2017 Whitney Biennial, The First To Take Place In The Museum’s Downtown Building, To Open March 17

The formation of self and the individual’s place in a turbulent society are among the key themes reflected in the work of the artists selected for the 2017 Whitney Biennial, opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art on March 17, 2016 and running through June 11, 2017. Curated by the Whitney’s Nancy and Fred Poses Associate Curator Christopher Y. Lew and independent curator Mia Locks, this will be the first Biennial held in the Whitney’s (still new) home in the Meatpacking District. The country’s preeminent survey of the current state of American art, this is the seventy-eighth in the Museum’s ongoing series of Annuals and Biennials, initiated by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932.unnamed-1

Lew and Locks named the sixty-three participants (see complete list below), whose works will fill two of the four main gallery floors of the Whitney (including the 18,000-square-foot Neil Bluhm Family Galleries on the fifth floor) and numerous other spaces throughout the Museum. The participants range from emerging to well-established individuals and collectives working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film and video, photography, activism, performance, music, and video game design.

Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs, said, “Since we opened our new building, we’ve reignited our emerging artist program with venturesome solo premieres and ‘snapshot’ shows of new tendencies. This Biennial, the largest ever in terms of gallery space, marks the capstone of these efforts. Chris and Mia have done an amazing job scouring the country to discover new talents, while creating lively connections to senior figures and our roiling social landscape.”

Lew commented that, “Throughout our research and travel we’ve been moved by the impassioned discussions we had about recent tumult in society, politics, and the economic system. It’s been unavoidable as we met with artists, fellow curators, writers, and other cultural producers across the United States and beyond.” Locks noted: “Against this backdrop, many of the participating artists are asking probing questions about the self and the social, and where these intersect. How do we think and live through these lenses? How and where do they fall short?

Rothkopf is leading a team of advisors who are working closely with Lew and Locks to help shape the exhibition. They include: Negar Azimi, writer and senior editor at Bidoun, an award-winning publishing, curatorial, and educational initiative with a focus on the Middle East and its diasporas; Gean Moreno, curator of programs at the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami and founder of [NAME] Publications; Aily Nash, co-curator of Projections, the New York Film Festival’s artists’s film and video section, and Film and Media Curator at Basilica Hudson; and Wendy Yao, a publisher and founder of both the exhibition space 356 South Mission Road and Ooga Booga, a shop with two Los Angeles locations that specializes in independent books, music, art, and clothing. Nash, together with the curators, is co-organizing the Biennial film program, which will screen in the Whitney’s third-floor Susan and John Hess Family Theater.

The 2017 Biennial will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue, designed by Olga Casellas Badillo of San Juan-based Tiguere Corp., which includes essays by the curators as well as Biennial advisors Negar Azimi and Gean Moreno, a conversation between the curators and Scott Rothkopf, and a roundtable with filmmakers moderated by Aily Nash. The book will also feature individual entries on each of the sixty-three participants in the exhibition along with reproductions of their work. It will be published by the Whitney Museum of American Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

The full list of artists are as follows: Continue reading

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Donald Trump Wins — Again! President-Elect Nabs Coveted Honor as Esquire Magazine’s 2016 ‘Dubious Man of the Year’

Surprise Future Chief Executive Bests Former Presumed President-Elect Hillary Clinton, Roger Ailes, Rudy Giuliani, Ryan Lochte, Creepy Clowns and Other Dubious Achievers

Extremely “Bigly” News Also Heralds the Triumphant Return of ‘Dubious Achievement Awards’ to Esquire After An Eight-Year Hiatus

Having been swept into the highest office in the land on November 8, President-Elect Donald Trump reached another pinnacle of achievement today, when it was announced by the editors of Esquire that he had been elected to the prestigious, hard-won title of Dubious Man of the Year.”Esquire Logo

The Dubious Achievement Awards (“an annual celebration of mendacity, mediocrity, and moronic behavior”) first appeared in Esquire in January 1962 as “a salute to those many whom the rest of us owe so little.” They ran in the magazine until 2008, when they were accidentally left behind in the coat room at Elaine’s restaurant for eight years.

