All Articles
All Articles

Beyond Elegance

Art, espresso and amateur tattooing from Todd James and Alexis Ross

by James Thorne
on 13 November 2012

Opening tonight, 13 November 2012 at 560 Washington Street in NYC, artists Todd James and Alexis Ross are joining forces in a joint show called "Beyond Elegance." Both pranksters in their own right, Ross and James are influenced by a self-taught aesthetic and penchant for farce. The duo and the team behind the show—which is being presented by Andy Valmorbida and PM Tenore—have been working tirelessly, trying to pull everything together while working off of generators at the West Side location.

James' look is instantly recognizable, this time portraying armed rebels on vacation in vibrant colors. The self-taught artist is known in part for creating "Street Market" alongside Steve "Espo" Powers and Barry McGee, which was selected for the 2001 Venice Biennale. In "Beyond Elegance," James' cartoonish figures play with balloon-like AK47s with unexpected levity, unsurprising considering his history of satire.


Ross presents a set that parts from James in color palette—using deep reds, blues and an off-white—but not in theme. "The Sexual Misadventures of Ronaldo the Great" are a collection of tableaus that detail one philanderer's panty-pinching escapades. Coming from a background in set design, Ross told us that he decided to try his hand at the gallery scene when he learned of Todd James' involvement.

Ross—along with co-conspirator and owner of LA motorcycle shop Choke, Jeff Johnson—is also behind Café Legs, a pop-up espresso bar that is currently in its fourth iteration. Previewing the space, Ross explained that the inspiration for Café Legs comes from "Café con piernas," the ubiquitous Chilean coffee bars that serve up coffee from scantily clad waitresses. During the opening, espresso shots will be pulled as visitors are encouraged to relax inside on the café's communal bed.


Ross also happens to be an amateur tattoo artist, and has set up a working tattoo station for the occasion. He plans on inking East Coast friends—he lives and works in Los Angeles—during the reception, where a limited number of designs will be available. "Beyond Elegance" opens tonight at 560 Washington Street and will run through 30 November 2012. See more images after the jump.

Images by James Thorne

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should
Loading More...