Alyse Emdur: Prison Landscapes

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

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.

The Elastic Perspective: NEXT Architects

Elastic Perspective by NEXT Architecture, Circular stair to panoramic viewpoint, Mobius Strip

Elastic Perspective by NEXT Architecture, Circular stair to panoramic viewpoint, Mobius StripElastic Perspective by NEXT Architecture, Circular stair to panoramic viewpoint, Mobius Strip

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.

via contemporist

Corsage/Boutonniere Redux: Daniela Gilsanz

Corsage and Boutonniere by Daniela Gilsanz, fun alternative to the classic for prom or other events, jewelry, accessories for prom, fun gift itemCorsage and Boutonniere by Daniela Gilsanz, fun alternative to the classic for prom or other events, jewelry, accessories for prom, fun gift itemSpring 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…

Michael Goodward: Sculptural Humor

Michael Goodward, humorous sculptural objects, Me compass, typography, contemporary artMichael Goodward, humorous sculptural objects, Hair brush made with hair,, contemporary artMichael Goodward, humorous sculptural objects, contemporary artSwitzerland-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.

via saatchi

Palais Bulles: Antti Lovag

Bubble Palace, Palais Bulles, France, designed by Antti Lovag, South of France, cool architecture, Pierre Cardin HouseBubble Palace, Palais Bulles, France, designed by Antti Lovag, South of France, cool architecture, Pierre Cardin HouseBubble Palace, Palais Bulles, France, designed by Antti Lovag, South of France, cool architecture, Pierre Cardin HouseLe 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.

via spotcoolstuff

Andrew Ohanesian: Humorous Interactive Art

Andrew Ohanesian, "Oceans" Paper Towel dispenser as art at Armory Show 2014, Pierogi GalleryAndrew Ohanesian, "Dollar Bill Acceptor" Vending Machine money taker as art at Armory Show 2014, Pierogi GalleryAndrew Ohanesian, Humorous everyday interactive objects as art at Armory Show 2014, Pierogi GalleryCovering 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.

Chanel Shopping Center: Paris Fashion Week

Chanel Shopping Center, Paris Fashion Week 2014, Karl Lagerfeld, Supermarket with all Chanel labeled food in grand Palais for displaying Chanel runway collectionChanel Shopping Center, Paris Fashion Week 2014, Karl Lagerfeld, Supermarket with all Chanel labeled food in grand Palais for displaying Chanel runway collectionChanel Shopping Center, Paris Fashion Week 2014, Karl Lagerfeld, Supermarket with all Chanel labeled food in grand Palais for displaying Chanel runway collectionFashion 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 wares:

Photos: Garance Doré; and Marcando Tendencia

via Garance Doré

Romuald Hazoumé: Contemporary African Masks

Contmeporary African Masks made with found objects, mostly gasoline canisters, Romuald Hazoume, Armory Show 2014Contmeporary African Masks made with found objects, mostly gasoline canisters, Romuald Hazoume, Armory Show 2014Contmeporary African Masks made with found objects, mostly gasoline canisters, Romuald Hazoume, Armory Show 2014It’s been an art-intense week in NYC, with more art fairs in town than time to view them. I did, however, get to almost all of them and will cover some of the highlights for me, sporadically over the next couple of weeks. Overall, and very in general, I continue to have a bit of a weakness for VoltaNY and The Armory Show, but Spring/Break was a nice surprise, with its edgier works and installations and its very topical theme of PublicPrivate. Less surprising were Scope and Fountain, which seemed to have a lot of repeats from previous years, but then, arriving at Fountain after over four hours at the piers might not have been the freshest way to take it all in. The banners hanging from the upper floor were pretty great, though.

