Monday, November 24, 2008

Zoe Strauss AMERICA Extravaganza!

Amy Elkins & Ruben Natal-San Miguel

Susan Meiselas and Zoe Strauss

Mike Hoeh and Zoe Strauss

Photographer and Party Boy Will Steacy

Zoe 'La Divina' Strauss opening was a total success!

It has been quite a while since I felt such energy in an art opening. I was there from 6PM-10:30PM and it was still going!


I can tell you why.

The show had an incredible setting. Zoe put a tremendous amount of detail and managed to made us all feel right at home.The theme of the show AMERICA: We love having you here was expressed with red, white and blue in such sophisticated manner. From the furniture props (brilliant!) to the way the artwork blended in with the wall and then in some instances, the wall also becoming also an artwork installation as well, the space felt right at home. The minute that you enter the space to the end of the room where a slide show presentation was in full motion, the intimacy, candor, hope and joy resonated through the entire gallery space.

Zoe knows how to carry a theme and she put an such an extreme contentious effort in doing so. Coming from seeing other shows earlier that evening it was such a difference from cold, impersonal and stark environments was left behind the minute you enter Silverstein Gallery. I takes a girl from Philadelphia to bring energy to the gallery scene in NYC. There is a lot to learn from this experience and I hope the other gallery owners, show curators and artists are taking cues from what this show embodies and achieves.

Kudos to Bruce Sliverstein and Elizabeth Shank for allowing Zoe to complete her show vision.It felt like a celebration of Democracy.Like Zoe's body of work, people from all walks of life gathered together to celebrate the CHANGE that Zoe's AMERICA is bringing to the Chelsea Gallery District the same way we had chosen CHANGE for a New AMERICA a few weeks ago on election day.

The photographs are amazing, hanging mostly in a Salon Style manner, they provide a continuous and flowing journey through the walls.It is hard to carry an Americana theme without going corny or rather cheesy but, this shows manages to have an understated elegance and sophistication.I was very impressed how Zoe mastered such task.

From the pretzels , to the Brooklyn Lager, to the Star banners no detail was missed and Oh ...lets not forget her new book AMERICA. Every other person in the room had a book in hand and it sold out except for the display at the window. If you don't have this book YOU MUST BUY IT!!!

As I left and jumped into the subway ride home, I devoured the book, feeling a sense of forgiveness , redemption and HOPE.

My new AMERICA book is on my living room coffee table( perfectly matching my Americana theme living room decor) that way, I can see it as leave or enter my apt just by seeing the book cover everyday I will never lose HOPE again.

My surprise to Zoe was to bring Magnum Photojournalist Susan Meiselas to the show. Zoe is a big fan of her work and since I was collaborating on a project with Susan earlier, a meeting of two photojournalists took place. Susan bought Zoe's book and loved the show!

Zoe thank you for the book, for what your work means to all us and for being a friend. We love having you here!

To all of you in New York and planning to visit the city during the holiday season. Do not miss this show!

There is also a lot of strong and great museum quality shows happening right now.

Please enjoy the opening event photos!


Anonymous said...

I missed Zoe's opening party, but won't miss the show. Great blog Ruben.

Mike @ MAO said...

Zoe Rocks!

Great Post Ruben..

This is one of the strongest shows in Chelsea today. Don't miss it!

Nice pictures Ruben.. but who's that old man in the baseball cap with Zoe?? Yikes!

ruben said...

There is a name now on the photo. Do you know who he is?
Its a great photo!

Laura said...

Great opening. Zoe really knows how to put on a show! SO happy that I bought the book. If I had a coffee table, it'd be on it.

Anonymous said...

I'm going right now!

And thanks for the post bvelow too!