Frist Art Museum Presents First Solo Museum Exhibition of Iranian American Artist Afruz Amighi

The Presence of Your Absence Is Everywhere—June 22–September 16, 2018

The Frist Art Museum presents critically acclaimed Iranian American artist Afruz Amighi’s first monographic museum exhibition, The Presence of Your Absence Is Everywhere, on view in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery from June 22 through September 16, 2018. Celebrated for her lyrical transformation of inexpensive materials into ethereal installations and sculptures, Amighi uses light and dark to wondrous effect.

Over the past two years, Amighi has changed the emphasis of her work significantly,” says Frist Art Museum Curator Trinita Kennedy. “She now recognizes an urgent need to address the current political moment in the United States, the place where she lives and her home since she was a small child. To express this desire to be more present in the here and now, she has begun making work that is figural.Frist-Art-Museum

Organized by the Frist Art Museum, the exhibition features Amighi’s work from 2014 to today, a period of intense and prolific output in which the artist has relentlessly pushed herself in new directions. One sculpture and two drawings are being made especially for the exhibition, while two existing installations have never been shown in the United States.

Born in Tehran in 1974, the child of a Jewish American mother and a Zoroastrian Iranian father, Amighi has lived in New York since the age of three. She studied political science at Barnard College before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree at New York University in 2007. In 2009, she received the Jameel Prize, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s prestigious international award for contemporary art and design inspired by the Islamic tradition. Her work is in the permanent collection of major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library and Museum, and has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and in many group shows, such as Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians—The Mohammed Afkhami Collection at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, in 2017.

Now living and working in Brooklyn, Amighi typically uses industrial materials found in her own urban environment. In her architectural sculptures, Amighi dramatically illuminates steel, fiberglass mesh, and chains to create intrigue, explore dualities, and mimic the effect of more decadent luxury objects. By borrowing elegant, radiant forms from sacred architecture, she induces feelings of wonder often missing from our predominantly secular world. The exhibition includes Nameless (2014), an installation inspired by medieval Spanish mosques repurposed as churches during the Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula, and My House, My Tomb (2015), a diptych which explores myths about India’s majestic Taj Mahal.

While growing up in New York, Amighi watched from afar as the Islamic Revolution (1978–79) and the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) transformed her birthplace. For much of her artistic career, she has focused on her absence from Iran at a critical time in its history. Since 2016, however, American historical and contemporary sources have played a far more meaningful role in her thinking.

For her 2017 series No More Disguise, Amighi designed headdresses for a procession of characters, with each one rendered in both a steel sculpture and a graphite drawing plotted on graph paper with precision. Four of the drawings, including Fool’s Headdress, are presented in this exhibition.

The three new works on view include the ambitious sculpture We Wear Chains, which examines the current state of feminism. Four lithe women bear the features of both angels and demons, humans and animals. Bound together with chains—a form of adornment as well as bondage—the women struggle to find a way to advance together.

Inspired by a passage in a letter written by the American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, Amighi selected the exhibition title The Presence of Your Absence Is Everywhere because it eloquently captures the shift in her purview since 2016. Continue reading

Stoli® Vodka Launches Harvey Milk Limited Edition Bottle to Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Harvey Milk

The Harvey Milk Foundation inspires individuals, communities, and organizations to carry on Harvey’s values in a timeless vision for a better, more inclusive world.

Stoli® Vodka, the original premium vodka with uncompromising quality since 1938 (and one of the first multi-national companies in the past four decades to embrace and celebrate the LBGTQ community), announced today the launch of the Stoli® Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle. Designed to celebrate the life and legacy of Harvey Milk, the Stoli Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle continues Stoli®’s long-time history supporting the LGBTQ community and commemorates the 40th anniversary of Milk taking office in 1978 as the first openly gay elected official in California. Each bottle is individually

Harvey_Milk_Bottle

Today, Stoli Vodka introduced the Stoli Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle, as a part of the brand’s Raising the Bar program, which supports LGBTQ partner organizations, including the Harvey Milk Foundation. (Photo: Business Wire)

numbered and the bottle’s label was inspired by a mural by Paraguayan artist Oz Montania featuring the famed Milk quote, “Hope will never be silent.” The initiative will help raise funds for the Harvey Milk Foundation.

Stoli has unveiled the limited-edition bottle on May 22, also known as Harvey Milk Day, with a kick-off event at San Francisco’s The Café, where Montania unveiled a new Harvey Milk mural inspired by his original mural at an LGBT community center in Paraguay. The event featured remarks by Global LGBTQ rights campaigner Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk’s nephew and the co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, who spoke about the impact his uncle has had on equality and freedom across the globe.

The Harvey Milk Foundation is a global non-profit NGO that utilizes Harvey Milk’s inspiring story and legacy to be a catalyst for human rights education and LGBT outreach across five continents. In 1977, Harvey Milk (1930-1978) became the first openly LGBT elected official to a major office in the United States. He was assassinated in San Francisco’s City Hall 11 months later. The volunteer-run foundation was founded in 2009 by Harvey’s nephew, Stuart Milk, and Anne Kronenberg, Harvey’s campaign manager. For nearly 10 years, the Harvey Milk Foundation has provided on-the-ground support and award-winning programming to struggling and emerging LGBT communities on 5 continents with long-term partnerships in over 30 nations.