So first here, from the Armory Show, are West African artist Romuald Hazoumé’s whimsical contemporary African masks made using discarded plastic containers, in particular gasoline canisters. Though the masks link to the artist’s heritage, they also represent his critical vision of political systems. “I send back to the West that which belongs to them, that is to say, the refuse of consumer society that invades us every day.” Hazoumé was at the Armory booth when I was there, explaining to a small group that in several of these masks, the hair was very telling of a woman’s relationship status. For example: the criss-crossed braids topping the black diamond-shaped mask represents a woman who is content, but not thrilled by her husband. The yellow jug with the bunched up hair on top, is a woman who is thrilled by her man. The blue canister with the twisted braids shooting out and turning downwards, is a very dissatisfied woman. So, there you have it. Romuald Hazoumés masks reminded me a little of Willie Cole’s shoe masks (here), and whose work was nicely featured at Volta this year, including this fun sculpture made using irons.

Photos: collabcubed

Number 23: MATT Architecture

Number 23, Private home in London designed by MATT Architecture, typography in architecture, contemporary architectureNumber 23, Private home in London designed by MATT Architecture, typography in architecture, contemporary architectureNumber 23, Private home in London designed by MATT Architecture, typography in architecture, contemporary architectureIn addition to its sleek, minimalist design, this West London private residence dubbed Number 23 (based on its street address) designed by and for Matt White of MATT Architecture, is very playful. From the camouflaged front door with a very cool cut-out 23 and the humorous “hello” right above it, to the large single window jutting out of the façade with its electronically ‘switchable’ glazing—an LED technology that creates opacity for privacy with a mere flick of a switch—to the climbing wall and little messages such as “boo” in neon inside the bar cabinet and the “I don’t have OCD” mugs in the kitchen, these guys definitely had fun working on this home. Plus, the simple elevation conceals a house that is 30% bigger than its neighbors, despite occupying a 20% smaller plot and also includes various concealed technologies that dramatically reduce the energy consumption and running costs for the family. Magic. Humor, trickery, energy efficiency, and style…what more could a person ask for in a design?

via A10

In Orbit: Ward Shelley & Alex Schweder

In Orbit, Performance art installation by Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder at The Boiler, Williamsburg, 10 days living on a giant wheelIn Orbit, Performance art installation by Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder at The Boiler, Williamsburg, 10 days living on a giant wheelIn Orbit, Performance art installation by Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder at The Boiler, Williamsburg, 10 days living on a giant wheelFor performance artists/architects Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder (previously here) sharing an unconventional living space is not a new concept. Their “performance architecture” has taken unusual forms such as a hanging see-saw-like structure or a stacked-living arrangement, in each case co-dependent on the other’s movement. Their latest installation/performance is titled In Orbit: a 25-foot wheel hanging from the ceiling, complete with two beds, desks, chairs, sinks, and apparently porta-potties (fortunately those don’t flip with the wheel), one of each at the counterpoint of the other. Ward Shelley lives on the exterior of the wheel, while Alex Schweder on the interior. And live they will, like this, without getting off, for a total of ten days. Currently they’re halfway through their stay. Any time one of them wants to use the sink or lie on the bed, they both have to slowly walk, rotating the wheel—much in the way a hamster makes his/her cage wheel rotate—to get to that particular item, in unison, and they both have to be in agreement as to the current activity. Schweder can’t choose to work at his desk while Shelley lies on his bed. That simply won’t work.

For those of you in NYC, you can visit In Orbit and witness their cohabitation at The Boiler through March 9, 2014. After that the structure will remain on view until April 5th sans artists. For everyone else, there’s the video below:

Photos courtesy The Boiler; top photo eyespeed’s instagram

Fashion by Mayhem

Paper dresses made by a 4-year-old and her mother, dresses made from paper, Fashion by Mayhem, 2sisters_angie, crafts with kids, funPaper dresses made by a 4-year-old and her mother, dresses made from paper, Fashion by Mayhem, 2sisters_angie, crafts with kids, funPaper dresses made by a 4-year-old and her mother, dresses made from paper, Fashion by Mayhem, 2sisters_angie, crafts with kids, funYes, 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.

