Sunday, December 9, 2018

An Abundant Life - From A Place Of Love

In my blog post two weeks ago, I wrote about the Artist and Chef Andre Kaulesar, and how I had met him through the Artist Anthony Boone, the Founder of Boone Art Life. As I write this now, I'm thinking about how I met Anthony Boone, and in a strange way, though I know I met him only a few months ago, it seems like I've known him forever. And though that may seem strange to some people, in a way it makes sense, because Anthony Boone, and his artwork, are at the same time both timeless and moving through time, visionary and revolutionary and cosmic while still being very much rooted in tradition and history.

There is a sensitivity to Anthony's work that runs through and around, beyond and throughout the textures and colors and layers of paint. Intensely powerful, his paintings and sculptures are not aggressive or heavy. Though he is using mixed media at times, adding earth and leaves and fallen bits of the natural world including animal paw prints and even the stray butterfly into his canvases, the work itself has a lightness in feeling that brings us to a higher realm. His sculptures have a similar quality that combines a kind of weight with weightlessness - though they are in fact made many times of fallen pieces of iron and steel from the industrial beds of railroad tracks and even the smaller pieces have a solid weight to them, they are at once seemingly airborn and of a kind of structure that could be found floating in the cosmos. In Anthony's hands and with his eye shaping their colors they become objets d'art that could almost be lighter than air or parts of a thought or breath; suspended on a wall or resting on a table they seem as if they could lift themselves off or be moved with a gust of wind or a breeze.

It is that lightness that moves throughout his work that also gives it depth. Like water in the deep of the ocean with ripples of color and light moving ever darker into swirling whirlpools and resurfacing and changing, his paintings seem effervescent and in constant motion, taking on different qualities in different light and in different spaces, creating enigmatic and calming images that are both meditative and energizing at the same time. The line of fashion and street wear he has created shares not only his circle motif and logo as a throughline, but also the colorful designs and energy of his creative vision. The flowing patterns and whirlpools and whirlwinds that grace his canvases have also been used by Fashion Designer Marco Hall to create fabric for his boutique couture clothing.

Anthony is himself very deep and methodical while still retaining the ability to move and change and recreate and inspire. He told me a story about a time when he had stopped painting because of some experiences that made him question how he wanted to move forward with his art. When the artist Mark Finne called him up one day after he had not painted in two years and asked him if he wanted to collaborate on a project, he said yes, and when Mark said he was on his way over and showed up at his door, Anthony went out shopping with Mark at the art store and started painting again. It's a testament to Mark and his sensitivity that he made that call, and a testament to the creative force within Anthony that answered it.

As I wrote about Andre Kaulesar in my blog post two weeks ago, the event that we all collaborated on together with the Partners at the Antique Loft would not have been possible without the driving force of the additional energy, expertise and professionalism that Anthony brought to the project. Taking painstaking time to hang the show, promote it and invite photographers and spoken word artists and musicians, navigating the tight schedule of loading in and loading out while juggling his every day responsibilities, because of his contributions to the evening and his care in hanging the pieces and thoughtful planning work before, during and after, with his additional efforts in combination with the collaborative efforts of everyone involved, the already gorgeous room took on an extra special and beautiful glow and the event was a success that is still being applauded and remembered as a highlight of the season. 

There's an interesting quality about Anthony that makes him very special as an artist and something that enhances his own presence as a person. Although he is very particular about how and where his work is hung and what shows and spaces and artists he is involved with, once he has decided that he wants to do something, he is very open to suggestions and collaborations and is not rigid in the flow of changing ideas. His is a perfection of vision and craft that is open to collaboration and change, and though he will take the necessary time to consider how best to move forward, he will always be open to ideas that he feels will make a project stronger. He is also committed to not only excellence, but to following through on promises he has made, considering others in the mix of the projects he plans and works on. His is a mind that is open and caring, wanting the best and not settling for less for himself or for anyone he works with. His art is created from a very powerful emotional place, with a solid foundation in the beauty that can overcome darkness and chaos. Opening a space in his world to others, to artists he collaborates with and audiences he brings new work and experiences to, the Artist Anthony E. Boone makes the possibility of a new world come into focus, one where we are invited to feel a sense of connection and to walk on a higher ground in a place where warmth and love surround us with light.   

