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Apex Predator Shoes: Fantich & Young

21 Jul

Apex Predator shoe sculptures with teeth/dentures as soles by Fantich and YoungApex Predator shoe sculptures with teeth/dentures as soles by Fantich and YoungApex Predator shoe sculptures with teeth/dentures as soles by Fantich and YoungEast London artist duo Mariana Fantich and Dominic Young who make up the studio Fantich & Young, create conceptual sculptures addressing “parallels between social evolution and evolution in the natural world.” The original Apex Predator—described as predators with no predators of their own, residing at the top of the food chain—tooth-soled shoe sculptures started with the Barker Oxford shoes inlaid with 1050 false teeth in their soles in 2010. These were used to accompany the Apex Predator Suit made of human hair and glass eyes for buttons. The Empire (Jimmy Choo heels) followed and, most recently, this year in fact, the Red Shoes Mary Janes are the latest addition to the series. Now the whole family can grip the ground, chomping their way around town. Creepy? Yes. But come on…pretty cool, too.

You can see the rest of Fantich & Young’s work here.

Matt Reilly of Japanther: Skateboard Painting

14 Jul

Skateboard Painting, matt reilly, japanther, Mana Contemporary, performance art, abstract painting, cool artSkateboard Painting, matt reilly, japanther, Mana Contemporary, performance art, abstract painting, cool artSkateboard Painting, matt reilly, japanther, Mana Contemporary, performance art, abstract painting, cool artA couple of months back I made the trip out to Mana Contemporary (a surprising cultural hub in Jersey City) and witnessed Matt Reilly of Japanther—a band established by Reilly and Ian Vanek while students at Pratt and described by art reviewers as “art-rock installation paratroopers” —skateboard paint. Somewhere between Jackson Pollock’s drips and Aaron Young’s multi-motorcycle performance art piece Greeting Card, lies Reilly’s skate-painting. By adding paint to the wheels of his board with sponges and then showing off his skating skills, Reilly is able to create large, abstract paintings while putting on a mesmerizing show. The results are nicer than I would have imagined, and the process was fun to watch. You can see him in action below:

Top two photos: collabcubed. All the rest: Japanther

João Onofre: Box Sized Die

10 Jul

Box Sized Die, Joao Onofre, performance art, london, heavy metal in a box till air runs outBox Sized Die, Joao Onofre, performance art, london, heavy metal in a box till air runs outBox Sized Die, Joao Onofre, performance art, london, heavy metal in a box till air runs outThis isn’t the first time artist João Onofre displays his art installation titled Box Sized Die, nor is it likely to be the last. It is, however, the first time the installation has gone to London. Consisting of a large soundproof steel cube, the Portuguese artist invites a local Death Metal band to play inside the cramped space both with the door open, and then with it closed, limiting the performance length to how long the band can last before the oxygen runs out. Placed in the heart of the business district for this summer’s Sculpture in the City festival, Box Sized Die, according to Onofre, is meant to symbolize the office buildings that surround it filled with cubicles and impossible to know what’s going on inside from the exterior. Spectators put their ears to the box to hear the band Unfathomable Ruination play their self-proclaimed “unrelenting brutal death metal” to no avail, but the band seems to be embracing the challenge wholeheartedly having lasted between 19 and 25 minutes in the sealed box so far.

If you’re in London, the band will be performing Wednesday to Friday through August 1, 2014.

via the guardian

Stik: Stick Figure Street Art

8 Jul

Stik, British street artist paint stick figure graffiti, cute, fun, water towersStik, British street artist paint stick figure graffiti, cute, fun, water towersStik, British street artist paint stick figure graffiti, cute, fun, water towersWhen it comes to street art, it doesn’t get much cuter than Stik. The British graffiti artist based in London paints mouthless and noseless stick figure characters on walls, doors, water towers, and more, that despite their minimalistic quality exude warmth and charm. Sometimes in groups holding hands (see the two water towers we’re acquainted with in the East Village and Bushwick), and other times alone, these not-so-little guys are usually painted in black and white against solid bright colored backgrounds. In addition to his unauthorized work, the somewhat private Stik, who has been homeless at times, works with many charitable and human rights organizations. See? That good heartedness shines through in his art. Stik’s work can be seen in Europe, NYC, and even the Middle East and Japan. We are fortunate to have two of his works right in our neighborhood.

