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Rare Russian Photography Featured at FotoFest

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Their faces are the very image of a blank expression. Perched high on a heap of sand, the two beach-going women in Igor Savchenko’s “Untitled (4-90-22)” strike a pretty pose for the close-up. To the photographer, however, their physiognomy means less than zero. Savchenko styles his models not with powder puffs but with razor blades, and he's fed their faces to Glad bags.
 
This scene is one of many stunning images now at the biennial FotoFest, the international photography exhibition—America’s largest—running throughout Houston until April 29.

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Rave Reviews for "Mr. Broadway" and Spring's Best Shows

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Fall is generally considered the beginning of the cultural season, but in April and May there’s a special tingle in the air in New York City.  It could be the warmer temperatures and sunnier, longer days. But for me, the creative energy emanates from new plays and musicals opening on Broadway—the actors, musicians, designers, directors, and producers involved with them—just in time to be considered for various theater honors that culminate with the Tony Awards in June.  
 
Much of what visitors and New Yorkers experience today in the theaters and streets around Times Square is owing to the vision, passion, know-how, and work of Gerald Schoenfeld, the legendary chairman of the Shubert Organization for more than 35 years. His recently published memoir, Mr. Broadway: The Inside Story of the Shuberts, the Shows, and the Stars (Applause Books; $27.99), finished shortly before his death in 2008, is an absorbing page-turner. For those interested in Broadway history, it provides an insider’s view to the world of the fractious Shubert dynasty and the key role it played in theater in the 20th century in New York and beyond.

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Gustav Klimt Turns 150, Vienna Celebrates

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“Forest Demon” (“Waldschrat”) was the nickname given to Gustav Klimt by the locals around the Attensee, the lakeside retreat near Vienna where the artist spent summer holidays, tramping through the woods loaded down with painting supplies, when he wasn’t relaxing with his companion Emilie Floge and her family. In glorious landscapes, such as "Farm Garden with Sunflowers" (pictured below), in the collection of Vienna’s Belvedere Museum, he transforms the hot-house sensuality of his better-known portraits and allegorical paintings into a vision of Nature’s mystery, cloaked in a brilliant dream of color and pattern.

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Guide to 2012's World Design Capital: Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland: A21 Dining

A head-to-hand guide to this year’s World Design Capital.

Smell: Lilies and lilacs mingling with the aroma of freshly brewed espresso at the cozy café and flower shop Fleuriste. 13 Uudenmaankatu; 358-40/051-9745.

See: Cutting-edge furniture and light installations at Design Gallery 12 inside the downtown Design Museum, which showcases work from creative up-and-comers. 23 Korkeavuorenkatu; 358-9/622-0540.

Hear: Symphony No. 2 by renowned Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, performed by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra at the recently opened Helsinki Music Center. April 25–26; 13 Mannerheimintie; 358-20/707-0400.

Touch: Silk sundresses and feather-print tunics from local fashion house Ivana Helsinki at its flagship store. 15 Uudenmaankatu; 358-50/505-1624.

Taste: Foraged meadow herbs with elderflower vinaigrette and cloudberry-glazed wild boar at A21 Dining, the city’s latest hot spot, or a basil-and-rhubarb martini at its chic neighboring cocktail bar. 17 Kalevankatu; 358-40/171-1117; dinner for two $105.

Photo courtesy of A21

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Heads to "Magic City"

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

The tall, dark, and handsome actor—who will always be Denny Duquette from Grey’s Anatomy to me—returns to the small screen in Starz’s latest original drama Magic City. Call it the Mad Men of Miami Beach. Set in 1958, the show (which has already been picked up for a second season) recreates a turbulent time, complete with mafia, CIA agents, and a flashy and ambitious hotelier named Ike Evans (played by Morgan). Here, the actor gives us a little history lesson, reveals why he thinks the show will be a success, and more.

Q: What made you want to get involved with the show?

A: First and foremost, as an actor, you want to go where the writing is. I read three or four episodes going into having lunch with Mitch Glazer, the writer and executive producer. Within 10 minutes of sitting down, I agreed to do it, and the rest, I hope, will be history.

