Ryan McGinness: Signs

Ryan McGinness, Department of Transportation Public Art Project, DOT, street signs, street art, graphic design, fun art, nycRyan McGinness, Department of Transportation Public Art Project, DOT, street signs, street art, graphic design, fun art, nycRyan McGinness, Department of Transportation Public Art Project, DOT, street signs, street art, graphic design, fun art, nycI noticed a few of these in Nolita the other day and then again yesterday right around Astor Place. I wondered what they were about and have since learned that it’s a public art project titled Signs by artist/designer Ryan McGinness fabricated and installed by NYC Department of Transportation (DOT). Apparently there are fifty in all of these vinyl on aluminum signs and, so far, they seem to mostly be downtown. McGinness has sketches of all fifty on his website accompanied by brief, somewhat whimsical/enigmatic descriptions. I couldn’t find more information, such as how the DOT went along with this, but I’m a fan of anything that makes you stop on the busy streets of NYC and ponder. If you’re in the city, keep your eyes open for more of these. They’re scheduled to be up through August.

Top photo: Ryan McGinness; 2nd photo down: Animal; following three photos: DustyRebel.

Flederhaus: House of Hammocks

House of Hammocks, Hammock House, Vienna, Flederhaus, Heri & Salli ArchitectsHouse of Hammocks, Hammock House, Vienna, Flederhaus, Heri & Salli ArchitectsHouse of Hammocks, Hammock House, Vienna, Flederhaus, Heri & Salli ArchitectsThe Flederhaus—a pun off the word fledermaus which means ‘bat’ in German—is a fun structure in Vienna designed by architects Heri & Salli explicitly for hanging around and relaxing. The open building, situated in the Museum Quarter of the city, houses 28 hammocks on 5 floors that offer great views to one and all at no cost. The inviting hammocks are arranged to allow for meeting and interacting with neighbors. A fun public space for sure.

Photos by Mischa Erben courtesy of the architects.

Apex Predator Shoes: Fantich & Young

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.

Form Scratch: Kolkoz

Form Scratch by Kolkoz at Art Basel 2014 for BallyForm Scratch by Kolkoz at Art Basel 2014 for BallyForm Scratch by Kolkoz at Art Basel 2014 for BallySwiss 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:

via notcot/mocoloco

Matt Reilly of Japanther: Skateboard Painting

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

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

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.