Photorealism Paintings by Danny Heller

The first time we saw the work of Danny Heller Art, we thought we were looking at blown up photographs! We were amazed by Danny’s realistic painted renderings of iconic Mid Century Modern buildings, cars, and locations! You can view more of (and purchase) works by Danny on his website:


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UPDATE from Danny Heller:

After much anticipation, I’m happy to announce my next exhibition for 2016 will open March 3rd at the George Billis Gallery’s New York City location.

Titled “Midcentury Manhattan,” this series delves deeper into my exploration of the architecture, car culture, and design aesthetic that flourished in New York City in the 1950s and 60s. At a time when the city was transitioning from WWII aftermath to Modern metropolis, a whole new vision of contemporary city life was taking shape. Brownstone buildings turned into glass skyscrapers, a simplified clean aesthetic replaced ornate details, and entire city blocks were leveled to make way for the almighty automobile. Focusing on this duality of old and new, my work captures a changing New York – the old neon signage of the neighborhood pharmacy, as well as the sleek interiors of Mies van der Rohe’s groundbreaking Seagram Building. You’ll find classic storefront windows displaying 1950’s fashion, juxtaposed with office windows of a Madison Ave skyscraper. Viewed as a whole, my series aims to take viewers to this transformative period of time – and might even remind them that many of these scenes can still be found in Manhattan today.



Show Runs: March 1-26, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday, March 3, 6-8pm

George Billis Gallery
525 W 26th St., Ground Floor
New York, NY 10001

Beefcake of the Week ~ Daryl

Hi Daryl!
What’s your idea of a perfect date?
“Horseback riding all day, dinner and wine by candlelight, go country dancing with my Modern Bear until we are tired and ending our date with a tailgate party and game the very next day.” How would you describe your interior design style?
“Contemporary with a Tommy Bahamas’ twist!”

What kind of music do you listen to?
“Country to House, R&B to Smooth Jazz, Gospel to Broadway…and everything in between.”

What’s your most memorable Christmas?
“My most memorable Christmas was last year being able to give gifts from European trip to my family.”


Location: “Palm Springs/ Joshua Tree area.”

Height: 5’11

Hair: Bald

Eyes: Hazel

Sign: Aries

Fitness Routine: “Lift weights at least 4x a week.”


Occupation: “Law enforcement.”

“Running marathons, working out with my trainer, country dancing and being a political junkie.”

Guilty pleasure snack:
“Carrot cake, German chocolate cake, coconut cake, fruit cake and Cold Stone Creamery.”


TV Faves:
“MSNBC, The Grimm, The Originals, Game of Thrones, Vikings, Star Trek The Next Generation, American Horror Story, Dune series and Penny Dreadful.”

Favorite Films:
“Avatar, Interview with A Vampire, Wolf man, Twilight Saga, Pulp Fiction, Man of Steel and the Star Wars Saga.”

Currently Reading:
“Sports Illustrated, Cover and Concealment, Men’s Journal, Oprah Magazine, Essences, Out 100, Details, GQ, ESPN.”

Turn Ons:
“Someone who can show vulnerability; express emotion; someone I can trust and who can trust me; monogamy.”

Turn Offs:
“Racism, intolerant people, discrimination in all sense.”


Personal Philosophy:
The Optimist Creed:
“Promise Yourself
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”


Beefcake of the Week ~ Ray

Hi Ray!

What’s your idea of a perfect date?
“For me, a perfect date must be uninterrupted bonding time with your boyfriend. It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do. Staying connected, reminding each other why you are a couple, why you both chose each other. Make each other laugh, flirt with each other, kiss, hold hands, comfortable silent pauses of looking at each other, reconfirm with each other that no one else shares what you both have. This pulls you in even closer.
You should do this all the time, but on a date, at that moment, no one else should exist. And the cell phones NEVER come out.”

How would you describe your personal interior design style?
“My home is simple, warm and welcoming with unique pieces. I think each piece should stand on it’s own. With my mild case of ocd, I don’t like having a lot of stuff all over the place. I also have to have art and photo stills hanging. Bare walls will drive me nuts. I have several Frida Kahlo, Tamara de Lempicka and Picasso prints I’ve transferred to canvas and I have framed photos from my friend Johan Jansson. He shot a series of Frida Kahlo inspired pictures that are just beautiful. It’s amazing how art and photos can completely transform a room.”


What kind of music do you listen to?
“My iTunes grows weekly. I listen to ABBA, Charles Mingus, Jill Scott, Pavaroti, Morrissey, Zero 7 and EVERYTHING in between. I love that music has the power to change your mood, instantly. It sets the tone for any environment you’re in. I love to dance, so when I go out and there’s tribal and vocal house playing (*DJ Paulo*), you can bet my ass will be on a speaker in 5 seconds.”


