Friday, November 18, 2022. Tribeca, New York — Less was more last Friday at the Spirit Showroom gallery, located in Tribeca, New York City’s leading art District for renowned and emerging Artists. The open floor layout held space for big names that came to support the “Art for Charity” event. All proceeds raised at the Art event are donated to the Mecca Shriners charity to provide first rate medical care and attention to children with Neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries, pediatric specialty care; to support cutting edge educational programs for their medical staff, extensive research for patient treatments and other special health care needs. Established in 1872 as the first Shrine Center in the United States, the Shriners organization supports 22 hospitals in 3 countries and acts as a health care system, under the name of Mecca Shriners Hospital, with locations across the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. Profits raised at the event
are applied to assist the medical teams that aim to improve the lives of children treated in their hospitals, facilities and practices.
The Art Charity event opened its doors and welcomed in its guests who quietly poured their way into the exhibition. Those in attendance included figures from the art and editorial world such as Founder and Creative Director for Afropolitain Magazine, Nsayi Keziah Makoundou; Hollywood Fashion Editor & stylist, Yana Mandeville; Founder of ERA en Vogue, Angelica Eranović, Actor, Derek Hedlund and many other icons of the New York City nightlife, social media and social scene influencers. Choice wines and spirits donated by Bodvar wines were available to indulge.
One of the most intriguing displays of the event was the opening presentation by famed Bronx-based artist, Kazza Noble. Attendees at the gallery engaged in his live, spontaneous and intuitively led oil paintings during its creation. Kazza began materializing his vision on a white canvas using variations of purple, violet and shades of lavender. He bled them together to fill the void of the canvas. The artist, while engaging with the curious eyed onlookers, began building on his inspiration, layering a gradient of colors and unfolding a sunrise between twin peaks, an image that took form before our eyes.
“You can bring them forward with brighter colors…” he spoke us through his process, all while answering questions from spectators, no matter how off-color or on target. He added white over the grays to form the presence of distant mountains; brown and burgundy for tree trunks and branches on the trees, “…two shades of greens,” he added, “…and put them anywhere you see fit.” At some point I was able to interact with the artist, at times second-guessing my next course of inspired action while I held the paintbrush. “Don’t be scared. There are no mistakes.” He motioned me to dip the tips of the brushes into any color. I chose pink, red and placed them on one of the trees. He said, “Nice… cherry blossoms.” The colors of my contribution now rest proudly on the buds of their branches, on a painting that was signed by yours truly, likely, other additional contributing artists, and of course, the legendary Kazza Noble.
In the showroom gallery, the walls were dressed with an array of acrylics and oils on canvas portrait paintings by emerging art world figures. For one, Alysha Mako, NYC based Painter, Gallerist and owner of AMRM Gallery (located in Upper East Side New York), offered many of her pieces in support of the event. Of her highlighted installments were Boat Ride, 2022, a 36 x 48 in oil on canvas piece illustrated a candid scene amongst friends on an open lake; Swimmer, 2019, a brisk and vivid Acrylic and oil, 51 x 82 in canvas installment by Alysha Mako; depicted the underwater perspective of a competitive relay swimmer, thrusting a breaststroke between lane lines at the deep end of a pool; and Bunny?! 2021, a remarkable abstract Acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in art piece whose colors are swept with strikingly bold brush strokes, distinctive in its styling from her other paintings that hung in plain view.
The creative fine art pieces of Cuban-American artist, Renelio Marlin, were also displayed to further enhance the space. The most striking of his portraits, Blue Gorilla, 2014, hung centered on the farthest wall from the entrance, eye-grabbing in its appearance across the showroom. A striking Blue Gorilla rests his chin on top of his closed knuckles (maybe examining his hands), leans into a side gaze. Its backdrop is smeared into what appears to be rinsing away of painted words with bright red paint, black and gold traced graffiti over hollowed figures with empty views. The unidentified, human audience appears as two ghostly hollow faces emerging to the right view of the art piece, with a few disfigured images clustered and drowning into the backdrop. A third face is depicted, emerging from behind the Blue Gorilla to its left, onlooking the Gorilla’s spectators.
Renelio’s paintings expressed a full range of his artistry, from artistic development to distinction in artistic style. Other pieces of his featured work included famed portraits from his collections; a 60 x 72 in oil on canvas, entitled, Basic Nature of Existence, 2021, is an adventurous kaleidoscope of colors that shadow the outline of a human figure in its blend of paints; it also expresses the silhouette of the human figure, peering off into a sea of life. Tree Of Life, 2020, an oil on canvas 81 x 52 in abstract portrait painting, length height, showing off detail, time and concentration in its composition. Notable patterns in the art piece were the protruding bulbs of orange and red orbs, spun together like a small strand of DNA in the top left corner; and the striking illuminated tower, the tree, piercing through the backdrop, midway point of the canvas.
Various paintings of bicycles were showcased by artist Juan Lazaro using Acrylic and pen on cardboard. The largest of the canvased cycles, hung on a 42 x 82 in display, the Super Tricycle, 2020, shows the tricycle etched with pen and accented with blue, red, white and yellow acrylic on a vibrant yellow backdrop, its simplicity balanced the visual complexities found in the complimentary pieces by the other artists on display.
Florent Firmin and Anthony Schembry, the organizers of the event, capped off the evening with a raffle to win a special edition sculpture made from world renowned French-Tunisian artist Idriss B. Idriss B’s 3-D NFT art inspired figurines were sprinkled across glass shelves alongside the bar side walls of the showroom. The composition of each figure’s build mimicked the way they would appear in the digital dimension with geometric space. In the middle of the show room, a silver gorilla, the 21st installment piece of the 50 Mini Mojo Art Collection, sat protected on display in an autographed neon green cubed casing for raffle bidding. Guests studied the piece with admiration, speaking of its seamless design, taking in the carefully crafted edges and celebrating its immaculate presentation on display.
The organizers of the event closed the evening with the raffle pulled by the stunning South Sudanese Australian and world famous super model Aweng Chuol. Aweng’s latest fashion campaign can currently be seen throughout billboards across all of New York City. The lucky Zach Van Ysseldyk became the winner of the raffle receiving the #21 on his prized ticket. Aweng presented the glee-filled recipient with the 21st installment of the Limited Edition pieces from The 50 Mini Mojo Art Collection by Idriss B. IdrissB’s works of larger than life animals are prominently featured up and down Park Ave in the heart of Manhattan, New York between 34th St and 38 St. The organizers of the event thanked all the guests for attending and informed them of future “Art for Charity” events to come.
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