Stoli has worked with the Harvey Milk Foundation for years and is donating to the nonprofit to support its award-winning work towards global equality and acceptance. Proudly produced and bottled at the historic Latvijas Balzams, the donations from the Stoli Vodka Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle will help support Harvey Milk Foundation’s LGBTQ programming in Eastern Europe and the Baltic nations.

The limited edition bottle is a part of Stoli’s “Raising the Bar” program, the brand platform dedicated to the LGBTQ equality movement. “Raising the Bar” celebrates individuals and organizations central to advancing diversity and originality within the LGBTQ community and reinforces Stoli’s recently launched “Loud and Clear” global advertising campaign, created to encourage people to find what drives them and celebrate their bold and authentic selves.

We are excited to take our partnership with Stoli to a higher level this year as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of my uncle’s historic 11 months of public service,” said Stuart Milk. “The Stoli Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle recognizes our history and commemorates who helped lead us forward towards visibility, a visibility that will be enhanced by this wonderful tribute from a creative and passionate brand.”

Stoli has a long-time history of championing the LGBTQ community and giving back through a variety of philanthropic initiatives,” said Stoli LGBT National Brand Ambassador, Patrik Gallineaux. “We couldn’t be more excited to continue our partnership with the Harvey Milk Foundation and honor one of the most important activists in the community.”

The Stoli Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle is 80 proof, or 40% alcohol by volume (ABV), and a suggested retail price of $19.99 for 750mL.

To learn how you can join Stoli in supporting global equality and acceptance, please visit Milkfoundation.org and HeroesRaisingTheBar.com. For more information, visit www.stoli.com or follow Stoli on Instagram @Stoli, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stoli and on Twitter @Stoli.

The Whitney To Present Eckhaus Latta: Possessed

This summer, The Whitney Museum of American Art will present the first museum solo exhibition of Eckhaus Latta, the New York-and Los Angeles-based fashion label, founded in 2011 by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta. Eckhaus Latta: Possessed highlights the work of this compelling young design team who belong to a new generation of designers operating at the intersection of fashion and contemporary art.

Untitled (Preparatory drawing for Possessed), 2018. Colored pencil on paper. Image courtesy the artists

Untitled (Preparatory drawing for Possessed), 2018. Colored pencil on paper. Image courtesy the artists

Eckhaus Latta’s fashion designs—for which they are currently finalists for the 2018 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers—explore, in part, identity and reflect the fluid nature of gender and sexuality. While they fully participate in the fashion system, Latta and Eckhaus remain self-aware of their roles in a consumer society. Their recognizable designs have featured experimental knitwear; a wide range of materials including lace, rust, and recycled fabrics; and a general approach that supersedes gender binaries. At times, models are sent down the runway wearing clothes that challenge traditional definitions of male and female. Vanessa Friedman, fashion director and chief fashion critic at the New York Times, wrote that their clothes “are a kind of petri dish of associative splicing,” and that they “grapple honestly with what is on the designers’ minds: questions of gender and difference and the details of fallible beauty…

This will be the first exhibition related to fashion at the Museum in twenty-one years, since The Warhol Look: Glamour, Style, Fashion (1997).

Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is organized by Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator, and Lauri London Freedman, head of product development.

The exhibition, part of the Museum’s emerging artist series, will be on view in the first-floor John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation Gallery from August 3 through October 8, 2018. Access to the gallery is free of charge.

Mike Eckhaus (b. 1987, New York, NY) and Zoe Latta (b. 1987, Santa Cruz, CA) met as students at the Rhode Island School of Design while studying sculpture and textiles, respectively. They are known for using unexpected materials, emphasizing texture and tactility in their designs, and for incorporating writing, performance, and video into their practice. Through their emphasis on collaboration—with artists, musicians, and others—and an approach that plays with, and against, industry conventions, Eckhaus Latta addresses the crosscurrents of desire, consumption, and social relations. Their work has been featured in Greater New York 2015 at MoMA PS1 and Made in L.A. (2016) at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

As part of the Whitney’s emerging artist program, we sometimes showcase creative figures outside of the visual arts,” said Lew. “These figures from fields such as fashion, music, architecture, design, and food approach their disciplines in ways that are akin to visual artists, often questioning the systems and parameters that define what they do, speaking to the broader cultural moment, and blurring the boundaries between disciplines.”

Working with Mike and Zoe has challenged us to consider the roles that our Museum spaces play and the objects that are presented. They pushed us to ask broader questions such as ‘How can we reexamine the format of an exhibition?’ and ‘What is the best way to exhibit an artist’s work?’ said Freedman.

