway venue makes itself at home in SoHo’s posh neighborhood by embracing the quality design and chic ambiance of nearby boutiques and cocktail bars. The 7,000-square-foot gallery is two levels, with a central spiral staircase leading to a polished basement floor. Warm accents adorn the interior, which includes wooden floors, intimate buyers quarters with plush suede loveseats and oak columns restored from the space’s origins as a stable.

Replete with a VIP guest list, paparazzi, swag bags and security with high-tech gadgets, the event included catered delicatessens and bite-sized snacks like shrimp cocktail and frittata and a full open bar complete with two signature cocktails, each named after each exhibiting artist.

Robert Rotella and Art Wolfe photographs are currently on view. Both photographers’ aim is to transfigure nature, similar to the likes of Ansel Adams. Rotella’s artistic project is observing and then documenting landscapes. He targets micro photographs of overly saturated flowers and expansive panoramas. Wolfe comes from a photojournalist style through his documentation of ecological subjects. As I spoke with him, Wolfe explained his art as a way to “show commonality of all humans” and present mankind’s “resilience of spirit.” His current series, “Human Canvas,” diverges from his previous style by embracing a larger artistic license. Wolfe’s process involves painting nude models, dictating staged tableaus and then photographing the outcome. The result is a theatrical trompe l’oeil that abstracts bodies in a playful design.

The art on view is decorative and will easily adorn an apartment’s foyer. The priority lies in the aesthetic appeal, though one may lose interest over the repetition of trompe l’oeil designs and photographs of flowers.

Rotella and Wolfe will not be exhibiting alongside art market darling Jean-Michel Basquiat anytime soon (Jay-Z raps about his Basquiat in his song “Picasso Baby,” if that is an indication of his celebrated status). But, this does not detract from their mastery of the photographic medium. There is really only one difference between an Art Star exhibition like Jeff Koons and the artists Rotella and Wolfe; Koons asks questions and discusses socio-political-economic factors; Rotella Gallery’s patrons don’t care to talk about politics because they are busy gossiping about each other.

Rotella Gallery will suit those who enjoy the theatrical drama of portrait photography, such as editorial fashion spreads of famed photographers Anne Leibovitz or Irving Penn. If Rotella Gallery has another event, have your people call their people, because if you can get on this VIP list, the gallery will make it worth your time.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

National

Missouri man charged with sexually torturing five women

A Missouri man has been charged with raping and torturing five women in a St. Louis-area apartment over several years, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Report: NYPD disbands controversial Muslim surveillance program

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the police unit behind NYPD's Muslim surveillance program was disbanded.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.