Russian-born Lika Ramati is the owner of Yaffa Cafe in downtown Manhattan. She's also a multidisciplinary artist with an exhibit of digitally constructed photographs for Art Basel called Everything is Pretty at 119 N.E. 39th Street in the Design District.
You can't help but be drawn into her highly-stylized world of fantasy and kitsch, with gilded images of mystical jewel-adorned women and mist-blanketed Paris streets. Everything is brooding, alluring, and, yes, very very pretty.
Ramati will close the week-long show tomorrow by mixing a drink called The Golden Fountain, an inspired vodka based cocktail with shimmering apple juice. It's a nod to a performance art movement called Fluxus, popular in New York in the 1960's, where artists
involve the audience in minimally-instructed, symbolic events that call
attention to how seriously the art world takes itself.
Since The Golden Fountain
will not exist, except in concept, until it is mixed, you'll just have to leave what it looks and tastes like up to your imagination. Isn't it more fun that way, anyway?
Enlightened? Confused? A detailed explanation of the artist's intention for her exhibit in two acts follows.
*In Act I of Everything is Pretty--everything was pretty. The artist exhibited work in a presentable and comfortable manner. Towards the end of the first act, the artist began to question the purpose of the gallery; She began to question the state of the art in the gallery: â€œDoes an image that once only existed in a trapped state in my computer become art when it is printed with archival methods and placed in a gallery?â€ To punctuate the end of the first act, Ramati decides to transform the gallery into a more likable setting--to her; in a fashion that remains an accepted standard for the exhibition and sale of art and photography, Act I closes with the preparation of sale.*
*In Act II the artist will perform a Golden Fountain toast in celebration of a golden market opportunity. An auction of the artist's limited Edition Commemorative Plates will follow.*
Pronunciation: \Ëˆpri-tÄ", ËˆpÉ™r- also Ëˆpruï¿½ï¿½-\
Inflected Form(s): pretÂ·tiÂ·er; pretÂ·tiÂ·est
*Function: noun *
*Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sala; akin to Old High
sala transfer, Old English sellan to sell â€" more at
*Date: before 12th century*
*1 : the act of selling; specifically: the transfer of ownership of and
title to property from one person to another for a price
2 a : opportunity of selling or being sold :
3 : public disposal to the highest bidder :
5 plural a : operations and activities involved in promoting and selling
goods or services
*â€" for sale : available for purchase*
*Function: noun *
*Etymology: Latin auction-, auctio, from augÄ"re to increase â€" more at
*1 : a sale of property to the highest bidder
2** : the act or process of bidding in some card games*