You can see more of his work here and an interview below:

All images courtesy of Stik except bottom left: Geof Hargadon via Brooklyn Street Art, and bottom right: Paul Whitehouse via Huffington Post London.

Rona Pondick: Hybrids, Teeth, & More

26 Jun

Rona Pondick, Hybrids, sculpture, bizarre art, humorous art Rona Pondick, Hybrids, sculpture, bizarre art, Teeth, humorous art Rona Pondick, Hybrids, sculpture, bizarre art, teeth, humorous art I probably should know Rona Pondick’s work—after all she studied under Richard Serra and her impressive list of exhibitions include the Whitney, Brooklyn Museum, and MoCA in LA among many more art institutions worldwide—but I don’t believe I’ve ever come across it before. Fortunately, I stumbled upon it the other day online. I really like all of her work; both new and old. Pondick, a NYC-born and based artist, offers a feminist critique on Freudian theories of sexuality through her work. Her earlier pieces mostly depict abstractions of mouths and breasts in an array of mixed media. Her more recent sculptures are cast in a variety of metals and consist of human-animal or -plant hybrids, often strange and disturbing, suggesting a kind of metamorphosis, hence the name of one of her exhibits and subsequent publication: The Metamorphosis of an Object. You can see much more on her site.

OK Go: The Writing’s on the Wall

18 Jun

OK Go's video for The Writing's on the Wall with anamorphic effects, cool sets, cool videoOK Go's video for The Writing's on the Wall with anamorphic effects, cool sets, cool videoOK Go's video for The Writing's on the Wall with anamorphic effects, cool sets, cool videoIt’s been a couple of years, but it comes as no surprise that OK Go’s latest music video for their new single “The Writing’s on the Wall” is amazing. It may even top all the others, if that’s possible. With one tricky optical illusion after another, the clip includes the anamorphic effects and styles of artists such as Felice Varini, Vik Muniz, Bela Borsodi, and one of our favorites, Boa Mistura. The project took roughly three weeks (looks like it would have taken even longer!) and fifty takes before wrapping. The last scene revealing the crew is terrific, adding yet another dimension, and the sense of joy at having completed the impressive project shines through. In addition, the playing with perspective (more than one way to see things) goes hand-in-hand with the somewhat sad lyrics, despite the upbeat tune.

Watch the video below. OK Go’s new album Hungry Ghosts, which includes this song, is due out in October.

via colossal and rollingstone

Tara Donovan: Index Cards & Acrylic Rods

16 Jun

Tara Donovan, Index Card sculptures, post-its, Pace Gallery 2014, cool artTara Donovan, Arcylic Rods, Drink Stirrer Sculpture, Pace Gallery 2014, cool artTara Donovan, large-scale sculptures made with index cards and acrylic rods, post-its, drink stirrers, Pace Gallery 2014, cool artIt was a spectacular day this past Saturday here in NYC, ideal for strolling through Chelsea and taking in a lot of art. To my delight most galleries still had great shows up and hadn’t yet reverted to their quieter summer group shows. Over at Pace, the amazing Tara Donovan (previously here) had two new large-scale sculptures. For over a decade, the NYC-born and based Donovan has taken volumes of everyday materials and turned them into impressive works. Whether toothpicks, drinking straws, paper plates, styrofoam cups, or pieces of mylar, Donovan, a MacArthur Genius Award recipient, layers, piles, or clusters these items with a precise repetition until these products assume forms that evoke natural systems. These two sculptures currently at Pace are no exception. The first room in the gallery welcomes you with what seem to be a group of conical rock formations, possibly of a volcanic sort but, upon closer inspection, the millions of 3″ x 5″ index cards stacked and glued become evident, proving, once again, her ability to create amazing effects through the accumulation of identical objects. The second room contains what looks to be an almost fluffy or furry sculpture, but in fact is made of thousands of acrylic rods of different lengths, quite the opposite of soft or fluffy. These “bursts” are interconnected much in the way coral appears to be. Donovan has experimented with these rods before, but this work is her largest of the series. Tara Donovan’s sculptures will be on exhibit at Pace Gallery through June 28, 2014 extended through August 15th!

