This is such a great project. LATA 65 is a simple concept: organize street art workshops for the elderly. Over the course of a few days, seniors learn about street art, graffiti and its history, as well as several techniques such as stenciling, then they take their newly acquired skills to the street, ultimately awakening the creative spirit. The clever minds behind the project are Lara Seixo Rodrigues of WOOL Urban Arts Festival and Fernando Mendes of Cowork Lisboa. The presently Lisbon-based project believes that retirement should not equal an intellectually passive lifestyle, and having fun is critical at any age. Even if these elderly street artists don’t get their shot at the Houston Bowery Wall, they definitely look like they’re having fun. Mission accomplished.
A couple of weekends ago, when Dan was in town for a short visit, we went over to the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea to catch the new Doug Wheeler light installation. Having been to the previous Wheeler show two years ago (here) I was very excited to share the experience with my daughter. Unlike the last exhibit, there was no line. In fact, we were asked if we had a reservation, which spurred a moment of panic but, fortunately in our case, it was of no consequence. However, also unlike SA MI 75 DZ NY 12 this Wheeler light installation was less surprising and disorienting, which isn’t a bad thing, just different. While the last exhibit was a bit unnerving upon entry — not being able to tell where the room began or ended — this domed room shows its edge and horizon line right from the door. The previous work instilled a bit of anxiety, this one a calm and soothing effect. As in many of Wheeler’s works the immersive environment emphasizes the viewer’s physical experience of space, in this case focusing attention on the way light almost imperceptibly changes along the horizon as the earth turns. If the last exhibit installation felt like being in a cloud, I would equate this one (based on no personal experience, obviously) to a moon-like atmosphere. Forget watching George Clooney in Gravity, head over to David Zwirner and immerse yourself in Doug Wheeler’s rotational horizon. Best to make a reservation, just to be on the safe side. The installation will be up through March 29, 2014.
Third photo courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery. All others collabcubed.
What would you do with 500,000 sugar cubes? Well, if you’re Irish artist Brendan Jamison and his sculptor collaborators Mark Revels, Mary McCaffrey, Lydia Holmes, and David Turner, you build a metropolis, naturally. A Sugar Metropolis. Brendan Jamison and his crew did just that this past October through January at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland, inviting visitors to participate in the ongoing construction of sugar buildings with the assistance of the experts. Now, with the help of No Longer Empty (previously here and here) they’re bringing their project to Harlem this summer; the Sugar Hill district, no less! The event aims to celebrate the power of collaboration in art, engaging local residents of all ages in the community to help build their own Sugar Metropolis, with the goal to ignite the imagination of everyone in the neighborhood. Brendan Jamison has created a Kickstarter page to help fund the project, so see if you might want to consider contributing to their generous creative efforts.
Here’s Ulster installation in progress:
It’s been, and continues to be, a long and relentlessly snowy winter here in NYC this year, but Brooklyn-based author/illustrator Shelley Jackson is making the best of it. With admirable handwriting, Jackson has set out to writing a story in the snow—one word at a time—photographing each one and posting them to her instagram. Reading from oldest photo to newest, you can follow the ongoing story, waiting with bated breath for the next words to appear. Photos, it seems, are posted in relatively large batches roughly once a week, so maybe you can get a sentence or two in at a time. Story aside, the photos themselves are lovely, with great composition and a splash of color here and there. This is not the first time Shelley Jackson has taken to story-telling a word at a time; SKIN, a story published in tattoos on the skin of 2,095(!) volunteers is a previous project.
You can follow SNOW (in reverse order) over here, “weather permitting”, but from the looks of things outside, that shouldn’t be an issue…this could end up being a multi-volume story.
via gothamist via the awl
Photographer Fred Cray’s (previously here and here) latest exhibit at Janet Borden Gallery centers around his ongoing work titled Unique Photographs. It’s a fun idea that engages the public, distributing his unique artworks in the most unexpected places. But, really, who better to describe it than the photographer himself?
“This project is referred to as Unique Photographs which is also the title of the first overview book about the project. The second book, Changing the Guard, is a counter point to the first book and uses the same image double printed to make hundreds of unique print variations. The photographs have been hidden literally around the world with the intent of surprising people in pleasant ways, perhaps being kept as gifts. This should be an on-going project taking on new permutations for a number of years. The photographs have been stamped and numbered with holes being punched in the photographs recently to reinforce the notion of the photographs being unique objects.”
