Strolling through the gallery openings in Chelsea the other evening I came upon Jen and Paul’s One Stop Shopping Souvenir City & Chelsea Bus Tours. Definitely hard to miss, the glitzed up light blue parked bus (on 26th Street the night I was there, but apparently more often located on 24th Street) beckons to passers-by, welcoming them in and offering an array of humorous art souvenirs for purchase. The mobile shop — created, designed, run, and driven by performance artists Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw — displays and sells an impressive selection of clever mock DIY-style art kits, games, and supplies that poke fun at the big-name contemporary artists whose work is often found within the galleries that surround it. Make your own Jeff Koons balloon animals with a set of branded balloons. A glasses and nose disguise is repositioned as a Cindy Sherman Disguise Kit. There’s Chuck Close Graph Paper, Paul McCarthy Ketchup bottles, Mini Damien Hirst Shark, William Wegman Dog Treats and much more. Definitely chuckle-inducing throughout. And if that weren’t enough, Jen and Paul offer free Chelsea tours led by the two of them as well as a few semi-celebrity guests such as Paddy Johnson and comedian Sean J Patrick with others to follow. Make sure to keep an eye out for the bus if you’re headed to Chelsea this fall, or sign up for a tour over here.
You can learn more about Jen and Paul in the video below:
Can’t say that any electrical pylons I’ve seen are particularly attractive with all those cables protruding from their metallic structures, but at least this design by Jin Choi and Thomas Shine of Choi+Shine Architects in Boston injects a little humor and personality into these massive forms. Known for their innovative and creative designs and experimentation, Choi+Shine submitted a proposal for a High-Voltage Pylon competition in Iceland—put forth by Landsnet, a national power transmission company requesting that careful consideration be given to the appearance of the towers—converting the existing steel-framed tower designs into iconic pylon-figures with minor alterations. The result would transform the Icelandic landscape, adding expression and fun, varying the forms and styles while keeping the cost low through repetition in production and simple assembly. These 150 foot tall giants across the land would silently transport electricity 24/7. Might be a little creepy coming across them on the road at night, but a fun alternative to the norm, nonetheless.
Swiss accessories luxury brand Bally has launched a year-long initiative expanding their commitment to art and design with their project titled Form Scratch presented during Art Basel last month. The project has three parts to it: the restoration of one of architect Jean Prouvé’s signature prefab nomadic structures; a collection of furniture by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret; and, lastly, a commission by French artists Benjamin Moreau and Samuel Boutruche of Kolkoz. That last part mentioned is the one this post is about. Drawing from their background working in video games and 3D digital imaging, the Kolkoz duo recreated the house’s elements as a flat wooden panel, much in the style of the model kits from my youth (and likely still today… it’s been a while since I’ve put together a toy model.) Being that the Jean Prouvé house is meant to be built by two people in a day, the artists flattened it out and playfully made it an oversized toy object. The installation is both fun as well as a document of the structure’s elements. Suspending it over the river Rhine makes it all the more humorous and eye-catching.
Here’s the event in all its fabulousness:
Last weekend we headed over to Bushwick Open Studios. Always a bit difficult to navigate due to the number of artists and studios that participate, as well as the sprawling nature of it, we were fortunate to find Hyperallergic’s Concise Guide and managed to hit a good amount of studios with interesting work. One of these was Rodney Allen Trice’s, an artist and designer who moved to NYC 25 years ago and needed to furnish his apartment on a budget, ultimately using found objects and “refitting” them into furniture. What might look like an old garden hose to the naked eye becomes an ottoman or a funky fashionable hat in Trice’s world. His tire rocker, having sat in one myself, couldn’t be more comfortable, and the crutches table, though maybe not my personal aesthetic, is definitely eye-catching and incredibly clever. But the designer doesn’t stop there, no siree. His company T.O.M.T. has been repurposing trashed and forgotten objects for years with the mission of object recovery and reassignment. He likes to call it “object career counseling” rather than waste-handling and he’s spreading his philosophy and technique not only through his work but via classes in his studio as well.
Chilean artist/designer Sebastian Errazuriz (previously here, here, & here) has taken the birthday piñata of his youth and put a spin on it for this year’s NYCxDesign Festival. His monumental Golden Calf, or Cash Cow, will provocatively serve multiple purposes: a symbol of celebration; a symbol of capitalism; and as a symbol of “anti-capitalistic” greed. At the end of the festival, guests will be invited to smash the symbol of capitalism to smithereens. The oversized piñata will be filled with over 1000 dollar bills that will tumble out once the beating is successful. The irony that Errazuriz anticipates is the moment when the anti-capitalist rage in the piñata bashers turns into greed as the very same crowd ends up running for the cash themselves, stuffing their pockets with the bills. “I’d like to see people rolling on the ground and fighting for dollars,” he said. Wouldn’t it be nice if he were wrong.
Errazuriz’s golden calf will be on view at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn until May 20th at which point mayhem should ensue at 5pm.
Top photo: NY Daily News. All others: courtesy of the artist.
Spring is fast approaching (like, tomorrow…yay!) and along with the lovely season come school proms, weddings, and other formal occasions where the purchase of a corsage or boutonniere may be warranted. If you’d like to deviate from the classic floral variety, we’ve got Daniela’s clever Corsage/Boutonniere bracelet/pin combos right here. Be the talk of your event and the envy of every type-crazed participant (surely there’s at least a couple in any crowd) when you and your date show up donning these fun pieces. Limited supply so order soon…
Switzerland-based, British artist, Michael Goodward makes art “with a serious smile and a wry mind.” His humorous sculptures and installations are eclectic and a manifestation of the curious way he occupies his time with anything that is remotely connected with the nature of being and man’s perception of the world within and around him. Themes such as death, religion, and existence are represented through the artist’s view. And if the works themselves don’t make you break into a smile automatically, some of the titles sure will: the Me compass which is also referred to as sartresample 1; the curiously literal hairbrush is titled Something or Other; the pie at the bottom is Humble Pie; and the S/M arty-pants with their nails penetrating areas that might want to avoid nails, definitely should evoke a chuckle, if maybe one combined with a wince.
