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
Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…