Location: Montreal, Canada
Height: 5’ 10”
Hair: Dark dirty blonde
Eyes: Green Hazel
Sign: “Leo – An Italian Leo no doubt.”


Fitness Routine:
“I’ve been getting into the best shape I’ve ever been. It’s taken a couple years to get to this point with conscious eating, excersise and most importantly, having the proper mind set. Fitness starts in your head. The way I saw myself, in my 40s as a gay man, changed and I started to become comfortable in my own skin.
Once you remove the pressure of wanting to measure up to others, of trying to impress others, of trying to fit into a certain mold, you start to stand strong and can focus on you and then, it all starts to fall into place. That’s what I love about the Bear community. We are all different shapes and sizes.
I’m very blessed to have a body that puts on muscle mass easily. I work 14/16 + hour days, so I have to set timers to remind myself to eat every 3 hours. When I’m off work, I try to go to the gym twice a day, 4 (ish) times a week. Weights in the morning for an hour, then cross fit in the late afternoon or cardio, (bike, swim or whatever I feel like on the day). For weights, I have my trainer design me 3 different work out plans. I work out with him once with each plan, then I follow the plans for 6 weeks, then I go see him again and switch it up. I get bored easily and get quickly distracted, so….and…what was I saying? Anyways.
Ashtanga Yoga is also very important for me. Keeps the body limber.
Meditation is a must. Calms the mind.”


Occupation: “2nd Assistant Director on American Films. I make sure the Director has everything he needs to shoot the movie, then I help him shoot it.”

Hobbies: “Since the winters in Montreal are so brutal (exasperated sigh), I like to spend most of my summer outdoors. Hiking, mountain biking, rugby, ridding my Harley and hanging with friends. Been traveling lots lately whenever it tickles my fancy. Love cooking and eating. I’m Italian so I can cook like a mother fucker and I can eat forever. I’ve also been collecting pop up books for many years. I have almost every one of Robert Sabuda’s 1st Edition, 1st Print books. And tending to my garden of Italian tomatoes. It’s rather meditative.”


Guilty Pleasure Snack: “CAKE! Lots of it (I’m a fat girl inside).”

TV Faves: “I don’t watch tv so I try to choose series to watch. Sense8, you have my full attention right now. And all 7 seasons of The Golden Girls of course.”

Last good movie you saw: “I honestly can’t remember and I should considering what I do for work.”


Currently Reading: “I recently finished reading Kristen Johnston’s memoir, guts. Holy shit!
and now, I’m gonna re-read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

Turn Ons: “Old fashioned (like me), humble, honest and can make me laugh. A guy who loves to eat. Holding hands while walking. Someone who is confident and stands next to me as an equal. Having each others backs and treating each other like Kings. Finding sweet notes tucked into your coat pocket or gym bag (Ugh, that makes me melt). His smell on the sheets in the morning. Seeing his jock on the floor after a workout and then wearing it. Fur, man smell and tree trunk legs. Did I mention man smell? WOOF!”


Turn Offs:
“1.Guys who believe in their own hype. IG is just for fun. It’s not a competition and there is no prize in the end.
2.Guys who body shame others. Putting people down because they don’t have the ideal or perfect or most desired body doesn’t make you hotter. It makes you a Cunt and a Basic Bitch. So stay humble.”


Personal Philosophy :
“The best advise I’ve gotten was from my dad. In 1997. We were having lunch in Milan & he said to me (loosely translated from Italian):
“Renato, IF you have to leave, try to leave that person or that place better than how you found them. This will make you a better man”.
That was a pivotal point of my life. It’s about the time when my journey into Buddhism started. I miss him terribly.”

“Kitschmasland!” by Modern Bear Travis Smith

If you love Retro and Christmas, you’ll probably love this book! Over 400 photos devoted to Christmas decorations and decorated interiors from the 1950’s to the 70’s! Written by Modern Bear Travis Smith. Available online at Amazon and other book sellers.
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Mid Century Icon: Chemosphere House

We have always been fascinated with The Chemosphere house, designed by American architect John Lautner in 1960. The iconic MCM building, which the Encyclopædia Britannica once called “the most modern home built in the world”, is admired both for the ingenuity of its solution to the problem of the site and for its unique design.

The house stands on the San Fernando Valley side of the Hollywood Hills, just off Mulholland Drive.

Modern Bear Trivia: the house was dramatically featured in the 1984 film “Body Double,” directed by Brian De Palma. We also like to think it was the secret inspiration for the Jupiter 2 from “Lost in Space” 😉

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