Yes, this is probably all over the internet by now, but how could we, a mother-daughters design blog not post about it? Even if the daughters are in their 20s. But this 4-year-old daughter and mother collaboration is right up our alley and my only regret is that we didn’t think of it ourselves. Mom Angie, noticed her 4-year-old “Mayhem” opting to dress herself up in scarves and sheets over her store-bought princess dresses while playing. Clearly interested in fashion, Angie suggested they make their own dress out of paper and Mayhem jumped at the idea. The rest, as they say, is history. Nine months later, the mother-daughter collaboration has yielded dozens of designs—with 50/50 contribution on the creative concepts—that have been posted to an instagram account. Mayhem contributes much more than one would think to the construction of these dresses, having even made a couple completely on her own. Their inspirations vary from My Little Pony to the Golden Globes’ red carpet and the results are unbelievably cute as well as impressive. The most ironic part? Angie, the mom, is not a particularly crafty or fashionable person. As for Mayhem? I think she’ll likely be on Project Runway before we know it.
You can see many more of these delightful designs and photos over here and here.
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…
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.
It was only a matter of time before 3D printing turned to food, or vice versa. There have been some spectacularly beautiful pieces (actually, too beautiful to put in your coffee!) made with sugar, and now there is talk of Hershey teaming up with 3D Systems to create, I assume, some amazing things with chocolate. So, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Dutch company MELT is creating an the Icepop Generator to bring personalized ice pops to the public while educating them in 3D design technology. It appears, however, that the Icepop Generator works more on a carving and chiseling process rather than actually 3D printing an ice pop from frozen water but, it’s amazing nonetheless. Starting with a block of ice, the generator (which looks like many 3D printers with the twist of doubling as a freezer) has a sort of drill that moves back and forth along three axes, carving out the designated design, in effect, functioning as a mechanical sculptor. The Icepop Generator was just funded yesterday on Voordekunst—a Dutch funding platform similar to Kickstarter—so these pops are likely to be at a street fair or festival near you in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime the creative team at MELT has made several a pop, some in their own image. You can see how it works in this video:
via notcot and 3ders
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.
The Scandinavia-based architecture firm White Arkitekter has created a tricky all-paper cabin titled Chameleon Cabin. Made of corrugated paper and weighing roughly 100 kilos, looks like white marble from one angle and black marble from the opposite one. Using a simple system of tabs and slots, 95 paper modules—printed in white on one side and black on the other—were attached to form a cabin the proportions of which were based on those of a Swedish friggebod, a shed that can be built without planning permission. The modular system could be used to create longer structures as well. The bright yellow interior is a great glowing touch.
The three of us have been fascinated by 3D printing since we first saw a demo a few years back, and the fascination keeps growing as the possibilities keep expanding. Sure, we’ve seen all kinds of jewelry, housewares, sculptures, even a bikini, but these prosthetic fairings (coverings that surround an existing prosthetic leg) are lovely pieces of design serving a decorative as well as personalizing function. Industrial designer Scott Summit joined forces with orthopedic surgeon Kenneth Trauner, MD and founded Bespoke Innovations with the mission of bringing more humanity to people who have suffered the loss of a limb. The process and design are individualized by using 3D scanning technology to capture images of a person’s sound leg as well as their prosthetic one. The wearer is given their body symmetry back by superimposing the sound leg shape onto the prosthetic one. Customization of the Fairing is overseen by the user who can pick and choose materials and patterns to achieve a personalized result. It’s all so smart and impressive.
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Imagine 365 wooden sleds stacked in the form of a Christmas tree. Now imagine each of those sleds going to a child in need once the structure is dismantled. Nice, right? Well, that’s just what architecture/design studio Hello Wood (previously here) is doing at the Palace of Arts in Budapest. In the span of one week, they built an 11-meter tall tree that can be viewed from inside as well, giving the impression of being in the middle of a giant snowflake. The base is made of steel to keep things safe in case of strong winter winds. A tall wooden frame was built with the help of a crane and some welding, in which the sleds were fixed upon. Once the temporary installation comes down, Hello Wood will donate the sleds to the children at SOS Children’s Villages, keeping things reusable and charitable as the holidays should be.
Here’s a video of the installation process:
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NYC-based Chilean designer Sebastian Errazuriz (previously here and here) enjoys playing with the offbeat and wacky in his designs while pushing boundaries. His latest project, currently on exhibit at Miami Basel, is titled 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers. Consisting of twelve shoe sculptures, each representing the memory of twelve previous relationships, the project is an attempt to go through the reminiscence of former lovers who are the inspiration for each Shoe Sculpture. The shoes are accompanied by photos and stories in which Errazuriz reveals a glimpse of each relationship and in the process exposes himself to scrutiny and judgment. Some sculpture titles include: Cry Baby, Jetsetter, Gold Digger, The Virgin, GI Jane, and the Rock. You can see the rest of the set over here.
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I’ve seen electrical towers disguised as unconvincing trees, but a colossal robot might be the more fun way to go. That’s just what Buenos Aires art collective Doma did for the Tecnopolis, a science and technology art fair in Villa Martelli, Argentina. The converted power tower was aptly named Coloso and its glowing neon hands, heart, and animated face add to the fun of the almost 148 ft tall artistic intervention. The luminous robot puts on quite a show at night highlighting its winking eyes and growing heart. Watch it in action below: