Just got back from Florida and look what I missed! Atlas Obscura lists all of the weird Florida sites. Gotta go back!
Cities like Portland, Oakland, Austin and scores of other places urge their constituents to “keep the city weird.” In Florida there’s no need.
Want to see a haunted doll on display? Florida. Vacation with the Amish? Florida. See a “city of live mermaids?” Florida, of course. Absurd crime, cryptids, theme parks, and a healthy dose of campy kitsch maintain the state’s title as the weirdest in the Union.
Know of something unusual we’re missing in Florida? Add it to the Atlas!
Part political statement, part amazingly intricate and beautiful crochet sculptures, Crochet Coral Reef is something to be seen to be believed at the NYC Museum of Design.
To me it is a bit of yarn bombing and total whimsy with a political punch.
The exhibit celebrates the tenth anniversary of the “Crochet Coral Reef” (2005–present), an ongoing project by sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim and their Los Angeles–based organization, the Institute For Figuring.
Mixing crocheted yarn with plastic trash, the work fuses mathematics, marine biology, feminist art practices, and craft to produce large-scale coralline landscapes, both beautiful and blighted. At once figurative, collaborative, worldly, and dispersed, the “Crochet Coral Reef” offers a tender response to the dual calamities facing marine life: climate change and plastic trash.
Crayola has just launched a social campaign to relieve college students stress. Called "Art With Edge" it employs street art sensibility in a coloring book and even uses the term Graffiti in the marketing materials.
According to Mediapost, is has been very successful - Crayola reported 4,000 more Twitter engagements per month during the course of the campaign, as well as an average of 40.8 engagements per tweet within the hashtag #ArtWithEdge. There was a week over week percent increase of hashtag mentions by 614% and 455% increase of potential hashtag impressions week over week.
Now if municipalities would allow students to use their Crayola crayons on the streets.....
Draw outside the lines, kids.
As reported by the New York Times, hotels are not inviting working street artists to create in their hotels and interact with the guests. Is this good for street art? You decide --
Businesses typically try to keep graffiti off their walls, and remove it when it does sneak on. Not the Quin Hotel, in Midtown Manhattan. It commissions graffiti.
Chaz Barrisson, half of the street art duo London Police, recently painted two of his signature grinning characters on the wall by the service doors of the hotel. It was part of the hotel’s artist-in-residence program, which included a gallery show of the London Police’s graphic, black-and-white work, done on canvas and paper.
As hotels work harder to distinguish themselves in the age of Airbnb, many have focused on using local art to give their décor a one-of-a-kind look. But with artist-in-residence programs, some hotels in the United States and abroad are going further, aiming to make the art experience even more immersive for guests.
“The hotel wants to look good,” Mr. Barrisson said at the start of his weeklong residency in mid-August. So they bring in “happening” art, he said. “And for me, it doesn’t hurt, does it?”
Other hotels with artist-in-residence programs include Quirk Hotel, in Richmond, Va., which recently brought in Carli Holcomb, a sculptor who often works in metal.
One of the longest-running residencies has been the illustrator David Downton at Claridge’s in London, where he has been on site since 2011, rendering images of some of the hotel’s glamorous guests, including Diane von Furstenberg, Sarah Jessica Parker and Dita Von Teese.
Under the programs, artists are often paid to stay and work at the hotels, letting guests interact with them and gain insights into their creations that go far beyond what a visit to museum or gallery can impart.
“It’s a very different approach than what I’ve seen previously in the art hotel genre,” said the Quin’s art curator, DK Johnston, who previously produced cultural events for the Clift Hotel in San Francisco and the W South Beach in Miami Beach.
Mr. Johnston has been welcoming artists to live and work at the hotel in conjunction with a gallery show of their work since the hotel opened on W. 57th Street in 2013. The program has included mostly street artists who, in addition to creating works to hang in the lobby, have drawn and painted on hotel doors, stairwells and other areas.
Convincing the management of the Quin that a program such as this would fit in at the hotel was “a difficult discussion,” Mr. Johnston said. “We’re in a fancy place. We’re in the wrong neighborhood for this kind of art.” He said he warned the management that “not every artist is going to be corporate-friendly, is going to present themselves in the most consistent manner, is going to be predictable.’’ “That’s part of the frisson of art,’’ Mr. Johnston said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
The hotel decided it was worth the risk, despite the occasional incident — including when Blek le Rat, a French stencil graffiti specialist who was in residence in 2014, was nearly arrested after police spotted him stenciling on a hotel door.