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GloboMaestro Goes to Barbara Feinman Millinery

Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: In a world of mass produced goods, Barbara Feinman's hats, handmade to order in her tiny shop in the heart of New York's East Village, are truly special. Made with limited editions fabrics and vintage details, Barbara and her small team of designers treat hat making like sculpture, using techniques that have barely changed since the 19th century.

Just a handful of these artisans are left in New York, and Barbara's hats are in high demand by New Yorkers in the know, including celebrities like Beyonce, Chloe Sevigny and Blake Lively.

In this new GloboMaestro video, a downtown insider from The Bowery Hotel explores this East Village storefront where one of fashion's niche arts is still thriving.

Video courtesy of GloboMaestro

Q&A with Amsterdam's Hester van Eeghen

Amsterdam's Hester Van Eeghen bag

This Dutch designer has become a cult favorite thanks to her brightly colored leather bags, wallets, and shoes. Here, the plugged-in local shares her top hometown picks.

Q: Favorite restaurant?
A:
Proef (12 Gosschalklaan; 31-20/682-2656; dinner for two $120), a small, no-nonsense restaurant that’s organic and fresh, both in its menu and its urban-farmhouse-style décor. Try the beet ravioli. Book ahead.

Q: Must-visit jewelry store?
A: BLGK Goldsmiths
(28 Hartenstraat; 31-20/624-8154) carries metal jewelry that honors the natural shape of gemstones; I’m inspired by the window display alone.

Q: Top cultural spot?
A:
The Museum of Bags & Purses (573 Herengracht; 31-20/524-6452) has a collection of 4,000-plus pieces that offers a fascinating historical overview of my favorite accessory.

Q: Best mode of transportation?
A:
My husband and I bike everywhere. I love the bicycles from Vanmoof; they’re lightweight and rust-resistant, and have a built-in lock. You can rent them at Cyclelution (258 Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal; 31-65/363-1973; $10 for two hours).

Photo courtesy of hveus.com

Musician (and World Traveler) Morley Debuts New Album

A Jamaica, Queens native, singer-songwriter Morley makes music that is global, to say the least. Her latest album, Undivided (due out today, April 3rd), was recorded hot off the heels of a year of travel and takes cues from the music of the Sahara and Morocco. Morley’s brand of internationally influenced pop has been pegged by some as the missing link between Sade and Joni Mitchell, touting love and tolerance to hip-hop beats and acoustic guitar. And well, we love it.

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Reopening Art Gallery: The Palais de Tokyo in Paris

Palais de Tokyo artwork

When the Palais de Tokyo reopens this month, three times bigger than before, the self-described “anti-museum par excellence” will be one of Europe’s largest contemporary art spaces. The inaugural Triennale exhibition (April 20–Aug. 26) features works by a global range of talents, including Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui and New York–based Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Roar, K, a papier-mâché mask by South Korean artist Seulgi Lee, on view at the Palais de Tokyo.

Mask by Seulgi Lee, Photo by Aurèlien Mole / Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo

A Local’s Guide to Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, Germany

David Einsiedler, shop owner, and his dog Laban
“I own a vintage furniture store called Ply, so I’m a bit design-obsessed. Tide is a small, beautiful café lined with driftwood from the North Sea; I also go to the modern Klippkroog for regional food like Rollbraten (rolled roast).”

Nadira Nasser, costume designer
“Speicherstadt, the old warehouse district, is filled with museums now. At Miniatur Wunderland, the ‘chocolate factory’ exhibit actually produces a tiny piece of Swiss chocolate for you while you wait.”

Andrea Schneider (pictured), book cover designer
“HafenCity is the next great neighborhood, with many new buildings, including the concert hall Elbphilharmonie, scheduled to open in 2014. It’s right on the river Elbe; I like to watch the container ships coming in and out.”

Kevin Reschka, operations manager of an automotive company
“Sometimes after basketball we go to 3 Freunde for their inventive cocktails. My favorite is the Filmriss Deluxe, with vodka, vanilla liqueur, sparkling wine, passion fruit, and lime.”

Photo by Christian Kerber

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