Reminiscent 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.
Recently, 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.
Earlier this year, Madrid launched an innovative project that seeks to “redecorate” lower income neighborhoods of the city with contemporary art interventions, both in the form of sculpture/structure as well as murals. Starting in Tetouan, the initiative to improve the urban landscape has been quite successful and is continuing on into other neighborhoods: first Usera, then Villaverde in the southside of the capital. One such project is Hypertube, a collaboration between PKMN Architects and Taller de Casqueria. The playful looking structure is made up of six precast reinforced concrete tubes two meters in diameter and two and a half meters in length. These dimensions make it possible for anyone to stand inside, from child to adult. Its objective: a “gathering place for neighbors and passers-by.”
Photos: r2hox’s flickr; marta nimeva; & intermdiae
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.
I like this concept: projecting street artists’ work onto them and photographing their portraits is what photographer Guille Lasarte did here. Street artists in this series include members of Demolition Crew, Jos, Duarte Brito from Unimotion, Mr. Isaac, Hugo Ferracci, and Cintia Lopes. Another concept I like: Book a Street Artist.
Both via Panta
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.
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.
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…
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:
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.
Last month at Art Basel Miami, Venus Over Manhattan Gallery curated an exhibition titled Piston Head: Artists Engage the Automobile. Fourteen cars converted into sculptures by well-known contemporary artists since 1970 were on view at the spectacular open-air parking garage, 1111 Lincoln Road, designed by Herzog & deMeuron. The exhibit included works by Keith Haring (top), Damien Hirst (dotted Mini Cooper), Kenny Scharf (3rd from top), Ron Arad (pressed car), Bruce High Quality Foundation (VW Beetles), Franz West’s 1970 Rolls Royce, as well as eight more artists.
And here in an unrelated yet related (in that he’s drawing on a car) video is Jon Burgerman doing his thing on a zipcar:
Photos: HuffingtonPost and The Hundreds
I love everything about Chicago-based designer Audra Hubbell‘s project Letters at Large. For starters, it’s type. Large type at that. Then the combination with architecture and the effect of each on the other is pretty fabulous. Somewhat reminiscent of Jenny Holzer’s Projections, but here it’s all about the one letter as opposed to text. Hubbell unleashes full-scale typography in public spaces as a visual research project exploring the interaction between projected large scale letterforms and the urban Chicago surroundings. Wouldn’t it be great if the poster set were available for purchase.
Well, actually, they’re already here. These eight foot snails are part of the REgeneration Art Project and are made of recyclable plastic obtained from landfills. The snails are a creation of the Cracking Art Group (previously here) consisting of six international artists whose intention is to change art history through both a strong social and environmental commitment, and a revolutionary and innovative use of different recyclable plastic materials. The snails were “living” at Rumsey Field in Central Park up until last week before moving (okay, they were more moved/transported than moving themselves) to Columbus Circle last week. You’re gonna have to trust me, they’re there. That’s where I spotted them earlier today, but no time for photo-taking. Apparently there’s at least one at Eataly on 23rd Street as well. These snails seem to keep with the scavenger hunt street art theme that has descended upon our city since the fall, first with Banksy, then Invader, and now, in a smaller, yet at the same time larger, scale, the invasion of the red snails.
The snails will be up at Columbus Circle through January 6th, 2014, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, do keep an eye out for them.
For some, regularly dozing in moving vehicles and inadvertently leaning against random strangers while doing so, is a common occurrence (ahem…Em), but in the case of Brooklyn-based artist George Ferrandi, it’s completely intentional. For her ongoing project It Felt Like I Knew You… Ferrandi rides the subway (her choice for these interventions because of its packed quality and the loneliness one can feel despite the physical intimacy) during rush hour and tests the limits of this shared confined area by reshaping the space between her body and a stranger’s sitting next to her.
I focus on the shape of the space between the person sitting next to me and myself. I attempt to mentally and emotionally re-sculpt that space. In my mind, I reshape it- from the stiff and guarded space between strangers to the soft and yielding space between friends. I direct all my energy to this space between us. When the space palpably changes, and I completely feel like the stranger sitting next to me is my friend, I rest my head on that person’s shoulder…
Ferrandi started the continuing project in 2012. The endearingly humorous results are documented by co-conspirator Angela Gilland on her phone. So, the next time you feel a woman’s head rest on your shoulder in the subway, it’s likely to be George Ferrandi…or, Em.
It Felt Like I Knew You can be seen at the Abrons Arts Center as part of the exhibit GUTS through the end of December.
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:
French-born, and now Brooklyn-based, artist/designer/musician Benjamin Løzninger likes to merge digital storytelling with experimental branding. This past summer Løzninger’s C/Loud Project took to the streets of Paris and Brooklyn. With the idea of seeking refuge from some of life’s daily worries or the “dull bluntness of ocular reiteration,” the artist covered the sides of buildings, garage doors, billboards and more, with large digital prints of cloud-filled blue skies, subliminally suggesting a head-in-the-clouds effect. The hope is to provoke a smile, breath, or at a minimum a moment’s pause in the viewer’s day.
New Zealand artist Mike Hewson (previously here) is playing with people’s minds again. This time the trompe l’oeil specialist has has covered an elevated walkway in Christchurch, NZ over its main thoroughfare, Colombo Street, with anamorphic large-scale digital prints of the two buildings connected by the walkway. When standing at a particular vantage point on the street below, the art visually deletes the overpass. When viewed from other spots the work looks distorted. Hewson’s objective in this post-earthquake affected area is to paradoxically reconstruct the site through a process of deconstruction, reflecting Christchurch’s recovery process of adding new development through the “deletion” of crumbled buildings.
Minneapolis-based street artist—and NYC frequenter—HOT TEA is known for his yarn-bombing typography, usually found on—but not limited to—chain link fences & telephone poles. Most often the words HOT TEA are geometrically spelled out, seemingly interlocked in three dimensions. I’ve run into several of his pieces over the past couple of years around NYC, one in Soho, another Nolita, and DUMBO as well. A couple of weeks ago, shortly after Banksy finished his month-long scavenger-hunt-like show Better Out Than In around the city, I came across a tribute to the reknowned street artist by, I assume, HOT TEA, though this speculation is based soley on style. The piece, which was on East 4th Street, was gone in less than 24 hours replaced with a real estate sign by the owners of the empty lot where the work stood. I’ve looked around to see if this Banksy tribute appeared anywhere online, including HOT TEA’s flickr, but so far nothing. Earlier in the fall, HOT TEA created his largest site specific piece to date with over 1600 knots and 800 pieces of yarn installed on the Williamsburg Bridge walkway. You can see the installation in the video below: