By Maria Sofia Hernandez, Contributing Writer
New York is known as the Melting Pot because of its diverse people. Marian Osher, a Maryland artist, redefines the melting pot culture to focus on objects and places, instead of people. Always fascinated with New York, Osher, made it a personal endeavor to visit the city at least once a month. During her trips she visited iconic places, not the typical Empire State scene, but rather cultural landmarks like Katz’s Jewish delicatessen, amongst others. In her exhibition, “New York Revealed Stirring The Melting Pot” at Ceres Gallery in Chelsea there are paintings of every object imaginable, from dumplings to trash, and from fabrics to the oldest working bar in Manhattan.
All consist of colorful and detailed acrylic paint that varies in size and shape. Her paintings are unique, each essential to help replicate New York’s soul. The exhibition contains twenty-eight canvases that depict places, people and food. The uniqueness in Marian Osher’s painting relies on juxtaposing contrasting places to demonstrate New York’s diversity. Mishmash, a collage of pictures that contain a Chinese Restaurant, a Synagogue and other new and old buildings tell the history of these city streets.
The exhibition can be used as a tourist guide around New York City. What truly makes New York, New York is the history within its streets. A painting of the oldest manhole in New York City that dates back to 1866. The Ear Bar, considered the oldest working bar in Manhattan, was the home of James Brown and then became a bar. Beckenstein, was a fabric shop for 80 years, but now only the sign remains in Lower East side. In addition to capturing the city through places, Osher also focused on recreating some of the delicious foods.
What do you like to eat? Anything you like you can find it in New York, food from all over the world is just a short walk away. Osher created a painting of bialys, baked bread from Poland with delicious poppy seeds made out of carbon. No need to go to China to get vegetarian dumplings, just take the train to Essex Street. And since you are already in the same street as The Pickle Guys, why not eat pickles? There is food and places for everyone from all around the world, and Osher captures this aspect of New York.
NYU also gets a shout out in the exhibit with Osher’s painting Puck. John Sexton, NYU’s ex president said, “NYU and the Puck Building are New York icons. Each contributes to New York’s distinctiveness,” when NYU acquired the building for NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Marian Osher delightfully explained that she was familiar with Puck, and she knew NYU owned the building. The gilded statue in the antique building, she said exactly represented her whole idea of diversity in New York.
It was incredible to see the vivid pictures of the unique and historical places created by an artist who knows that this is the best city in the world.
The exhibit is on display at Ceres Gallery through March 26.