The Artist Anthony E. Boone
At The Opening Of A Group Show
At Prime Gallery
351 Palisade Avenue
Jersey City Heights, New Jersey

At The Art Event At The Antique Loft
33-41 Newark Street
Hoboken, New Jersey

With Friends
Including Actress And Writer Tiffany Barrett
And Rashad Wright, Poet Laureate Of Jersey City
Following Two Photos Courtesy of Anthony Boone
Photo Credit Jermaine D. Clarke

With Photographer, Filmmaker and Artist River Clark

Installing The Show At The Antique Loft
With Artist and Chef Andre Kaulesar

At Hamilton House For An Artist Talk
With Fashion Influencer Patricia Fox

Fashion Designs By Marco Hall
That Use Anthony's Artwork For The Fabric

At Salon X
For An Artist Greet And Meet
228 7th Street
Jersey City, New Jersey

With Hair Stylist Victoria Vazquez
And Salon Owner Lori Greylock

Artwork For A Special Limited Edition
Non-Nocere Kombucha @non_nocere
With Graphic Design
By Victor Manuel Coló@designbyvictor

At The Antique Loft
With Andre Kaulesar, Jannie Wolff, Rolando Iglesias and Shaq

At Antique Bar & Bakery
With Artist and Chef Andre Kaulesar and Jannie Wolff
122 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, New Jersey

With Artist and Chef Andre Kaulesar

At The Antique Loft

Selected Artwork
Photos Courtesy Of Anthony E. Boone
Photo Credit Jermaine D. Clarke


Jannie Susan

Sunday, December 2, 2018

An Abundant Life - A Self Made Man

For anyone who knows me, whenever I receive a compliment I respond with giving credit to God and to the people in my life who have been of help and support and have shared their gifts with me. It's something I truly know about myself that I wouldn't be alive today and certainly wouldn't be living the enjoyable life I am living if it weren't for the gifts both practical, physical and emotional that so many wonderful people have shared with me. The expression "a self made man" is not one that I normally would use for anyone, but when I sat down to write about David Bistany, that was the expression that came to my mind.

From my vantage point over the years I would say it's not easy being a man, and indeed, the journalist Norah Vincent wrote about that in her immersion account published in December of 2006, "Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man", of the eighteen months she spent exploring the world of men as a man. And if being a man is difficult, being a self-made one is even more so. According to Wikipedia, the term "is a classic phrase first coined on February 2, 1832 by United States senator Henry Clay who referred to the self-made man in the senate, to describe individuals in the manufacturing sector whose success lay within the individuals themselves, not with outside conditions." It goes on to describe someone who rises "to eminence in financial, political or other areas by nurturing qualities, such as perseverance, hard work, and ingenuity."

In reading this description, it makes perfect sense to me why I thought of this phrase in relation to David Bistany. According to the information listed under "Agent Details" through the website for Liberty Realty where he is a five star real estate agent with over 20 years of experience:

"David’s real estate knowledge was honed in a competitive world. Growing up in the New York City area has provided David with a remarkable education, intense drive, and an easy mindset to lead each and every customer through the labyrinth of real estate. Nineteen years in the industry has given him the opportunity to be a witness and participant in the transformation and gentrification of local communities all around. Real estate is a business where you meet people from every walk of life, and you’re changing lives every day. David says he doesn’t want to bore us with stories or sound clich√©, but with a great sense of humor and expert knowledge of the industry he is able to pass on the lessons he has learned. David’s work ethic is dynamic and proficient. “Is there another way to work?” he asks. What most people don’t realize is, working as a real estate professional means you run your own business. Like any other industry, there are many agents to choose from, but it takes a real professional with discipline for business to maintain a successful career. This leads to his success and the success of his clients. Those who know and have worked with David can attest that he does not stop at mediocre. This is not just a job for David, this is his passion. Buying or selling can be one of the most important decisions of your life; let David be your guide. If you’re ready for a trusted real estate advisor to help you fulfill your dreams and achieve your goals, call David Bistany today. Don’t wait!"

I can say with all honesty after knowing David and seeing the way he works and interacts with everyone he meets that the words in this write up are true. I can also say that not only does he show this level of expertise and work ethic in his chosen field of Real Estate, but that he also puts this same high level of effort into everything he is involved in. Recently I had the opportunity to watch from the sidelines as he worked with the Hoboken Rotary Club to plan their first annual fundraising dinner. Every detail was important to him, and as he worked with the planning committee and the event site both before, during and after the event, I have seen his commitment to excellence and his discerning views in action, not only being satisfied with a favorable outcome, but wanting the best experience for everyone involved. My only concern when I share time with David is that I want him to be able to enjoy the fruits of his own labor - he is so often so concerned about making sure that everything is running smoothly and everyone else is enjoying themselves that I find myself wondering when he has time to take time for himself.

David is one of the rarest of men. As a Real Estate agent with one of the leading Real Estate offices in the area that is a leader in innovation and in customer satisfaction, he lives his life with the standard of excellence he puts into his work with clients every day. Currently one of the top producers in Hudson County and one of the highest producing of Liberty Realty's 300 agents, he holds the Gold "Circle of Excellence" Real Estate Award for 2016. In addition to his membership with the Rotary Club, he is a member of The Chamber of Commerce and a Board Member of the Hoboken Schoolhouse Condo Association, and he and his family are also the proud owners of two rescue pups. If you are lucky enough to meet David and work with him on any project, either buying or selling a home or in any of his community efforts, you will find in him someone you can trust, who is always thinking ahead of the trends, and who will always do his utmost to insure that whatever he touches turns to gold.  