It was a crowded field,” said Jay Fielden, editor-in-chief of Esquire. “But very early in the running the rest of the year’s bad hombres – blue-haired prevaricator Ryan Lochte, greedy extortionist Martin Shkreli and all those creepy clowns hanging around schoolyards with hockey sticks – fell away and it was clear who was going to be the winner whichever way the Presidency went. Not since Richard Nixon became the annual patron saint of these awards in 1963 have we seen such a worthy and unanimous winner. We congratulate President-Elect Donald J. Trump, his family and his entire team on this historic effort, which almost transcends last week’s, in our opinion.

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December/January issue of Esquire Magazine (PRNewsFoto/Esquire)

In addition to the high honor accorded to Mr. Trump, the 2016 Dubious Achievement Awards in the new December/January issue are bestowed upon a host of other figures who have defined the outer limits of acceptable behavior during the calendar year, including Chappaqua resident Hillary Clinton, Libertarian spoiler and weed broker Gary Johnson, previously disgraced and upcoming Presidential advisor Roger Ailes, Blind Bill Cosby, and anyone who played Pokémon Go.

When it comes to truly dubious figures, Donald Trump has stood hair and shoulders above everyone this year,” said Esquire Contributing Editor David Hirshey, who piloted the renewed awards this month as well as during the dubious heyday of Michael Jackson, O.J. Simpson and George W. Bush. “Without his contribution, it would have been a relatively normal year of stupidity and greed, but our ‘Dubious Man of the Year‘ elevated his game to a level so spectacularly dubious that it may have actually swept him into the Oval Office. We really had no choice but to award him this accolade for which he has so clearly been preparing for his entire adult life.”

Esquire is the most-honored monthly magazine in America, with 26 National Magazine Awards, including one for its iPad app, and 88 nominations. In its digital expressions, Esquire.com has an audience of 11.3 million (comScore, Sept. 2016), and a social media following of 2 million. In addition to its U.S. flagship, Esquire publishes 26 editions around the world. Esquire is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. Hearst Magazines‘ print and digital assets collectively reach more than 128 million readers and site visitors each month, or 53 percent of all adults in the U.S.; nearly two-thirds of all women and 69 percent of all millennial women (source: comScore/MRI 9-16/S16).

The December/January issue hits newsstands on November 22.

U.S. News & World Report Releases the 2017 Best Cruise Lines Rankings

U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today announced the 2017 Best Cruise Lines rankings, evaluating 15 top cruise lines across six categories. Twenty-four million passengers are expected to take a cruise this year and interest continues to climb. The rankings help travelers select the best cruise by brand, region, itinerary and budget.

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT LOGO

U.S. News & World Report Logo. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. News Media Group)

For the first time, Celebrity Cruises is named the No. 1 Best Cruise Line for the Money and the No. 1 Best Cruise Line in the Mediterranean. Disney Cruise Line earns distinctions both as the Best Cruise Line for Families and the Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean for the fourth consecutive year. Crystal Cruises continues its reign as the Best Luxury Cruise Line and the Best Cruise Line for Couples.

Cruise lines are going above and beyond to reach new audiences and keep existing customers happy by offering high-quality amenities, brand-new ships and updated itineraries – but that doesn’t mean choosing one is easy,” said Gwen Shearman, travel editor at U.S. News. “The Best Cruise Lines rankings help travelers sort through their options by showcasing the lines and ships that meet the high expectations of travelers and critics alike.”

The methodology for the Best Cruise Lines rankings factors in expert evaluations of cruise ship quality, reputation among travelers, results from health assessments conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other factors such as price class and itinerary offerings.

2017 U.S. News Best Cruise Lines Rankings

For the Money For Luxury
1. Celebrity Cruises 1. Crystal Cruises
2. Royal Caribbean International 2. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
3. Norwegian Cruise Line 3. Oceania Cruises
For Families For Couples
1. Disney Cruise Line 1. Crystal Cruises
2. Royal Caribbean International 2. Regent Seven Seas Cruises
3. Carnival Cruise Lines 3. Azamara Club Cruises
In The Mediterranean In The Caribbean
1. Celebrity Cruises 1. Disney Cruise Line
2. Regent Seven Seas Cruises 2. Celebrity Cruises
3. Oceania Cruises 3. Crystal Cruise

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Presents New Art from Greater China That Explores the Concept of Place through Storytelling

Second Exhibition of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative Features Works Commissioned for Guggenheim Collection

Exhibition: Tales of Our Time

Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York

Location: Tower Levels 4 and 5

Dates: Now through March 10, 2017

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents Tales of Our Time, an exhibition featuring nine newly commissioned works by artists born in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan. This is the second exhibition of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative, a long-term research, curatorial, and collections-building program at the Guggenheim Museum.