Shadi Ghadirian: Like Every Day

2 Jun

Shadi Ghadirian, Contemporary Iranian Photography, Like Every Day, Women and domesticity, role in societyShadi Ghadirian, Contemporary Iranian Photography, Like Every Day, Women and domesticity, role in societyShadi Ghadirian, Contemporary Iranian Photography, Like Every Day, Women and domesticity, role in societyShadi Ghadirian, Contemporary Iranian Photography, Qadar, Women and domesticity, role in societyIranian photographer Shadi Ghadirian lives and works in Tehran. Her photographs, though at first glance somewhat humorous, reflect what she sees as “the duality and contradiction of life.” After her marriage, inspired by her wedding gifts, Ghadirian photographed her series Like Every Day in which each of these photographs depicts a figure draped in patterned fabric in place of the typical Iranian chador. Instead of a face, each figure has a common household item such as an iron, a tea cup, a broom, or a pan, depicting the daily routine of many of the women that surround her yet, despite its focus on Muslim women, its relevance extends to women in other parts of the world as well. An earlier series titled Qajar (bottom two photos) is equally smart, reimagining the traditional Iranian portraiture of the late 19th century, but the veiled women carry boomboxes and other modern-day items.

via tribeart

Susi Kenna: Nail Art History

30 May

Nail Art, Art History, Jean Dubuffet, Susi KennaNail Art, Art History, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Susi KennaNail Art, Art History, Picasso, Stuart Davis, Shantell Martin, Susi KennaDaniela showed me these amazing nails a couple of nights ago. I’m not one to wear nail polish—it’s a stubby-fingers issue combined with a ridiculous feeling of nail suffocation—or even appreciate it much, but these literal works of art painted on the small fingertip canvases definitely wowed me. Art lover (and nail art lover) Susi Kenna has had her nails painted numerous times in the past two years in the style of paintings by famous artists ranging from Pablo Picasso and Jean Dubuffet, to more recent artists including Shantell Martin and Barry McGee. It’s not clear to me whether Kenna goes in to her various nail artists (Mei Kawajiri, Vanity Projects, and Jessica Washick) armed with art, but it appears that may be the story. In any case, Susi Kenna has documented the nail art on her hands in a tumblr worth a peek.

Kara Walker: A Subtlety at The Domino Factory

19 May

Kara Walker Sphinx at Domino Sugar Factory, A Subtlety or Marvelous Sugar Baby, Domino Sugar Factory, Installation, Creative Time, Cool ArtKara Walker Sphinx at Domino Sugar Factory, A Subtlety or Marvelous Sugar Baby, Domino Sugar Factory, Installation, Creative Time, Cool ArtKara Walker Sphinx at Domino Sugar Factory, A Subtlety or Marvelous Sugar Baby, Domino Sugar Factory, Installation, Creative Time, Cool ArtKara Walker Sphinx at Domino Sugar Factory, A Subtlety or Marvelous Sugar Baby, Domino Sugar Factory, Installation, Creative Time, Cool Art“No one will be there on a Friday at 4pm in the pouring rain,” she said confidently. Wrong. You would think, after close to a lifetime in NYC, at some point it would kick in that nothing is ever empty, especially an event the likes of Kara Walker‘s monumental Sphinx-like sculpture/installation at the soon-to-be-demolished Domino Sugar Factory. Of course there was a line! One filled with soggy, windblown New Yorkers though, fortunately, it moved quickly with only the waiver-signing process causing a minimal delay. Once inside, it was easy to see why the line advanced swiftly; the space is so vast (90,000 square feet is what I’ve read) that even the biggest of crowds becomes minimized in appearance. All the more reason to be impressed by Walker’s 75 foot long and 35 foot high sculpture whose presence is still quite imposing despite the enormity of the factory. The official title of the work is long, but pretty much spells it all out: A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.

Apart from the white sugar-covered (4 tons of sugar were used) sphinx with the Mammy-inspired head, there are fifteen large-scale black figurines based on ceramic racial tchotchkes that Walker came across online, of brown-skinned boys carrying baskets. These 5-foot tall sculptures are made of molasses-colored candy, much of which is slowly melting (can’t wait to see what these look like in the heat of late June) and in some cases are more red in color than brown, making it difficult not to associate with blood and the horror of beaten slaves, or of the workers who lost their limbs and lives in the dangerous process of feeding the cane into large mills. Blood sugar. There was an interesting interview with the artist on NPR last week in which Walker pointed out another curious parallel: sugar is originally a brown substance that is considered more valuable as it is “refined” and turned into a white crystal.