You have until February 21st to see the show at Janet Borden. Additionally, you can purchase both books here and here. And keep your eyes peeled for Fred’s unique photographs around your neighborhood. You never know where the next one might pop up…
It’s that time of year again, when all things turn red and heart-shaped in honor of St Valentine. Times Square is no exception. Now in its sixth year since the revitalization of Father Duffy Square, Times Square Arts held their annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition for a heart- and love-themed interactive sculpture to be placed across the square from the TKTS booth steps. This year’s winning design is Young Projects’ Match-Maker that will cosmically connect people, guided by their zodiac signs. Peering through bright red, interwoven periscopes – which, from certain angles, appears as an iconic heart, while from others a more abstract tangled object – visitors are offered glimpses of their four most suited astrological mates.
But while Match-Maker is a clever design, the competition was no slouch either. The five finalists were strong candidates and merit mentioning as well. Haiko Cornelissen Architecten submitted Tweet Heart NY, an illuminated heart that would pulsate with every tweet @ it. The more tweets, the faster the pulse. Schaum/Shieh Architects offered My Fuzzy Valentine, a striped graphic reflective structure that would create moiré patterns when rotated that pulse like a beating heart, as well as making for great selfie opportunities and creating digital Valentine-grams. Next, The Living proposed Vapor Valentine: a dynamic cloud that captures and displays the ever-changing life and light of Times Square. People could interact with the heart through touching and blowing the cloud, through placing their hands on the glass box to affect the vapor inside, and through a custom text-messaging hotline. Heart, proposed by Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio, would have been made from an illuminated circle that could be pulled and folded to form a heart. When released it would flutter until regaining its balance. Lastly, SoftLAB’s entry was inspired by the sweetness and forms of rock candy and candy hearts, hence its name Sweet ❤. Its kaleidoscopic reflective surface would capture the lights of Times Square in addition to revealing hidden messages as visitors moved their mobile cameras around the sculpture.
You can visit the winning Match-Maker sculpture through March 11, 2014, and you can read more about all the entries over here.
via Van Alen Institute
Last month, continuing in the tradition of converting pre-demolition or abandoned sites into an opportunity for a temporary street art show – Tour Paris 13, Rae’s Word of Mouth Bodega, and Surplus Candy being prime examples – Le Projet FMR organized the exhibition Home Street Home in a villa doomed to destruction in Montpellier, France. Coralie & Tom, former lawyers who started the project, had a week to set the place up with the help of local and international street artists. Some of these include: Mr. BMX’s bikes; Levalet and the incorporated cables; Baubô in the bathroom; Mme. Moustache; Yuri Hopnn; Stoul in the kitchen; Depose’s graffiti walls; and Souredj’s sculptural street art, to name just the ones in the photos above. Home Street Home was up and open to the public from January 17th through the 19th. You can see many more photos on Le Projet FMR’s website and facebook page, and you can get a virtual tour with some artist interviews in French in the video below:
Winter is a time of migration to warmer climate, not only by birds, but, in the past generation or two, among many of the professionally retired in western societies. And right about now, in the midst of our fourth or fifth snowstorm here in NYC — I’ve lost count — the thought is completely understandable and immensely appealing. Moroccan-born visual and sound artist Younes Baba-Ali, who splits his time between Brussels and Casablanca, has an interesting take on the phenomenon of “migratory flux”. His installation/sculpture titled Ending Your Life Under the Sun converts a coffin into a tanning bed, or is it the other way around? Who hasn’t associated those sun beds with coffins at some point? If you can get past the slightly morbid aspect, there’s definitely wiggle room for a chuckle.
via Sabrina Amrani Gallery
Maybe it’s time birds get in on museum culture. Or at least that might be one of artist Marlon de Azambuja’s (previously here and here) goals in creating these sculptural bird cages in the shape of famous international museums. See if you can identify all four. I’ll link to photos of the actual museums: top (c’mon, that’s a freebie!); second one down; second from bottom; and bottom.
If you like these you might also enjoy these gingerbread museums.
The always-wacky usually-less-bloody Jon Burgerman (previously here) has a an ongoing series of interventions staged in front of film and television ad panels, photographing himself perfectly situated as the target of the pointed gun, arrow, or other weapon of choice in each poster. These Head Shots, as the series is called, are then digitally manipulated, adding splattered blood in a Tarantinoesque fashion. Definitely a departure from the cute characters he usually draws, but still, somehow, very Burgerman.
You might like his Korean Subway series, too.