The exhibition’s title refers to the 1936 book Gushi xin bian (Old Tales Retold) by the influential Chinese modernist, social activist, and literary giant Lu Xun. In the book, Lu reinvents Chinese legends, as he considers these tales to be not only a literary genre, but also a strategy for critiquing social conditions and reconstructing history through storytelling.guggenheim-museum-logo

Though diverse in subjects and strategies, the works are united by the artists’ use of storytelling to propose alternative ways of looking at place. Working in drawing, animation, video, photography, sculpture, installation, and participatory intervention, the artists in the exhibition address the concept of geography and territory in ways as specific as where they are based or as big as China itself, which they see as a concept constantly being questioned and reinvented. These artists freely cross divides to examine the tensions between past and present, myth and fact, reality and dreams, rationality and absurdity, and individuality and collectivity.

The artists represented in Tales of Our Time are Chia-En Jao, Kan Xuan, Sun Xun, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Tsang Kin-Wah, Yangjiang Group, and Zhou Tao.

Tales of Our Time is organized by Xiaoyu Weng, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Associate Curator of Chinese Art, and Hou Hanru, Consulting Curator, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. Kyung An, Assistant Curator, Asian Art, provides curatorial support. The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative is part of the Guggenheim’s Asian Art Initiative, directed by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art and Senior Advisor, Global Arts. All commissioned works will enter the Guggenheim’s collection.

Curators Xiaoyu Weng and Hou Hanru have taken a dynamic and collaborative approach, as they worked closely with the commissioned artists to explore the questions and insights that drive these art practices. We hope that these works will inform new understanding of global contemporary art through the lens of Chinese culture today,” stated Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “The Guggenheim is grateful to The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation for its sustained commitment to this effort.”

Ted Lipman, CEO of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, congratulated the commissioned artists and noted, “Contemporary Chinese art, along with the dialogue around it, is a dynamic and increasingly important force shaping the global cultural landscape. The Chinese Art Initiative at the Guggenheim is designed to offer a fresh perspective on Chinese culture and its relationship with contemporary society. The Foundation hopes the impact of this initiative will be a lasting one.”

Tales of Our Time

Chia-En Jao (b. 1976, Taichung, Taiwan). Arms no. 31, 2016. Cast aluminum, textile patchwork, display case with fabric swatches, and paper handout with text. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collection. © Chia-En Jao. Installation View: Tales of Our Time. Photo: David Heald

The artists represented in Tales of Our Time vary greatly in their practices and viewpoints,” says Xiaoyu Weng. “But they share a broad perspective, one that places China’s culture, history, and social reality in the context of the wider world. And like so many artists today, they register acute discomfort with the tension between the personal experiences of regular people and the dominant narratives and conventions of power.

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Sun Xun (b. 1980, Fuxin, Liaoning Province), Mythological Time, 2016 (details). Two-channel color HD animated video, with sound, and ink, graphite and acrylic on mulberry bark paper. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collection. © Sun Xun

Tales of Our Time is installed on two Tower Levels of the museum. Visitors may enter Tower Level 4 through a passageway lined with fantastic visions inspired by the natural world, drawn in the classical Chinese style on traditional bark paper by Sun Xun (b. 1980). Sun’s installation Mythological Time (2016) centers on his hometown of Fuxin in northeastern China, a coal-mining town that was once the pride of modern-era Chinese industrialization, but which the artist portrays as merely a fleeting scene over many millennia. A second monumental wall-size painting by Sun Xun depicting a surreal prehistoric landscape is also on view. Two video streams are projected onto its surface, sending animated creatures cavorting next to those drawn on paper with ink and acrylics.

chia_taxi

Chia-En Jao (b. 1976, Taichung, Taiwan), Taxi, 2016, Color UHD video, with sound. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collection. © Chia-En Jao

Taxi (2016), a video installation, presents conversations conducted by the artist Chia-En Jao (b. 1976) with taxi drivers in Taipei. The artist asked drivers to take him to historically contested destinations in the city, such as a branch of Chang Hwa Bank where a mass protest was suppressed by Chiang Kai-shek’s military regime in 1947, the Presidential Office Building, the Grand Hotel, or the National Taiwan Museum. Recorded documentary style, the conversations meander through difficult memories of the Japanese occupation and martial law to present-day concerns. The artist has also created a flag for the installation, a traditional coat of arms representing many aspects of Taiwanese society, including its aboriginal communities. Through this investigation into the powerful connection between history and storytelling, Jao creates a mental map of Taipei that honors individual memory and experience.