David Bistany
Five Star Real Estate Agent
At Liberty Realty
One Marine View Plaza
Hoboken, New Jersey



Jannie Susan

Sunday, November 25, 2018

An Abundant Life - True Greatness

One evening last August I went to an art event at the Health and Fitness Club Base in Jersey City that was produced by the Artist Anthony E. Boone, Founder of Boone Art Life. I had met Anthony at a group show he was part of at 107 Bowers Gallery in Jersey City Heights, and when he invited me to his event at Base I put it in my calendar because there is something very special about Anthony and his work and I had a feeling it would be an inspiring event. It was a wonderful evening, full of visual and performing art, music, artisanal healthy foods and beverages and a wonderful group of people, but the artist Michael Dominick was sharing a live demonstration of painting with molten iron around the corner at Novado Gallery that I wanted to stop into, so after visiting for a while I left to go there. Before leaving, Anthony had pointed one of his colleagues out to me, and he'd said he was a Chef he'd collaborated with on another project. For anyone who knows me, I'm a foodie and I love to meet Chefs and write about them, but at the time when Anthony pointed this Chef out to me, he was busy on the phone and I had to leave. After the live demonstration, which was very wonderful to see - a molten iron painter out on the streets of Jersey City is not something that we see very often - I decided to walk back over to Base rather than going home, and I was very glad that I did. The party was still going, but it was beginning to wind down, and I asked Anthony if he could introduce me to that Chef. He did, and it turned out that the Chef was also an artist who had a studio in the Neumann Leathers Building in Hoboken, and he offered to give me a ride home and stop by his studio on the way. It was a beautiful night, and the weather was fine, so although it was getting late I said yes. The spontaneous saying yes at that moment was something I will always be thankful for because not only did I get to visit a studio full of art that was astonishing in the scope of its vibrant and colorful energy and life, but it began a conversation that has continued to bless me to this day.

Andre Kaulesar is an amazing Chef and an amazing artist. But he is also a person of integrity and loyalty, with a strong sense of responsibility for his family and the people who he works with. From the moment I met him I was inspired by his work, though the work I saw that night was in its early stages, and when I went back to see it again a few weeks later and then saw it at a recent show we collaborated on at the Antique Loft in Hoboken, I was amazed by the way the work had evolved and grown and been brought to glowing and inspiring life. I don't think Andre sleeps, or if he does, it's not very much. He works in Manhattan, as a personal trainer for Chefs and other professionals in the areas of health and nutrition and physical fitness, and in addition to the time he takes developing his art in his studio and working on his craft as a Chef, he takes care of his brother who suffers from very dangerous physical health issues related to a serious accident and his daughter who is fifteen and a star soccer player who he nurtures and trains and cares for like a good father. In the time that I have known him, I have seen his integrity and loyalty in action, and I have personally experienced his care, respect and regard for even someone like me who he doesn't know very well.

The first night when we went to his studio he was playing Led Zeppelin, and I told him that I have a very soft spot in my heart for them because I was in a garage band when I was in High School and we sang alot of their songs. Their hit "Good Times Bad Times" often comes to mind because I sang it so often back in those days, and the first verse starts out with the words, "In the days of my youth I was told what it was to be a man. Now I've reached the age I've try to do all those things the best I can." Andre Kaulesar is the kind of man who is truly great because he tries to do his best in every situation he is involved in and is a part of because he cares very deeply about other people, the world around him, and doing all that he does with excellence.

His background is a story that has so many facets to it that in many ways it could seem that he is more than one person. As a teenager he was tagged for the national team in Guyana, and was a star player who trained to be a professional until his parents moved to the United States. Now he trains his daughter in the soccer techniques that will help her perform at the highest level and works as a personal trainer helping Chefs and other professionals to become the strongest and healthiest they can be. He developed a passion for food and cooking and has become a Chef at the highest level, working in the most illustrious kitchen with the finest Chefs in the world. And then he discovered art, and in the work he is doing as it evolves, there is something that is so primal and spiritual and earth shattering and renewing that it is in its own way indescribable. Using shards of glass and mirrors, layers of oil paint and resin, his creations burst into life off of the canvas as if they have become spontaneously what they are without human effort. But the effort is there - hours of layering, painting and mixing of color, layering again and adding touches, smearing and mixing the paint and the colors with his hands, rubbing dirt and sand and broken glass pieces into the thick textures to add a new dimension.