Walker has given us lots to think about here. In addition, I should point out that the factory itself is worth the visit. What an amazing space. Every direction makes for a great photo-op filled with rusty textures and machinery.

A Subtlety will be up Fridays through Sundays until July 6th at the Domino Sugar Factory on Wythe and South 2nd Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And it’s free! Be sure to check out the geometric street art by Rubin415 outside along the fencing while you’re there (bottom photo).

Photos: collabcubed

Cash Cow Piñata at NYCxDesign: Sebastian Errazuriz

12 May

Cash Cow pinata by sebastian errazuriz, golden calf filled with 1000 dollars for NYCxDesign Festival, Industry City, 2014 Wanted DesignCash Cow pinata by sebastian errazuriz, golden calf filled with 1000 dollars for NYCxDesign Festival, Industry City, 2014 Wanted DesignCash Cow pinata by sebastian errazuriz, golden calf filled with 1000 dollars for NYCxDesign Festival, Industry City, 2014 Wanted DesignChilean 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.

via wanteddesign

Harvezt: Album Covers from the Other Side

11 Apr
Re-imagined Back sides of iconic album covers by Harvezt, Dark side of album covers, Abbey RoadRe-imagined Back sides of iconic album covers by Harvezt, Dark side of album covers, The StrokesRe-imagined Back sides of iconic album covers by Harvezt, Dark side of album covers, Kraftwerk, Nirvana, Springsteen, Pink Floyd, velvet UndergroundClick to enlarge

Flickr user Harvezt has cleverly ventured to the other side. The other side of iconic album covers, that is. Harvezt has created a gallery of album covers as seen from behind. From a British bobby directing Abbey Road traffic, to the other leg and cheek on the Strokes’ Is This It, on to Kraftwerk, Springsteen, Nirvana and more, the funny and well-executed idea often surprises, but even the less surprising cases readily evokes a smile. You can see the rest of the set here.

via @timothyogoodman

Lauryn Bertolo: What’s The Date?

9 Apr

What's The Date? Calendar Bracelets by Lauryn Bertolo, Typography, fun giftWhat's The Date? Calendar Bracelets by Lauryn Bertolo, Typography, fun giftWhat's The Date? Calendar Bracelets by Lauryn Bertolo, Typography, fun giftThese are fun. Illinois-based graphic designer Lauryn Bertolo designed a wearable calendar. What’s the Date, as the 3-piece bracelet is called, is screen printed on fabric in bold type and adjusts to every day of the year. I have a feeling it’s a prototype, but I bet there’s a market out there.

 

 

Motoko Ishii: Visual Music

8 Apr

Motoko Ishii, typography, music as typography, visual music, School of Visual Arts, Radio Head lyricsMotoko Ishii, typography, music as typography, visual music, School of Visual Arts, Radio Head lyricsMotoko Ishii, typography, music as typography, visual music, School of Visual Arts, Radio Head lyricsSVA design student Motoko Ishii used what looks like cassette tape or reel-to-reel audio tape to create a visual interpretation of Radiohead’s song Last Flowers. The project was done for Olga Mezhibovskaya’s typography class at the School of Visual Arts, and this particular assignment, titled Visual Music, invites students to select a piece of music of their choice and express it with the tools of typography. Nice assignment and beautifully executed, down to the serifs, by Motoko.