Zhou Tao

Zhou Tao (b. 1976, Changsha, Hunan Province), Land of the Throat, 2016 Installation with two-channel color HD video, with sound. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collection. © Zhou Tao

Nearby Taxi on Tower Level 4 is a futuristic, pod-like video installation by Zhou Tao (b. 1976). Land of the Throat (2016) evokes a phenomenon characteristic of China’s urbanization today: the construction of the new and the consequential transformation of the land. Two synchronized videos composed of footage recorded in Guangdong, China and Arizona are projected onto opposite sides of an enclosed structure in the gallery space. A cow chained to an abandoned industrial washing machine moos in an otherwise silent, desolate landscape; workers pour out of construction sites; children play aimlessly; dogs and rats roam near fishing holes; and rescue workers in Shenzhen care for survivors injured in the city’s 2015 landslide. Continue reading

Latina Magazine Celebrates 20 Years of Progress in Hollywood with Platinum Anniversary Issue

Latina magazine— the first in its space and the number one destination for the 35 million acculturated, second and third generation American Latinas—celebrates 20 years with a look back at the progress Latinas have made in Hollywood over the past two decades.

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Latina Magazine celebrates its platinum anniversary with a photomosaic of the legendary Selena Quintanilla

The magazine celebrates it’s platinum anniversary with a cover of the most influential Latinas (Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, Gloria Estefan, Christina Aguilera, and Sophia Vergara, among others) that combined creates a photomosaic of the legendary Selena Quintanilla (www.latina.com/20years).

We chose Selena because, unlike other Latino stars who at the time made it big by modifying their names and ‘passing’ as white, Selena turned to her culture first, rediscovering her roots to find her voice,” said Latina Editorial Director Robyn Moreno. “And through her voice, American Latinas found theirs and learned they didn’t need to change to make it big.”

The thought bomb of Christy Haubegger, Latina became a pioneering force for Latinas underserved by the general market and Spanish language media. Latinas were, for the most part, invisible to mainstream culture during most of the 80s and 90s. For the past two decades, Latina has played a central role in helping readers connect to their culture, while also helping shape and launch the careers of some of the biggest Latina stars.

Through the help of Latina’s covers, J.Lo became a queen, Christina Aguilera crossed over, and Selma Hayek gained A-list status and was the first Latina to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

In the words of some of Latina’s most influential celebrity cover interviews on the progress Latinas have made in the past 20 years:

When Hollywood starts considering me for roles where ethnic background doesn’t matter, that’s an even bigger step in the right direction for me.” – Jennifer Lopez (Summer 1996)

A lot of my fans are young girls, and they go ‘You’re someone young Latin girls can look up to’ because there really aren’t many.” – Christina Aguilera (December 1999)

I want to empower young women like me to fulfill their dreams. I hope I can inspire somebody to get focused on what they want out of life instead of just taking what’s given to them.” – Jessica Alba (March 2008)

Playboy Magazine’s November Issue Unveils Winners Of The Best New Bars In America

Playboy magazine unveils this year’s winners of the Best New Bars in America in its November 2016 issue. After calling for nominations earlier this summer, Playboy readers, along with some of the nation’s best bartenders, drink writers and industry insiders, submitted 50 of the best new drinking establishments in the country. Now, the Playboy editors and readers have spoken and the results are in for the ten best new spots to have a cocktail.

Playboy November 2016 Cover

Playboy magazine unveils this year’s winners of the Best New Bars in America in its November 2016 issue. Cover photo by Zoey Grossman/Playboy (PRNewsFoto/Playboy Enterprises, Inc.)

Playboy’s Best Bars 2016 include the most innovative watering holes that range from a bar that elevates the art of day drinking to an establishment that serves over 500 varieties of gin.