Although the results of the programs are hard to quantify, Mr. Johnston says he considers the Quin’s a success. Guests have begun to plan trips around artists’ residencies, he said. And while sales are not the primary focus, the art is selling.
Works from the London Police on sale at the Quin ranged from $800 to $7,500. Although the Quin does not take a cut of the sales, many hotels with artist-in-residence programs do.
The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, which has a large Victorian art collection, started its artist-in-residence effort in 2009 ‘‘to create new pieces, interact with guests and help enrich the local art scene,” Joseph Khairallah, chief operating officer of Marcus Hotels and Resorts, owners of the Pfister, said in an email. The current artist-in-residence is an abstract painter, Pamela M. Anderson.
Marcus Hotels has expanded the program to two of its other locations, the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City and the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Neb. The local artists do not live in the hotels but spend about 30 hours a week working in studios near the lobbies.
At the Vendue in Charleston, S.C., the current artist is Fred Jamar, a Belgian painter whose recent work has focused on colorful scenes of the harbor city. Most of the time he works in a studio on the ground floor that guests are encouraged to visit. On Thursday evenings, he paints during dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, the Drawing Room.
“Travelers today seek culturally immersive experiences,” Emily Rigsby, the director of art at the Vendue, said in an email. “Interacting with artists, stepping into to the artist’s studio and being present as art is made creates unique experiences for guests.’’
Residencies are not limited to visual artists. At the Hotel El Ganzo in San José del Cabo, Mexico, the artist-in-residence program has included visual artists and musicians who record in the hotel’s 1,700-square-foot studio and perform for guests on the hotel’s roof.
The Monteverdi Hotel and Villas, in Castiglioncello del Trinoro, in the Tuscany region of Italy, takes an even more eclectic approach, with an artists and scholars in residence program. Coming residencies include a jazz vocalist, an opera singer and choreographer, a set and costume designer and a neurologist, who will give lectures. “We’re in a place, Tuscany, that gave birth to the Renaissance,’’ said Michael L. Cioffi, who owns the hotel and created the program. “So you have this incredible flourishing of art and humanity and science and music all in this little area of the world.”
I am very sad to announce that The Heidelberg Project - Detroit's amazing outdoor street art installation project - is closing down. I am especially upset because I have never seen it in person, though greatly admired it from afar.I want to thank artist Tyree Guyton for his beautiful and astounding efforts at making a street a center of innovative art. It will not be forgotten.
Here are some books on the project -
Here is the full story as reported in Hyperallergic:
by Sarah Rose Sharp on August 22, 2016
DETROIT — It is difficult for a young artist to think about her legacy. When you’re just starting out, piecing together a voice, a practice, and some means of support is a full-time hustle; having time to think about the bigger picture is a luxury afforded to few. Legacy is the concern of the older artist, and as longtime stalwart of the Detroit public installation art movement, Tyree Guyton, who turned 60 years old this year, implied that he’s gearing up for the future when he announced last week that he would be taking down his iconic work, the Heidelberg Project, which has been 30 years in the making.
Working on his own and in a largely unauthorized fashion for decades, Guyton transformed Heidelberg Street, host to his childhood home, into a sprawling surrealist landscape, adorned with his paintings and sculptures of found objects and debris collected from around the city. While the city has in the past demolished his work, having bulldozed the unsanctioned installation in 1991 and again in 1999, in more recent years it has received international recognition, transforming into a nonprofit that has seen hundreds of thousands of visitors.
But it’s the beginning of the end, as Guyton unveiled somewhat opaque plans to “dismantle” the Heidelberg Project over the course of the next two years. While the artist and his organization are quick to stress that some version of the project will remain within the original footprint, there are plans to deconstruct the work, piece by piece, with some of it going to museums, and other parts slated for an as-yet amorphous reconfiguration into something more community-based and less dependent on the animating spirit of Guyton himself. More often than not the artist has been found working on the grounds or posted up in the on-site Information Booth, receiving an international coterie of visitors, asking them to sign the guest book, and expounding on his vision and his process to all who ask.
