Tag Archives: GRammy

Former Queens resident selected to create official artwork for Grammys


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Laurence Gartel (c) The Recording Academy 2014 / Photos courtesy of Laurence Gartel

The top names in the music industry won’t be the only ones shining during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. One former Queens resident has been given the honor to create the official artwork for “music’s biggest night.”

Laurence Gartel, who has been called the “father of digital art” and spent 19 years of his early life living at the North Shore Towers in Floral Park, has created a version of the iconic Grammy figurine that will be used on the ceremony’s program book, tickets, poster and other promotional materials.

The life-sized statuette is wrapped in “psychedelic” imagery known to be Gartel’s style using vinyl, glitter and prismatic materials.

“It’s pretty darn amazing,” Gartel said about how it felt to be chosen as the official artist for the award ceremony. “I’m always looking to top myself and this certainly tops it. It feels great.”

Gartel’s first interaction with digital art came in 1975 when he met Nam June Paik, considered to be the founder of video art, at Media Study/Buffalo in upstate New York.

Although his artistic career began when he was nine at the Pels School of Art, working side to side with Paik was what started Gartel’s electronic career.

“That was sort of the birth of it all,” he said. “Electronic images could take over a painting on the wall.”

Gartel began working on computers the size of rooms, before the invention of personal computers, and started a technique prior to any software being created for painting and photo manipulation.

“You just go up to a machine and just start manipulating things and get images you couldn’t get otherwise,” Gartel said. “When you’re creating things that no one has seen before, that’s amazing.”

Since then his colorful images and pioneering designs have been used in advertising campaigns such as one for Absolut Vodka in 1991, which ran for 10 years. He has also worked alongside musicians such as Sid Vicious and the Ramones, and created artwork for artists such as Justin Timberlake.

One of his collaborative pieces includes partnering with Glen Greenberg of Elmont Glass Atelier for “art on glass” works that premiered at Art Hamptons.

His other individual pieces have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

In the past few years, Gartel has also taken his artwork and created “art cars,” donning his colorful designs on vehicles such as a Mercedes and Rolls Royce. He was also featured in the 113th Annual New York International Auto Show in April.

With having finished the artwork for the Grammys, which is set to air Feb. 8, Gartel said he continues to move ahead with new ventures and creating unique pieces.

“I’m looking forward to the future,” Gartel said.

For more information, visit www.gartelart.com.

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Saying goodbye to Marvin Hamlisch


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

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Marvin Hamlisch, the stage and screen composer who scored countless cultural masterpieces such as “A Chorus Line” and “The Way We Were,” passed away at the age of 68 in Los Angeles after a brief battle with an illness.

Hamlisch was one of the few entertainers to obtain the coveted EGOT – winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award. In addition to these, Hamlisch also won a Pulitzer Prize – one of only two people in history to attain all five commendations.

Born in Manhattan, Hamlisch exhibited musical genius from a very young age. He was accepted to Julliard’s Pre-College Division and worked as a rehearsal pianist on the production of “Funny Girl,” starring Barbara Streisand, who. he worked with at various points throughout his career.

In 1967, Hamlisch graduated from Queens College with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

“Everyone in the Queens College family mourns the passing of American music icon Marvin Hamlisch. His experience at Queens College echoes that of many of our current students—he was a young man from humble beginnings who benefited from a dedicated faculty, and then went on to make great contributions to his field,” said Queens College President James Muyskens.

Hamlisch’s best known screen compositions include music for “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford; “Sophie’s Choice” with Meryl Streep; and the 1977 James Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” The Bond movie’s theme song, “Nobody Does It Better,” performed by Carly Simon, became a radio sensation.

The musician also received an Academy Award nomination in 1986 for the film version of the Broadway hit “A Chorus Line” – centered around the lives of dancers during a tense and somewhat revealing audition — for which he wrote popular songs like “One,” “Dance: Ten; Looks: Three” and “What I Did For Love.”

Recently, Hamlisch joined director Steven Soderbergh to compose music for the 2009 film “The Informant!” In 2011, Hamlisch became the lead conductor of the Pasadena Pops and occasionally conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and San Diego Symphony.

 

J. Cole earns Best New Artist Grammy nod


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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In a year that J. Cole released a debut album that reached the top of the Billboard charts, the St. John’s University graduate has been recognized for his meteoric rise with a Grammy nomination.

Cole, 26, was nominated for Best New Artist where he will go up against The Band Perry, Bon Iver, fellow Queens rapper Nicki Minaj and Skrillex.  Acts such as The Beatles, Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys have taken home music’s version of Rookie of the Year.

The nominations were announced Wednesday in Los Angeles at a concert hosted by Queens’ own LL Cool J.

The rapper was born in Frankfurt, Germany, where his parents were stationed in the military, but grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. At 12, Cole began writing his own lyrics. After graduating from high school in 2003, Cole headed to the Big Apple determined to achieve his goals of breaking into the music business and earning his college degree.

In May 2007, Cole graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s and then got a part-time job selling classified ads for The Queens Courier.

The Roc Nation rapper’s debut album, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” sold over 200,000 units in its first week.

Minaj also received nominations for Best Rap Album for “Pink Friday” and Best Rap Performance for “Moment 4 Life.”

The award show will be held Sunday, February 12.