Believe it or not, Belgium-born Henk van Rensbergen is an airline pilot; a job which takes him to many locations around the world. But it is the urge to explore eerie abandoned sites which he’s possessed since childhood, that has led him to take this stunning series of photographs (and books) titled Abandoned Places. Van Rensbergen captures the ghost-like atmosphere that exists within these spaces, whether they be homes, offices, amusement parks or hair salons. The presence of those who once inhabited these locations is almost palpable. The stories (or the stories we decide to create in our minds) are there to be told via his amazing images. These few are just the tip of the iceberg. You can see so many more over here. I think it’s safe to say, flying might be Mr. Rensbergen’s official profession, but photography is clearly his passion.
Dutch visual artist Martijn Sandberg creates Image Messages in public spaces as well as in paintings and sculpture. He explores the tension between text and image, legibility and illegibility, public and private domain. In his site-specific public artworks throughout The Netherlands, Sandberg plays with the material bearing the image which in turn camouflages the message from certain angles, and exposes it from others. “Image is message is image.” Whether created using bricks on a building facade, tiles on a floor surface, concrete staircases, or a wooden fence, there’s a trickiness to all of Sandberg’s work that both challenges and amuses the viewer. And as if that weren’t enough, the messages themselves are often chuckle-worthy, such as in the third photo down in what looks to be brass strips: “U Heeft Tien Bewaarde Berichten” which translates as “You Have Ten Saved Messages.”
Click 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.
These 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.
SVA 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.
The Frankfurt based Luminale 2014 — one of the world’s largest and most renowned light festivals — concluded this past weekend. As per usual, there were many impressive installations this year including Cornea Ti, a collaboration between Interior Architecture students from the School of Design Mainz and Ensemble Modern Frankfurt. Consisting of three connected containers that formed a sort of interactive stage, visitors would step through the amorphous tunnels triggering the many integrated LEDs hidden within the walls of the structure with their movements. In addition to the movement, sound caused the light to change, illuminating letterforms that would transform and morph into anagrams, only visible from the perspective of the audience. I haven’t been able to make out any words myself in the video below, but I sure do like the effect.
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.
via gothamist & nytimes
If you were to pass by the Edgeland House in Austin, Texas, you may just think you’re seeing a small hill that has somehow split apart, or you may just miss it altogether. The cleverly hidden house designed by Bercy Chen Studio, is a contemporary re-interpretation of an old Native American Pit House. The Pit House was typically sunken, taking advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year; cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In addition to providing maximum energy efficiency, the project also converted a property that had long been used as a dumping ground for construction crews into a showcase for the wild nature found in the very land itself. The result is a sculptural piece, hidden from the road with dramatic glass clad polygons stretching out back, allowing illumination of the entire house, with privacy and, of course, sustainability in mind.
Photos courtesy of the architects.
via Texas Architects
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.”
via abc via lagaleriademagdelena
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.
Amsterdam-based firm NEXT Architects (previously here) has created a spiraling sculptural staircase titled The Elastic Perspective that seemingly leads to nowhere, but in fact provides a lookout point with panoramic views. The looping oxidized-steel structure, with its rusty Serra-esque quality, is located in an industrial precinct, near to railway tracks, sitting prominently on a grassy hillside on the outskirts of Rotterdam. The Möbius strip-inspired staircase appears to be endless but instead leads at its highest point to an unhindered view of the city’s skyline in the distance.
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.
Le Palais Bulles or “Bubble Palace” designed by Hungarian-born architect Antti Lovag who grew up in Scandinavia, sits on the Mediterranean in the south of France and was originally the home of Pierre Cardin. Now the Palace of Bubbles is a private event venue that hosts grandiose weddings, posh parties and other exclusive events as well as serving as the backdrop for many fashion photo-shoots and films. Somewhere between futuristic moon house and groovy 1970s pad, like it or not, the house is one unique piece of architecture. It seems that Antti Lovag spent many hours of his Scandinavian childhood building snow forts in the style of igloos and eventually became the preeminent architect of bubble architecture as well as designer of circular furniture. Lovag has at least two other of these bubble homes credited to his name, previous to this grander Palais near Cannes.
Covering both piers of the Armory Show is definitely an eyeful, or two, of art and as satisfying/inspiring as it can be, it’s also a bit draining. So, even in the most ordinary of circumstances I would have appreciated artist Andrew Ohanesian’s witty artworks, but they were especially welcome as an antidote to the exhaustion that started to set in a pier and half in. First spotted, was “Oceans” a San Jamar Tear-n-Dry, Hands-free Paper Towel Dispenser, the kind we’ve all had a little fun with in public restrooms, waving our hands in front of. Here, smack in the middle of the Armory Show, hanging from the wall, getting a lot of quizzical looks by passers-by, was the dispenser, beckoning to the public with its artist/title label to the side on the wall. Hard not to smile, though it might have been even funnier if each sheet had been signed by the artist. On the wall to the left, less noticeable, was the “Dollar Bill Acceptor”—in the style of vending machine money collectors—installed in the wall actually taking anyone’s money that was inclined to insert, giving nothing in return. I was a fan, and felt my dollar contribution was very well spent.
These humorous interactive artworks are not new to Ohanesian. Last year at the Armory Show he installed a flushing urinal, surely a nod to Marcel Duchamp. And in 2011 “ATM 2011”, a fully functioning ATM built by the artist charged the user the hefty fee of $4.99, but after completing a transaction, the user received a receipt with a title and an edition number on it… basically, a purchased work of art.
You can see more of Andrew Ohanesian’s work here and here.
Top three photos: Collabcubed. Bottom two courtesy of Pierogi Gallery.
Fashion shows keep pushing the boundaries and blurring the lines between art, performance, design and fashion. Last week in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld and his Chanel team took their Fall 2014 runway show to a whole new level. Stepping into the Grand Palais, all attendees were welcomed by the over-the-top Chanel Shopping Center. An entire supermarket recreated with every item rebranded/repackaged and emblazoned with the highly recognizable interlocking C’s of the Chanel logo. From every food product you can imagine, to cleaning products, welcome mats, brooms, soap, garbage bags and much more. The models walked through the runway aisles clad in the new Fall line, all wearing sneakers (because you can wear a Chanel suit to pick up your groceries, but heels might be too much?) pushing grocery carts or carrying baskets. An impressive feat, which apart from the obvious wow-factor, was meant to be a commentary on the state of consumerism. You’ll be relieved to know that all of the items are being donated to charity. It is difficult to wrap one’s head around all the design, printing, and organization that clearly went into this event, in addition to the fashion line itself. It’s the ultimate mega pop-up shop/installation… it’ll be tough to top.
Here’s a video of the models strutting their stuff:
via Garance Doré