Tag Archives: clic gallery

BETEL NUT BEAUTIES

I’m going to let you in on a little secret; New York City is bubbling with talent. I’m talking about pure, raw, unrefined, bona fide TALENT!  What are you going on about, Tracee? Well, my latest “discovery” is architectural and landscape photographer Magda Biernat and believe me she’s more than worthy of the conversation.

Tracee Loran & Magda Biernat

Originally from Poland, Biernat now calls New York City home. Lucky us. With her she brings a cornucopia of prestigious awards like the TMC/Kodak Grant, a Lucie Award, a Magenta Foundation Flash Forward/Emerging Photographers, and Photographic Center Northwest Photo-Op.

Biernat’s work has been praised by The New York Times and has nestled between the pages of Metropolis Magazine, Afar Magazine, and ELLE Décor. And, she’s been the subject of many solo shows in New York City, Seattle, Belgium and Poland.

Thursday night, I trotted over to my new hot spot, the Clic Gallery, to check out Magda’s latest work of art, Betel Nut Beauties.  In Taiwan betel nut beauties are young scantily clad women who sell betel nuts (or paan) and cigarettes along the roadside from brightly lit encased huts.  As you can imagine, the Beauties cater to a mostly male clientele with transient occupations.

A Betel Nut Beauty

Picturing these women being imprisoned behind glass and put on display immediately conjured up thoughts of loneliness and drear. In my mind’s eye, I saw smoky gray hues and splotches of black.  But Magda shoots with a different eye.  She managed to find beauty in the Beauties.  The result is bold, lively photographs that somehow dance and capture the humanness.  The colors are really striking – green grass sprouting in front of one betel hut or the pretty pink tint used to paint another (my favorite).  Vibrant, rich colors that really draw you in.

Adrian Adaramoye & Tracee Loran

Perhaps one would argue that by making the photographs so pretty, Biernat is attempting to hide the seedy ugliness of the profession.  To those people I would say, life is heavy and often burdensome. And every human deserves to be seen through rose-colored glasses even if for just a fleeting moment (chalk it up to my romantic idealism).

Although those women are in reality still scantily clad and still hawking cigarettes and paan and still very lonely, with her lens Magda Biernat gave them a different story. One that’s pretty in pink…and rose.

Don’t take my word for it; stop by the Clic Gallery to see the Betel Nut Beauties for yourself!  The exhibition runs through March 6, 2011.

Thanks to Nicholas Small of N-Scene Photography for using his great skills to help capture this wonderful event!

PR Director, Angharad Coates & Tracee Loran

Tracee Loran & Thane Wright

Christian Ducharme & Tracee Loran

Wearing Cotton Biker Jacket, Skinnys w/Black Ankle ANA Boots, Red Zara Clutch

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Fashion, Radically Fabulous Stories

The Debut

As fate would have it, my very good friend Professor Tracey Walters (or Dr. Professor as I like to call her) gave me a Kate Spade Spiral Desktop Calendar for Christmas.  Perhaps she had visions of my new socialite life!  With snazzy calendar in hand, I diligently poured over social websites like Guest of a Guest and The New York Social Diary that provide a listing of private and open events to see where my journey would begin.  I selected a low-key function for my debut, a book signing at the ultra fan-tabulous Clic Gallery in Soho (you must visit!) for photographer Mike Schreiber’s ‘True Hip Hop.” After all I shouldn’t aim for the Tinsley Mortimer high society galas right off the bat. Right?

NYC Socialite Tinsley Mortimer

Selecting the right ensemble was crucial.  What would I wear?  For this event, I definitely wanted to be artsy chic. I went through my selection of new clothes (My Grandmother the Foxy Socialite still loves to shop and still has good taste!) and vintage gear.  I finally decided that since I was embarking upon uncharted territory, I wanted to cloak myself with something very comforting and familiar.  I chose a brilliant vintage coat that took me years to pry away from my Mother; a pair of ankle cowboy boots, skinny jeans; a gold & brown Bon Bon Vie t-shirt that reads “Brown Skin Lady” (in case there was any confusion) and some beautiful accessories that were bestowed upon me by my BFF and enormously artistically dexterous friend Angela (Her hand-crafted cards are divine!  Check out one of her paintings below).