A few weeks after Anthony's event at Base and my visit to Andre's studio, I invited Andre and Anthony to an event at the Antique Loft one night, and they took the time out of their busy schedules to go there. When I introduced them to Chef Paul Gerard, the Executive Chef and Partner of Antique Bar & Bakery who I have written about in these pages before who is also one of the Partners of the Antique Loft, he started looking at their work on their phones and they began to talk about a collaboration. It was a moment of a dream beginning to unfold, because this is the type of thing I have been doing for years but it had been a long time since I had done it, and the idea of working with those amazing artists in that space with the combined energy of Chef Paul Gerard was an incredible gift. As we began to plan and things took shape, Andre and Chef Paul decided to collaborate on food, and Shaq, another wonderful man who I met through the Mixologist Stephanie O'Neill who I have also written about in this blog, offered to donate wine from his excellent collection. The night was a night to remember that people are still talking about. As I wrote in my blog post about the Loft a few weeks ago, the space and design are stunning. With the collaboration of Chef Paul Gerard and Chef Andre the food was sublime, and the wine from Shaq only the best. The excellent artist and Sommelier Joel Lisco was also a part of the evening, and the combination of his work with Andre's and Anthony's in that gorgeous space made a visual spectacle so beautiful that it brought the evening to another level.

While we were still in the planning stages of that event, Shaq asked Andre to create a Chef's Table dinner at his apartment. I had the privilege of not only attending and being served by a master, but Andre invited me along for the ride the night before when he went to pick up some calamari and crab meat from his seafood supplier. It's hard to describe what happened that night without it sounding like we were doing something illegal. It was late when we headed over to pick up the seafood and the supplier had another appointment so he sent a text to Andre that it was in the trunk of a Ford Explorer parked outside of a luxury apartment building in Hoboken. He'd left the trunk open, but Andre and I couldn't stop laughing because it all seemed so crazy. How could we ever explain to anyone if by chance Andre tried to open the wrong trunk and the alarms went off? Just saying "It's in the trunk" can make us both laugh to this day. The food at Shaq's on the night of the dinner was amazing, and all the more so because Andre was cooking in someone's apartment kitchen where he'd never cooked before. I know what that's like because I've done it, and though I don't mind doing it, it can be a challenge. To create a meal of courses as intricate and beautiful and deliciously crafted as those Andre served takes a truly great Chef.

Before the event at the Antique Loft, and in the stages planning up to it, Andre showed his skill and commitment to excellence not only as an artist and Chef but as a planner. Even with his already full and busy schedule, he took time to make sure that the work was delivered and installed carefully, working with Anthony as an excellent collaborative team and according to a very tight schedule for a load in and load out. The event could not have been the success that it was without the combination of his amazing food, gorgeous art and the hard work he did behind the scenes that only those of us who understand the work that goes into planning an event would ever know.

In addition to everything else that he does, Andre also contributes his time to support other artists and other Chefs, donating work and preparing food for charitable causes and events to support education and mentorship in those fields. Whether in the kitchen, in the studio, as a trainer and teacher, caring for his daughter or his brother, Andre Kaulesar does not simply stop at excellence. There is a force within him that will not stop, even when he has reached a great height, and he'll keep pushing until he goes higher.

Andre Kaulesar
In His Studio
At The Neumann Leathers Building
300 Observer Highway
Hoboken, New Jersey

Work In Progress
On My First Visit To Andre's Studio

A Steer Skull Given To Andre
A Gift From A Top Chef In The World

The Evolution Of Selected Pieces
Photographs Courtesy Of Andre Kaulesar

 Installing A Show
With Artist Anthony E. Boone
At The Antique Loft
33-41 Newark Street
Hoboken, New Jersey

The Multi-Tasking Artist And Chef
Takes A Call

Completed Pieces
That I Had Seen In Earlier Stages
At My First Studio Visit
Installed At The Antique Loft



An Artist's Work

A Chef's Collaboration

"An Evening Of Art And Conversation"
At The Antique Loft

A Work Of Art
That Makes A Statement
Curator Jannie Wolff With Artist and Healer Dusty Weideman
From An Instagram Post By Dusty Weideman @dustylynn23

A Chef's Table
At Shaq's Apartment

In The Kitchen
With Artist Anthony E. Boone

With Artist Anthony E. Boone
At The Antique Loft

With Photographer Fred Watson
In Andre's Studio
At The Neumann Leathers Building
During The Hoboken Artists Studio Tour

Applying Gesso
To Prepare A Canvas

At Antique Bar & Bakery
122 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, New Jersey

With Artist Anthony E. Boone

An Artist And A Chef
Mixing Colors

A Blowtorch From His Chef's Kitchen
Used To Create A Special Effect In A Painting

Photo Courtesy Of The Artist


Jannie Susan