An unusual nigiri will soon be offered at Bar Miller, a new omakase restaurant in New York City’s East Village: the humble bluefish, sourced from the New York-New Jersey coast, served raw. “Bluefish has this reputation as a lower level, like a poor man’s fish. But if you take care of it, it’s incredible,” said Jeff Miller, the executive chef. “When in season, it’s rich, fatty and buttery, with a bit of tuna-iron quality.” The appearance of bluefish on a sushi menu is surprising when the city is filled with omakase that, like those in Tokyo, offer prestigious (but not sustainable, according to Seafood Watch) fish such as bluefin tuna, Japanese yellowtail and Japanese eel. “Sometimes I think my life would be easier if I went that route,” Miller said in reference to the classic omakase menu where there are common suppliers. Instead, through trial and error, he created a menu entirely from domestic fish. Bar Miller, slated to open Sept. 27, serves San Franciscan anchovies, Hudson Valley eel head trout, and Long Island porgy. (The latter, says Miller, is sweet and “very mild [with] a deep ocean flavor.”) Miller’s attention to local delicacies extends beyond marine life: The restaurant’s sushi rice is farmed in the Hudson Valley; its sushi vinegar is fermented in Pennsylvania; its soybeans come from Connecticut. Even its interest is hyperlocal, fermented in Sunset Park and Bushwick. For Miller, the local search is about expanding his lifelong appreciation of Japanese cuisine; maintenance is an added benefit. barmiller.com.
A Printmaker’s Vending Machine Grows
Portland, Maine-based linocut printmaker Anastasia Inciardi has found a new way to connect with collectors. Last weekend, he installed a vending machine at specialty grocer and boutique Big Night’s Brooklyn location. Guests put in four quarters for a surprise miniature print about the size of a playing card. Inciardi, whose work focuses on food, allows the vending machine host to customize the selection of prints; on Big Night, options include a stick of butter, a piece of farfalle, a green olive and a can of sardines. In Maine, where Inciardi has a vending machine at the downtown Portland shop Soleil (among his offerings is a Cheez-It and a slice of clementine) and the Brunswick bakery Wild Oats, he typically sells a hundred prints a day at each location. (He also regularly brings a third machine from his studio to the Brunswick-Topsham Farmers’ Market.) At Big Night, the machine, which holds 500 prints, has to be filled in one day. Inciardi grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and drew inspiration from temporary tattoo machines at his local Key Foods, as well as a Art-o-mat — a converted cigarette vending machine filled with pieces by local artists, part of a nationwide project that began in 1997. Eventually, he hopes to have mini print dispensers around the world, but in the meantime, he plans to start selling surprise prints — “like baseball card packs, you can order a pack of seven and you never know what you’re going to get,” he explained — from his website on Nov. 12. instagram.com/inciardi.
Photographer Micaiah Carter has spent the last seven years building a portfolio of magazine covers, high-profile campaigns and solo exhibitions. Her debut monograph, “What’s My Name,” takes its title and spirit from the idea that “for a lot of Black people, your family name means a lot,” Carter said, noting that often a surname is a shorthand for how you fit into a larger social and historical context. Out next month from Prestel, the book is a collection of recent commercial, editorial and fine art photographs, as well as personal family portraits. Among the photos of Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, Spike Lee, and top models are time-faded snapshots from the Carter family archives that show 1970s house parties, happy hugs and reunions in the warmth of Southern California summer. “When I put pictures of my father or mother with my own work, I realized that the way I saw the world was similar to how they saw Blackness,” she says. So, for every photo of a celebrity, readers get an intimate look at the individual who created it. $60, penguinrandomhouse.com.
Check It Out
An Iraqi Painter’s Haunting Night Scenes
The US exhibition “Muzzle of Time,” at Luhring Augustine Chelsea in Manhattan, by Iraqi-born and London-based artist Mohammed Sami, plays with the multiple meanings of “muzzle”: a metaphor for the censorship of speaking and opening a gun where the bullet fires. In Sami’s paintings, retrospect can be muted and incendiary. The artist was born and raised in Baghdad at the height of Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian reign and moved to Sweden following the subsequent US invasion; much of his work focuses on recalling the psychic shock of war and displacement. Sami’s most affecting paintings depict haunting interiors absent from all characters, often with hints of action happening just beyond the frame, and moody nocturnes of towns or cities without specific geographic moorings. , as if they were places inferred from dreams. “In my hometown, the night represents a poetic element,” says Sami. “After the war, people are still waiting for the night to wake up from its coma.” Although the settings come from his youth, the use of vivid color palettes and depictions of night scenes and everyday objects evoke the 19th-century intimism of Les Nabis and other Post-Impressionists, proving that figurative painting can borrow from older artistic forms and still. evoke strong feelings about the complexities of contemporary life. “Mohammed Sami: Muzzle of Time” runs through Oct. 28, luhringaugustine.com.
A New Boutique Hotel Full of Art in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia
Some of the most compelling boutique hotels in Europe have been conceived by art collectors. There’s Manuela and Iwan Wirth’s Fife Arms in Scotland and Maja Hoffmann’s L’Arlatan in Arles, France, designed by artist Jorge Pardo. The latest example is near Pienza, a beautiful town in Tuscany, with exceptional views of the wild, protected Val d’Orcia region: Casa Newton, a nine-room, two-suite Swiss-owned property art-collecting couple Philippe and Tonie Bertherat. The property’s saturated colors (the facade is painted blood red) and eclectic design aesthetic are a personal signature, says Tonie: “It’s the same way we design our own houses. ” In the hotel’s salon, Gio Ponti sofas reupholstered in bright orange velvet are decorated with Josef Frank patterned curtains and a Hans-Agne Jakobsson pendant lamp hangs above a midcentury Italian game table. Artworks are scattered throughout the property: A neon installation by Joseph Kosuth greets visitors at the entrance, an edition of Josef Albers prints line the staircase and the floor-to-ceiling mural of trees in the chapel was painted by Nicolas Party. Even the hotel’s general manager, Nicole Boissonnas, comes from the world of art: Her last job was at MAMCO, a contemporary art museum in Geneva. Casa Newton opens on September 21; from about $427 a night, casa-newton.com.
Colombian curator Danielle Juliao assembled a group of four artists from different corners of Latin America for “Paraíso,” a multimedia exhibition at a pop-up space in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The show, as the title suggests, explores interpretations of paradise through photography, video and painting. Photographer María Elena Valdés has put together a new documentary series capturing the Bridgettine nuns and their cloister in her hometown of Puebla, Mexico. Alex de la Torre, an artist from Barranquilla, Colombia, meditates on the human ability to adapt to adverse conditions, representing figurative oil paintings of blooming flowers and branches of flora growing from in Colombian soda bottles. For the first time since she graduated from design school, Bogotá-based Ecuadorian painter Salome Coronel returns to screen printing with still lifes of tropical fruit, floral tablecloths and sunny-side-ups eggs. Artist Rodrigo Chapa, who hails from Monterrey, Mexico, departs from his traditional medium of photography for a four-part series titled “Aparatos.” Combining 3-D modeling with sound design, the so-called apparatuses aren’t quite instruments; the artist describes them as “digital perpetual motion machines that make music.” Shown on a screen, one work features a system of glass funnels, through which marbles pass, producing different tones and creating a kind of sonic paradise. “Paraíso” will be on view from Sept. 21 to Oct. 27, concordiastudio.co.
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