Untitled by Angela Ford

The night before my inaugural socialite experience I was super excited and wanted to make sure that I was dazzling from head to toe.  I exfoliated my face; trying something new and natural, I whipped up some honey and sugar in the raw.  After about 60 seconds on my face the concoction began to itch feverishly. It was at that moment that I remembered I was allergic to honey.   So much for that particular natural remedy.   I used the same recipe on my hands (apparently my digits are much more resilient) and chased it with coconut oil.  To polish off the pampering of my hands, I manicured my fingernails.  It was like Bliss Spa up in here, up in here! (Shout out to DMX.)

Wednesday finally arrived and it was time for me to paint the town!  Michelle and Nadia were unavailable that evening.  But Stacey said she would be in attendance, albeit a bit late because she’s diligently working on a new documentary about Jesse Owens (more on that in a later blog).

I arrived at the book signing on time (my need to be punctual is hard to shake), but I didn’t want to be the first one in the spot, so I didn’t go in right away.  When I finally entered the gallery, the room didn’t part and there were no rumbles.  In fact, not one person noticed the new socialite on the scene. Ok, I exaggerated; one person did notice me – Photographer Leila Jacue, who agreed to attend the function & catch all of my good sides.  Senorita Jacue hails from Spain y ella es sumamente talentosa! Muchos gracias, Leila!!

Mike Schreiber, Tracee Loran, Tyson Hall

I ran into my boy Tyson Hall.  Tys and I go waaay back.  We were in an Amiri Baraka play together at the famed Nuyorican Poet’s Café.  I’m happy to say we are still doing it! He is a super dope artist and he has the flyest Mother!   Tyson is cool with ‘True Hip-Hop” author Mike Schreiber, so he made an intro.   Mike is good people; we chatted it up, talked about hip-hop and took pictures. Good times.  If you love hip-hop and have a grand appreciation for photography, you must pick up “True Hip-Hop”…now!

Chris Rucker, Tracee Loran, Van "The World Traveler"

The night made way for some interesting encounters.  I met Mike’s friend and an extremely gifted artist & furniture designer, Chris Rucker and Van, the World Traveler, who was not impressed with the fact that I guessed he had just returned from Brazil.  Hmph! The live action version of Squidward (Go ask your kids who that is…if you don’t know).

Stacey Holman, Tracee Loran

Stacey made her grand entrance; we took more photos, mingled and headed out. Our next mission was to crash an event at the Carlton Hotel hosted by Ne-Yo, Estelle and real estate guru Avi Oster.  Earlier that day, I’d acquired the cell phone number of the person in charge of the invitations.  When I called he was naturally taken aback that I had his number.  Oh I have my ways!  He told me to stop by and he would “see what happens.” Hmm, that was vaguely promising.  We followed his instructions, but when we arrived there were about 5 different guest list sergeants who didn’t seem to have a clue. Honestly, did there need to be so many?  I called my contact but he failed to answer the phone.  Hmmm. I don’t want to put Ciro of the Carlton Hotel on blast but, um. Wait I just did, didn’t I?  Oops! Well, that was fine with us because we took notice of the party guests and decided that it was too cold and they were too corny-looking to waste more time.  In the end, we were satisfied with the book signing and called it a night.

Mike Schreiber, Tracee Loran

I’d say my first night of being a socialite was a smashing success.  I had a great time and met some pretty funky people.  I think my Grandmother would be proud.  And if not, she will surely let me know.  She’s not shy!  Make sure you subscribe by clicking the “Sign me up!” button in the upper right hand side so you can check in on my next adventure. Until we meet again my friends, stay radically fabulous…

4 Comments

Filed under Radically Fabulous Stories