via graphis

The Big Egg Hunt NYC

2 Apr

#TheBigEggHuntNY, Faberge Eggs painted by over 200 artists and hidden around NYC, Spring 2014, public art#TheBigEggHuntNY, Faberge Eggs painted by over 200 artists and hidden around NYC, Spring 2014, public art#TheBigEggHuntNY, Faberge Eggs painted by over 200 artists and hidden around NYC, Spring 2014, public art#TheBigEggHuntNY, Faberge Eggs painted by over 200 artists and hidden around NYC, Spring 2014, public artReminiscent of the summer of 2000 when The Cow Parade hit the streets of NYC—we were huge fans, having set out on the mission to find all the cows and photograph ourselves with our favorites, pre-social media era, just for our own pleasure…imagine that!— this April the city has kicked off The Big Egg Hunt NY with close to 300 eggs “hidden” around town that Fabergé commissioned artists, designers, and architects to paint, or create their own, all in the name of charity. The participants are an impressive bunch, from artists such as Jeff Koons and Julian Schnabel, to architects Zaha Hadid and Morphosis, to graphic designer Debbie Millman, fashion designers including Cynthia Rowley and Diane Von Furstenberg, and, of course, street artists: Dain, Cost, Faust and plenty more. Unlike the cows at the beginning of the century, the eggs can be tracked via smartphone app that will notify a person if they’re near an egg and will place it on a map once it’s been discovered (and checked in) by ten people. It seems many of the street art eggs are located downtown, other eggs are exhibited in Grand Central, Rockefeller Center and Columbus Circle (there are a whole bunch more photos here.) But those are just a few eggsamples… there are lots more to find all across the boroughs, so get cracking! Well, you know what I mean. You have until April 17th. After that they’ll be exhibited at Rockefeller Center through the 25th and then auctioned off. Anyone can bid via the website and there are also more affordable mini versions available in the site’s shop.

Photos courtesy of The Big Egg Hunt NY & facebook page; danap07’s instagram; and complex.

via gothamist & nytimes

Hense: Murals and Paintings

28 Mar

Hense, spectacularly colorful street art, facades, murals, paintingsHense, spectacularly colorful street art, facades, murals, paintingsHense, spectacularly colorful street art, facades, murals, paintingsRecently, I ran across more of Hense’s (previously here) beautiful exterior murals. Originally recognized as a graffiti artist, Hense (aka Alex Brewer) moved into granted and commissioned public art, mostly in his native town of Atlanta but, more recently in other cities as well, from Detroit to Richmond, Chicago to Lima, Peru. These spectacularly colorful and cheerful abstract murals could brighten the gloomiest of neighborhoods or the most abandoned of buildings. I love them all. But, even if you don’t have a wall or building to cover, the good news is he paints canvases too. You can see more of Hense’s exteriors here and paintings over here.

Alyse Emdur: Prison Landscapes

25 Mar

Prison Landscapes by Alyse Emdur, The Last Brucennial, photography, prisonsPrison Landscapes by Alyse Emdur, The Last Brucennial, photography, prisonsPrison Landscapes by Alyse Emdur, The Last Brucennial, photography, prisonsDan and I went to The Last Brucennial this past weekend and in the midst of the fun chaos that is the show, we spotted some work that really stood out for us. Among these were two large photos by Alyse Emdur which elicited several emotions at once: confusion; laughter; and sadness. And that was before I even googled the artist to find out more about these! We assumed the artist had placed the bizarre murals in these depressing office spaces/institutions, but as it turns out, they all truly exist in this manner. Prison Landscapes as the series, as well as book, is called, is a collection of photographs of prison waiting rooms, that typically have backdrops—often painted by the inmates themselves—which are used as portrait set-ups for the inmates and their visitors to pose in front of for photos. These idealized landscapes offer a brief escape…a chance to pretend that they are somewhere else. Emdur invited hundreds of prisoners to send in their photos for inclusion in her book Prison Landscapes which was initially inspired by a photograph she found in 2005 of herself at age five, posing in front of a tropical beach scene while visiting her brother in prison. Poignant and at the same time a little unintentionally humorous.

r1: Yield

24 Mar

r1, Street art in South Africa, Johannesburg, Yield  r1, Street art in South Africa, Johannesburg, Yield  r1, Street art in South Africa, Johannesburg, Yield  South African street artist r1 sees the street as an open canvas and thus uses it accordingly, creating urban interventions and sculpture mostly using found materials, reappropriating them into the cityscape. His latest work is titled Yield, based on the commonly seen street sign. Starting by setting a street pole into the sidewalk, r1 continued with 100 yield signs, fitting them in a design on the wall behind it. Commissioned by the City of Johannesburg as part of its upgrade program, the intent being to encourage its citizens to engage more actively with the city’s life and creative activities. The significance of the yield sign is found in the word’s two meanings:  to “give way, concede” to others, as well as “to produce.” As r1 states:

“This tension between being productive and giving way exist in every city, and bustling Johannesburg is a good example of it.  This piece illustrates that these two seemingly opposite forces are in fact symbiotic; both embodied in the symbol of the yield sign.”

You can see a video of the installation below, and much more of r1’s interesting work here.

All photos courtesy of the artist.
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