JANUARY 6, 2018 –
Fantasy IS Reality
Photography by Carlos Gonzalez
January 6- March 20, 2017
New Orleans native, Carlos Gonzalez tirelessly indulges his fascination with the costuming culture of New Orleans in narrative photographs capturing not only Mardi Gras fanfare but the year round calendar of the event our city celebrates. Carlos’s work documents the vast variety of groups, clubs and
Carlos’s work documents the vast variety of groups, clubs and krewe’s, who take every opportunity available for costumes and revelry.
“For folks who love to costume, and for those who love photography, New Orleans is rife with opportunities! We pour our souls into the rich culture that embraces us with exuberant, flamboyant masquerade!” -Carlos Gonzalez
Guardians of the Warrior Spirit
Photography by Alexei Kazantsev
Featuring Mardi Gras Indian Suits from the 0017 Hunter Tribe
June 20-Sept 23, 2017
Alexei Kazantsev lived in Alexandrov, Russia, until he was 14 years old when he moved to Moscow to apprentice with his uncle, Sergei Kazantsev, an acclaimed sculptor. Over the next twelve years completed a Bachelor and a Master of Fine Arts with High Honors at the Moscow State Art Institute. Traveling to the United States, he established himself as a sculptor, and over the next thirty years completed numerous works for private collectors, sculpture gardens and public commissions across the United States, Europe and Russia. Kazantsev’s interest in photography began in 2007. At that time he discovered its potential for artistic expression, photographing landscapes and vineyards along the West Coast. Kazantsev considers himself to be an “anti-glam” photographer. He prefers to take pictures of subjects that are moving through real life, real feelings, real bodies and real situations. Photography became his preferred mode of expression as it puts him in touch with the variety of New Orleans street and subcultures, especially grassroots Mardi Gras events, Voodoo and The Mardi Gras Indians. He is inspired by the combination of beauty, art and tradition they embody.
The Krewe of Kolossos
By Artist Katrina Brees
March 24-June 15, 2017
Something happened to the city of New Orleans, hurricane Katrina. With the wreckage that scarred the city during the storm, questions were asked; Is it the death of Mardi Gras?’ How does a cultural celebration survive when a city does not have an infrastructure, food stores, electricity and hospitals? How can one celebrate, costume and revel when their homes are destroyed? Hurricane Katrina was proof of the indelibly creative and resiliently joyous spirit of New Orleans because Mardi Gras did not die as feared, in fact it evolved and found new voices.
Artist Katrina Brees founded the Krewe of Kolossos based in the Upper Ninth Ward district, known as The Bywater, which was hard hit by the storm. The Krewe of Kolossos is exemplary of what is coined ‘The New Mardi Gras’. The New Mardi Gras is a vigorously inspired version of revelry birthed by a generation of power players, a different set of motives and a very contemporary vision. It is Mardi Gras with a social conscientious.
Katrina Brees and the Krewe of Kolossos created The Bicycle Zoo, parade bikes depicting a variety of endangered, fantasy and Louisiana native animals in a celebration of the natural world. The materials used to create these bicycles were gathered from the debris and litter left behind by the big storm and recycled into whimsical adoring animal forms. Gone is the elitism of Kings and Queens and the plastic garbage produced by Mardi Gras throws of beads, cups and knick-knacks and birthed is the adoration and protection of our natural world.
Katrina Brees has come unto controversy, first, for her choice of artist names, as many criticized her as insensitive to the devastation the Gulf South endured during hurricane Katrina. In 2017 she came under fire again when she decided to cancel an event she originated, the Independence Day Flotilla Parade on the Bayou St. John, a boating and costuming celebration on the 4th of July when she famously wears her American flag dress. Katrina was taken on by Fox News who vilified her on national news reports as ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘anti-Trump’ painting her reasoning behind the cancellation as motivated by Anti-Americanism. Katrina and the Krewe of Kolossos contend that the main motive for the cancellation was due to the ever-growing amount of litter left behind by the hundreds of spectators drawn to the popular event, litter she and her Krewe of Kolossos felt obligated to clean up as part of their commitment to their own message.
Katrina Brees is also a member of the Bearded Oysters, a walking club dance troupe that parades wearing costumes interpreting oysters with opalescent, luminescent wings and tutus accessorized with bushy beards and merkins. The Bearded Oysters playfully confront societies misogynistic ideas of womanhood, again, Mardi Gras with a social conscience.
For more information
The Krewe of Kolossos: kolossos.org
The Bearded Oysters: www.beardedoysters.org