All photos courtesy Fashion by Mayhem.

via swissmiss

Tobias Rehberger: Home & Away & Outside

Tobias Rehberger, Home and Away and Outside, optical illusion art installation, Schirn Kunsthalle FrankfurtTobias Rehberger, Home and Away and Outside, optical illusion art installation, Schirn Kunsthalle FrankfurtTobias Rehberger, Home and Away and Outside, optical illusion art installation, Schirn Kunsthalle FrankfurtGerman artist/designer/architect Tobias Rehberger (previously here) currently has a three-part exhibit titled Home and Away and Outside at the Shirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. For the purposes of this post, I’m focusing only on the first part: a floor to ceiling installation with an optical illusion all-over effect combined with paintings and sculptures that create a dizzying state of sensory-overload. The dazzle camouflage graphics covering the surfaces are based on an optical technique employed mainly on ships in World War I making them difficult to pinpoint as targets. Once visitors make it through this first, trippy, part of the exhibition, they are greeted by a second, more tranquil section that contains applied and functional artworks including much of the sculpture that has set Rehberger apart since the 90s.

Home and Away and Outside is on view in Frankfurt through May 11, 2014.

via domus

Iván Navarro: This Land is Your Land

Ivan Navarro, Water Tower neon light art installation, This Land is Your Land, Madison Square Park, NYCIvan Navarro, Water Tower neon light art installation, This Land is Your Land, Madison Square Park, NYCIvan Navarro, Water Tower neon light art installation, This Land is Your Land, Madison Square Park, NYCIf you walk by Madison Square Park here in NYC from now through April 13th, you’ll spot a confusing sight: three water towers, the sort we usually see perched atop the city’s buildings holding much of our water supply—and usually a familiar part of the urban landscape. The three tanks in the park, however, do not contain water but rather are Brooklyn-based Chilean artist Iván Navarro’s (previously here and here) latest light installation titled This Land is Your Land after the Woody Guthrie song. This site-specific piece “reflects” the experience of immigration through mirrored neon type, as well as a neon ladder, that repeat infinitely within the wooden cylinders. The word “me” reflects becoming “we” alternating up the interior of one tank, while “BED” in another. I stopped by during the day and then again at night to see these and enjoyed the experience both ways. Having them stand low in the park, with the backdrop of the Flatiron building from one angle and, at night, each one glowing downward with the brightly lit Empire State Building behind from a different position, make the choice of location all the more appropriate. So, make a point to pass by, and peek under, Navarro’s water towers before April 13th.

Photos: James Ewing via Madison Sq. Park’s flickr; Paul Kasmin Gallery; and collabcubed.

LATA 65: Lara Seixo Rodrigues – WOOL

LATA 65, project by Wool and Lara Seixo Rodrigues to provide quality of life and creativity to the elderly with street art LATA 65, project by Wool and Lara Seixo Rodrigues to provide quality of life and creativity to the elderly with street art, LisbonLATA 65, project by Wool and Lara Seixo Rodrigues to provide quality of life and creativity to the elderly with street art, LisbonThis 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.

via panta

Jeremy Scott for Moschino

Jeremy Scott, Fast Fashion Collection for Moschino, food packaging as clothing printJeremy Scott, Fast Fashion Collection for Moschino, food packaging as clothing printjeremy scott, moschino, fast fashion, food packages as clothesEm, who’s always tuned in to the latest fashion news, sent along Moschino’s newest collection designed by the company’s recently appointed creative director Jeremy Scott. These humorous gowns and outfits follow in the Moschino tradition of taking iconic logos and characters and interpreting them with an ironic twist. Jeremy Scott’s line, which includes a capsule collection called Fast Fashion, is inspired by the less-than-healthy snack and fast-food industry. Blowing up these packages ranging from Hershey’s chocolate bar wrapper in this case enveloping a woman’s body, to a variation of the McDonald’s logo centered large on a handbag, the runway show must have felt like a trip down the supermarket aisle in Lilliput. I can’t imagine who will be wearing these, but that Nutrition Facts bridal gown is definitely an irresistibly fun turn on traditional wedding attire.

via fashion

Doug Wheeler: Rotational Horizon Installation

Doug Wheeler, cool light installation, rotational horizon, David Zwirner Gallery, nyc, contemporary artDoug Wheeler, cool light installation, rotational horizon, David Zwirner Gallery, nyc, contemporary artDoug Wheeler, cool light installation, rotational horizon, David Zwirner Gallery, nyc, contemporary artA 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.