In many ways, it’s astonishing that Guyton has kept the project going this long. First off, there’s the sweat equity invested in the expansive installation, which includes abandoned houses covered in stuffed animals, painted polka dots, toys, and vinyl records; shopping carts lofted impossibly high into trees; scrap metal arranged in mini-Stonehenge formulations, a buried Jeep, and innumerable paintings on plywood featuring Guyton’s recurring subjects: taxis, clocks, faces, and the word GOD — among other things. Then there’ve been the multiple stumbling blocks, including pushback from the city and, more recently, a string of 12 unsolved arsons that targeted and destroyed many of the project’s most iconic structures, including the “Party Animal House,” the “Taxi House,” and the toy-covered “Obstruction of Justice House.” But it’s Guyton’s day-in, day-out commitment to creation and maintenance that amounts to a kind of art-farming. Guyton has demonstrated the true meaning of creating his life’s work.
Few people have the courage to look at all that sweat equity and decide that all good things must come to an end. While it may seem paradoxical for Guyton to consciously dismantle the very thing he has worked so hard to create, there is something to be said for arriving at closure on your terms. Whether Detroit is ready to see the end of a project that has been a part of the landscape for so many years is a different matter entirely, but with respect to Guyton himself — an artist who has spent his life making unexpected moves with little need to justify them to others — this latest decision is true to form. And in the spirit of Detroit, whose city motto translates from Latin as “We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes,” maybe some new inspiration is preparing to emerge from the Heidelberg wellspring.
Tyree Guyton is celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Heidelberg Project with a career-spanning solo exhibition Face-ology which continues at Inner State Gallery (1410 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit) through early September.
An interesting article in the Art Law Journal discusses the legality of street photography. The full article can be read here.
Since the birth of street photography, there has been a clash between the photographers prowling the streets trying to capture the lives of ordinary people to turn them into works of art, and the subjects of those photos who feel violated by the unauthorized use of their likeness. In fact, the development of right to privacy laws began over fears that “yellow journalists” might abuse the newly developed handheld camera for sensationalist news reports. From the street photographers’ perspective, privacy should not inhibit their freedom of expression. From the legal perspective then, street photography is about balancing a photographer’s First Amendment freedom of expression against a person’s right to privacy. To complicate matters further, there are several other legal doctrines that impact the outcome of the expression vs. privacy battle, such as national security, trespassing, harassment, or even governmental regulations.
The result of these conflicting elements is confusion among street photographers and the general public regarding what is permissible under the law. There is even more disparity on the ethics of publishing photos of strangers without their consent. Yet, street photographers need some guidance. While it may be effective to download a reference to carry around, containing a synopsis of your right regarding street photography such as in The Photographer’s Rights by attorney Bert P. Krages II, (which I encourage you to download and put into your camera bag), it also helps to understand the underlying reasoning behind these laws so you can should be able to tease out potential outcomes of your actions, without wasting time referring to a rule book.
Freedom of Expression vs. The Right to Privacy
As a photographer and Patent Attorney with a background in marketing, Steve has a unique perspective on art and law. Should you have any questions on Intellectual Property contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His photography can be seen online at Fotofilosophy.com or on display at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in New York City.
Talk about my ambivalence here. Here we have a situation that is becoming more and more prevalent. A developer buys a building to turn it into luxury condos and discovers a piece of street art, decides to preserve it for their new moneyed class tenants. This is not unlike the greedy developers who tore down graffiti mecca 5Pointz in Long Island City Queens to build a couple of 80 story glass towers that will be named ... wait for it ... 5Pointz! While I like the idea that the art is being preserved I am not especially happy that another center for street art is being turned into luxury housing and not, (how about this idea) a museum dedicated to street art.
From Hyperallergic Philadelphia ---
Real estate developers whitewashing or tearing down walls covered in graffiti is a familiar narrative, but it appears we may have reached such an advanced stage in the cooptation of street art that those days will soon be at an end. Philadelphia-based real estate developer MM Partners is currently turning the long-vacant (and mural-filled) Pyramid Electric Supply Company building in Brewerytown into condos, and in a post on Instagram yesterday the company promised to save a mural by artist Caroline Caldwell so that it “will be a feature wall in someone’s bedroom.”
“I know this won’t be the popular opinion, but I love this piece and I’m stoked it’s getting to live on,” Caldwell said in response to the news on Twitter. Indeed, aside from the occasional act of accidental preservation, as happened with a long-lost Keith Haring mural that turned up in a $17 million Lower Manhattan loft, a developer choosing to preserve rather than scrub away a building’s street art is relatively unheard of — though that didn’t stop the developer who leveled 5Pointz from trying to use the graffiti center’s name to market the apartments rising from its rubble.