  • Columbia Room in Washington, D.C.
  • Dante in New York City
  • Suffolk Arms in New York City
  • Whitechapel in San Francisco
  • Occidental in Denver
  • Bar Leather Apron in Honolulu
  • Sweet Liberty in Miami
  • Compère Lapin in New Orleans
  • Greenriver in Chicago
  • Old Glory in Nashville

Additional highlights of Playboy’s November 2016 issue include:

  • Miss November, Ashley Smith: the 25-year-old bombshell from Austin, TX, is November’s cover model with a pictorial and centerfold shot by the illustrious photographer, Zoey Grossman.
  • 20Q with Jeffrey Dean Morgan: the man behind TV’s most riveting season finale discusses what it’s like to be Negan in “The Walking Dead” and how viewers reacted to the introduction of his character.
  • No Filter with Bella Thorne: the 19-year-old starlet delivers a bold message
    Playboy Enterprises Inc Logo

    Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Playboy Enterprises, Inc.)

    to her critics and how she feels about shaming a women’s sexiness.

  • Politics: Playboy‘s political correspondent John Meroney shares two compelling features. The first observes how Donald Trump managed to silence the Republican call for war. The second is a powerful in-depth, 8-page interview with former CIA and NSA head Michael Hayden who frankly answers questions about being a spy, explains his stance on why Trump will “risk our country’s national security and well-being,” and voices his opinion on Secretary Clinton‘s emails.
  • The White-Collar Future of Weed: a new generation of entrepreneurs aim to revolutionize America’s cannabis industry.
  • Music: the best-kept secret in hip-hop and mastermind behind Drake, Jas Prince is today’s rap royalty.
  • My Way: legendary fashion designer John Varvatos talks about how music impacted his career and style.
  • Francofile: James Franco interviews hip-hop legend Method Man about acting and the future of the Wu-Tang Clan.
  • Playboy Advisor: monthly advice columnist Bridget Phetasy explains how to move a fling into the friend-zone.

Additional content includes Fiction from Kevin Mandel‘s The Filmmaker and fantastical works of art by the Artist in Residence, James Jean.

Playboy‘s November 2016 issue is available on newsstands nationwide starting today, Tuesday, October 25, 2016, and for the first time ever, the iconic magazine is available to subscribers in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Vera Bradley Coloring Books Add Beautiful Patterns to the Adult Coloring Book Craze

New Licensing Agreement Combines Iconic Vera Bradley Designs With Fox Chapel Publishing’s Coloring Book Expertise

Women who love the beautiful colors and playful patterns of Vera Bradley handbags will soon have a new way to enjoy their favorite designs. Adult coloring books featuring Vera Bradley’s iconic style will be available for the first time this holiday shopping season, produced under a new licensing agreement with Fox Chapel Publishing.

Vera Bradley is a leading designer of women’s handbags, luggage and travel items, fashion and home accessories and unique gifts. Founded in 1982 by friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, the brand’s innovative designs, iconic patterns and brilliant colors continue to inspire and connect women unlike any other brand in the global marketplace.

Vera Bradley’s distinctive patterns naturally lend themselves to coloring books,” according to Kati Erney, Editor at craft magazine DO magazine. “Their simple beauty just inspires you to get creative with gorgeous color,” said Erney.

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The Vera Bradley Coloring Collection will offer four coloring books in an attractive boxed set.

Six coloring books will be released in the first stage of the new agreement. The Vera Bradley Coloring Collection will offer four coloring books in an attractive boxed set. Printed on heavy cardstock with satin ribbon bookmarks and foil-embellished covers, each book in the collection costs $10.00 and provides 20 coloring cards that detach easily to share with friends.

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The Vera Bradley Coloring Collection will offer four coloring books in an attractive boxed set.

In addition to the boxed set, two full-size adult coloring books will also enable consumers to bring authentic Vera Bradley designs to life. Focused on floral and paisley patterns, these titles are priced at $15.00 each and include full-color instruction in coloring techniques, innovative craft ideas, selected color swatches, and detachable ready-to-color gift tags.

Coloring book consumers are seeking quality, and Vera Bradley’s exciting lifestyle brand will strongly influence their buying decisions,” noted Ray Wolf, Sales Director at Fox Chapel Publishing. “And we know that Vera Bradley’s target demographic closely matches the typical female coloring book consumer.”

The new Vera Bradley coloring books and gift sets will be available on a limited basis for holiday 2016 at Vera Bradley and Michaels stores, with a full rollout coming nationwide in Spring 2017. Select Hallmark Gold Crown stores will also have the Vera Bradley coloring products.

For more information about the new coloring books, visit www.verabradley.com and www.foxchapelpublishing.com.