Swedish artist Michael Johansson takes everyday objects apart and rejoins the pieces in a welded metal frame, coating them with a unifying layer of plastic, ultimately simulating the look of a snap-apart model kit, something Johansson is very familiar with having spent much of his childhood making toy models. There’s obvious humor in these, but the titles such as Toys’r’Us – Dingy Scale 1:1 and Engine Bought Separately leave it completely unambiguous.
And then there’s this aspect of his work…
Olivier Ratsi is a French visual artist whose work is mainly based upon representations of space’s perception and the experience of reality. His audiovisual immersive installation, Onion Skin, offers the viewer a changing perspective of space and time. Consisting of two walls set up perpendicular to each other and serving as canvases on which a series of animated geometric shapes are projected—along with sound—a new dimension is slowly revealed. Using repetition and scale, the anamorphic visuals play tricks on the viewer, having what initially seemed flat, suddenly delineate a new space, consequently altering their perception of depth all the while having a hypnotic effect. The illusion appears as the “onion skins” seem to peel away and leave their physical surface behind. Here’s a video:
via rooms magazine
These sculptural embroidered works by British artist Sally Hewett are intriguing, if a tad disturbing. But that’s just her point. Hewett is interested in the social and political history of the craft of embroidery and stitching, but she is also interested in the ideas of beauty. She writes on her website: “My embroidery and stitching practice centres on bodies, beauty and ugliness and the conventions that determine which is seen as which…I am interested in how we see things, how we interpret what we see and how the connotations of needlework and embroidery as a medium affect how the content is seen – is it seen as ugly, beautiful or funny?” You decide.
These pieces are made using quilting hoops that vary in diameter from just a couple of inches up to almost 20″. Inserted in the hoops to create the large bellies, bottoms, breasts, lips and more, is everything from stretched velvet, lycra, or cotton, to foam padding, hair and, of course, stitching…lots of stitching.
Photos courtesy of the artist; bottom photo by Jane Burns.
I certainly know where I’ll be headed if I find myself in Frankfurt. NONEON is a small shop/gallery run by designer Fabian Thiele who has been collecting letters from old signs and fixing them up, making them into lights, all, apparently, affordable to boot. Just seeing these piles of illuminated type makes me happy. The shop is only open on Fridays and Saturdays so, if this appeals to you next time in Frankfurt, make sure to plan accordingly. Recycling at its best.
At the VVTs All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow last week, an upside down house had visitors in a tizzy. Similar in concept to Jean-François Fourtou’s Tombée du Ciel, this house (not sure who the artist/designer behind the project is) is larger and even includes a car hanging from the driveway. The multi-room structure was built upside down as a tourist attraction and was fully fitted with furnishings, kitchen, bath, and even food on the dining room table, all hanging from the ceiling, or, rather, floor…wait. It appears that at least in one of the rooms a video camera was inverted inside a cabinet (see third photo down) projecting the room live and right side up on a tv screen and, consequently, its visitors upside down. Confusing and fun.
Thanks Ramon and Eugene. (GMS)
NYC-based artist Sarah Oppenheimer‘s work blurs the line between sculpture and architecture. Her amazing installations usually involve moving walls, slanting floors, and creating apertures—sometimes symmetric, sometimes asymmetric, and often with mirrors—that would mesmerize (and confuse) the most resistant of gallery/museum guests. Much in the way James Turrell or Doug Wheeler can create spatial confusion with light, and Richard Serra can take over a space with his torques, Oppenheimer makes the gallery itself—and the experience of walking through it—the art. All her works are identified by letters and numbers such as D-33 (second photo from top) making them all the more abstract. Each work is meticulously planned with mechanical drawings and engineered load tests, then executed with precision. I can’t wait to see one of these in person.
via ppow gallery
Who doesn’t like a good flipbook, right? And your very own? Even better. A few years back I made a couple of flipbooks of my kids when they were little via flipclips which were a hit, but now kinetic artists Wendy Marvel and Mark Rosen have taken the concept to a whole new level with their FlipBooKit Moto, a motorized animated flip book. Based on their own artworks inspired by the motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge, the duo applied the same techniques they use in their sculptural mechanical flipbooks to a DIY kit. It’s easy to assemble— you’ll only need a screwdriver—and will take less than an hour to complete. You can use the included art or use your own images, the possibilities are limitless! Looks like a great gift idea. You can hear more about it in the video below and you can purchase it here.
Blaqk is a collaboration between Athens-based design duo Greg Papagrigoriou and Chris Tzaferos who goes by Simek. Their street art mixes geometric forms with typographic letterforms—much of which is calligraphy. Whether black on white or white on black, on gallery walls, building façades, or abandon lots, their graphic style definitely pops. You can see much more of their work on their site.