NEW YORK -- "Art is an envoy of peace. Art is a way for cultures and people to communicate."
That's what Mikhail Gorbachev, sounding more like a philosopher king than the former president of the Soviet Union, had to say when he visited a Mercer Street art gallery Monday afternoon.
Fresh from a tour of ground zero and en route to a meeting with Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall, Gorbachev stopped by the Grant gallery to preview the Russian and Russian-American art that will be auctioned today to benefit the World Trade Center victims' families. A wall-length painting of the New York skyline covered with images of faces was among the items he eyed -- and after he signed it himself, some of the six artists who had worked on the project acknowledged the work's immediate appreciation in value. "Our collaboration with Gorbachev," laughed Elena Sarni.
But Gorbachev didn't back down from talking politics. In addition to being six months to the day after the World Trade Center attacks, March 11 marks the anniversary of Gorbachev's election to the post of General Secretary of the Central Communist Parties of the Soviet Union. He said he hoped President Bush would be open to discussing human values and maintaining the non-enemy spirit that Gorbachev and the elder Bush helped establish more than a decade ago -- a sentiment he said he shared with Bill Clinton Sunday night over dinner at the Russian Embassy.
Monday afternoon wasn't all art and politics, though. Like so many party-favor collectors at New York events, Gorbachev revealed that he isn't above the art of regifting. When presented with a boxed bottle of Kremly Vodka, he told the company's director of advertising: "This will be a great present for Mayor Bloomberg."
In honor of Rihanna’s 30th birthday, we took a look back at an interview with the Barbados-native when she was just 18 years old. Here, she talked about her second album, “A Girl Like Me” in 2006. “I want to be me. I want people to fall in love with who Rihanna is, and that’s why I want the album to be about me so people can really find out who this girl Rihanna is, because they only know the ‘Pon de Replay’ girl.” Fast forward 12 years, and she’s released six more albums and has become a powerhouse in both the fashion and music industries. Happy birthday, @badgalriri 🎈(📷: Pavel Antonov) #wwdarchive
For @simonerocha_‘s fall show, hairstylist @jamespecis created a look inspired by the painter John Constable. Models’ hair was pulled back, tied into knots and topped off with a bow. (📷: @kukukuba) #wwdbeauty #lfw
Queen Elizabeth made a surprise appearance at @richardquinn1's London Fashion Week show to present the designer with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. The new award will be handed out annually to an emerging British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent, while demonstrating value to the community and sustainable policies. #wwdfashion #lfw (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)