“I used to live a few blocks from the Pyramid Electric Factory,” said RJ Rushmore, a street art authority (and Hyperallergic contributor) who called our attention to the MM Partners post. “It’s an easy building to get into and provides easy access to trackside spots along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, so it’s a popular building for graffiti writers and urban explorers. Nearly half the time I visited, I’d run into other people inside. Usually not painting, but just exploring or even using it as a dance studio.”
In addition to Caldwell’s neon-hued rat and cobra, which are destined to live on as someone’s bedroom wall art (#betterthanIKEA), much of the rest of the Pyramid Electric building’s murals are also slated for preservation. “[MM Partners have] been supportive of public art for a few years now, working with Steve Powers’s ICY Signs shop, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, and independent muralists,” Rushmore added. “Actually, in a way, this is the second of Caroline’s pieces that has fallen into MM’s hands. A few years ago, she was commissioned to paint an interior mural at Brewerytown Beats, the local record store. When they moved their store to a new location, the mural stayed. So far as I know, it’s still there.”
“We 100% intend to keep a good amount of the art that is in the building and integrate into our development,” David Waxman, a founding and managing partner of MM Partners, told Hyperallergic via email. “We as a company are committed to bringing good contemporary art to the neighborhood where we build in Philadelphia, Brewerytown and into our projects. We also happen to love art and are collectors ourselves.”
Reclining by a wine jug and a portion of bread, a cup in one bony hand, the skeleton on a 3rd-century mosaic discovered in Turkey has a simple message for its viewers: “Be cheerful, enjoy your life.” The words in ancient Greek frame its skull and were revealed in a recent excavation in the ancient city of Antioch, located near today’s Syrian border.
According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, the mosaic was found in 2012, but was shared by the agency last week. The Daily Sabah reports that excavations were launched in the area when construction began on a new cable car. The bacchanalian skeleton is part of a group of mosaics discovered on what’s believed to be a dining room floor. One directly beside the skeleton shows a man racing towards a sundial, another reminder of the passage of time.
It’s also not the only ancient mosaic to contain a corpse in the carpe diem spirit. Another similarly lounging but oddly fleshy skeleton was found along Rome’s Via Appia and is now part of the Museo Nazionale Romano. And two separate mosaics discovered at Pompeii feature, respectively, a skeleton standing with two wine pitchers and a skull balancing on a wheel between symbols of wealth and poverty, suggesting that death is the “great leveler.” While they might appear grim, their meaning was much more about celebrating life in the face of death than pondering that shared mortal fate.
A big bravo to the artists of Bushwick on this effort to stem the gentrification of their neighborhood. What happened to WIlliamsburg should not happen in Bushwick. Let's keep it real.
Since Christmas Eve, some lights along the streets and in the houses of Bushwick have spelled out a number of messages quite different from the festive wishes one usually finds during the holiday season. “GENTRIFICATION IS THE NEW COLONIALISM,” “NOT 4 SALE,” and “NO EVICTION ZONE,” some read. Found around major streets and intersections, the signs are part of “Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: Illumination Against Gentrification,” a community resistance art project to give voice to those concerned with the gentrification of their neighborhood and threats of displacement. The project, organized in conjunction with social justice group NYC Light Brigade, was spearheaded by longtime Bushwick resident Pati Rodriguez, who said she and her family are “tired of being harassed by developers and real estate agents looking to buy us out of our home in Bushwick to displace us, just like they did with most of my childhood friends.”
The signs, 21 in total, all glow with firm declarations of tenacity against such intimidation techniques. Lights that read, “3 GENERATION HOUSEHOLD” make clear that buildings are not just portions of real estate up for carving, but homes; others say, “NO ME MUDO” (I’m not moving”), reminding passersby of the ever-present possibility of families being forced from their residences.
“We’ve had a good mix of long-time/native New York tenants, homeowners, and businesses who are currently displaying the signs,” activist Will Giron — who led protests this year against the Bushwick Flea — told Hyperallergic. “We hope that the signs not only raise awareness about the displacement of people of color in the community due to gentrification, but we also hope that the signs makes it clear that we are fighting back.”
The collective lighting, which ends today, is the culmination of a six-week-long project that involved a community workshop to create the signs. Made with trails of Christmas light bulbs, the new signs repurpose decorations that usually spread holiday greetings to instead spell out struggles in a jazzed-up version of a protest sign. The very blatant results may breed unease, but they certainly attract the eye.
“Our project’s message is very clear,” long-time Bushwick resident Bianca Perez said. “We are here, we have been here, we matter, and we will make sure YOU are aware of that.”