For their Whitney exhibition, Eckhaus Latta will create a new three-part installation that embraces and brings into conversation various aspects of the fashion industry, from advertising and the consumer experience to voyeurism. At the entrance to the gallery will be a sequence of photographs that play on the tropes of iconic photoshoots found in fashion advertisements and magazines. These photographs explore how Eckhaus Latta’s unique aesthetic functions in relation to the highly polished look of the industry’s media. The core of their installation will be an operational retail environment in which visitors are welcome to touch, try on, and purchase clothing and accessories designed specifically for the show. This space is made in collaboration with more than a dozen artists whom Eckhaus Latta has been in dialogue with over the years who have created functional elements such as clothing racks, display shelves, and a dressing room. The exhibition concludes with a darkened room, evocative of a security office, which features a bank of screens depicting surveillance footage. Visitors will have a voyeuristic view of not only the rest of the installation but a glimpse of the tracking and surveillance that so often accompanies the experience of shopping.

The featured collaborators are Susan Cianciolo (b. 1969, Providence, RI; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Lauren Davis Fisher (b. 1984, Cambridge, MA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Avena Venus Gallagher (b. 1973, Seattle, WA; lives and works in New York, NY), Jeffrey Joyal (b. 1988, Boston, MA; lives and works in New York, NY), Alexa Karolinski (b. 1984, Berlin, Germany; lives and works in Los Angeles), Valerie Keane (b. 1989, Passaic, NJ; lives and works in New York, NY), Jay Latta (b. 1951, Santa Cruz, CA; lives in works in Santa Cruz, CA), Matthew Lutz-Kinoy (b. 1984, New York, NY; lives and works between Los Angeles, CA and Paris, France), Annabeth Marks (b.1986, Rochester, NY; lives and works in New York, NY), Riley O’Neill (b. 1992, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Emma T. Price (b. 1987, Santa Cruz, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Jessi Reaves (b. 1986, Portland, OR; lives and works in New York, NY), Erica Sarlo (b. 1988, Briarcliff Manor, NY; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Nora Jane Slade (b. 1986, Washington, D.C.; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Sophie Stone (b. 1987, Boston, MA; lives and works in New York, NY), Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Los Angeles, CA), Torey Thornton (b. 1990, Macon, GA; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY), Charlotte Wales (b. 1986, Farnborough, UK; lives and works in London, UK), Eric Wrenn (b. 1985, Southfield, MI; lives and works in New York, NY), and Amy Yao (b. 1977, Los Angeles, CA; lives and works in Long Beach, CA and New York, NY).

Major support for Eckhaus Latta: Possessed is provided by the John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation. Additional support is provided by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 6 pm; Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesday. Adults: $25. Full-time students and visitors 65 & over: $18. Visitors 18 years & under and Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 7–10 pm. For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit whitney.org.

Macy’s Celebrates Pride + Joy With the LGBTQ Community During June’s Pride Month

Macy’s honors National Pride Month through participation in Pride parades nationwide, special in-store events, exclusive merchandise and more

This June, Macy’s celebrates National LGBTQ Pride Month with its customers, colleagues and local communities via in-store events, local Pride parade celebrations, organization sponsorships and special merchandise available at Macy’s stores nationwide and on macys.com. Pride + Joy, the company’s annual LGBTQ campaign, continues to highlight Macy’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equality, inclusion and respect for all. Macy’s is committed to equality and diversity in all areas of business as evidenced by the company’s consistent achievement of a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Commission’s Corporate Equality Index, the national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices.

Macys Pride-Joy LOGO

Macys Pride-Joy LOGO


Macy’s core value of acceptance is reflected in our commitment to supporting the LGBTQ community through the fostering of an inclusive culture and environment that inspires our colleagues and customers to be their authentic self, every day,” said Kristyn Doar-Page, Macy’s vice president of Diversity and Inclusion. “Through our annual Pride + Joy campaign, Macy’s joins community equality celebrations nationwide with in-store special events and support for local charity partners.

As part of this year’s Pride + Joy campaign, Macy’s will support its local colleagues at more than 20 Pride parade celebrations across the nation. This includes a platinum sponsorship and the debut of a new specially designed float at this year’s New York City Pride Parade. In addition, a host of special in-store Pride festivities will highlight the latest fashions for customers, celebrate love and equality, and help local charities reach new audiences while featuring guest appearances by local DJs, celebrities, and LGBTQ influencers.

Macy’s is supporting its colleagues at Pride Parades held in the following cities:

  • Guam – Saturday, June 2
  • Puerto Rico – Sunday, June 3
  • Boston, MA – Saturday, June 9
  • Birmingham, AL – Saturday, June 9
  • Los Angeles, CA – Sunday, June 10
  • Columbus, OH – Saturday, June 16
  • Houston, TX – Saturday, June 23
  • St. Petersburg, FL – Saturday, June 23
  • Cincinnati, OH – Saturday, June 23
  • Minneapolis, MN – Sunday, June 24
  • San Francisco, CA – Sunday, June 24
  • New York City, NY – Sunday, June 24
  • St. Louis, MI – Sunday, June 24
  • Seattle, WA – Sunday, June 24
  • Chicago, IL – Sunday, June 24
  • Lexington, KY – Saturday, June 30
  • San Diego, CA – Saturday, July 14
  • Space Coast, FL – Saturday, September 29
  • Orlando, FL – Saturday, October 13
  • Atlanta, GA – Sunday, October 14

Continue reading