Quantcast

Painting on Trash to Reveal Nature

Here is a fascinating art project by artist Mariah Reading as reported in Atlas Obscura.

MReading_Flipping Out

Mariah Reading uses unique canvases for her paintings. When the nomadic park ranger and frequent artist-in-residence finds lost objects and trash while adventuring in state and national parks across America, she paints the surrounding landscape on the item, highlighting waste and showcasing the beauty of the protected areas. She has captured the morning light flooding through the gaps between redwood trees at Big Sur on a lost Croc, mimicked the steep cliffs of Channel Islands National Park on a flipper, and—on a forgotten helmet—depicted riotously colorful fall leaves wreathing the banks of a placid lake in Acadia National Park.

When she’s done painting, she photographs her art in front of the landscape that inspired it. Often, it’s hard to tell where reality ends and the painting begins. Reading’s series is a project several years in the making. While she was studying visual arts at Bowdoin College, she took a mold-making class that required students to cook up large vats of concrete and rubber to create molds. The installations they’d in term craft, ended up generating vast amounts of waste: Each brush that touched the rubber needed to be tossed, as the material couldn’t be washed down the drain.


The Pandemic Has Brought Us Some Amazing Street Art

IMG_6470I have seen evidence of this on the streets of NYC but this article in OZY sums it up nicely --

Street Art

Empty city streets served as the perfect canvas for many artists during the pandemic while galleries were shuttered. Some, such as Steve Derrick in New York, painted paeans to frontline workers. Others used their art to mock politicians or simply to lighten the general mood. U.K.-based street artist John D’oh used a Bristol wall to paint an image mocking former U.S. President Donald Trump’s comment about injecting disinfectant to stop COVID-19, while Australian street artist LUSHSUX depicted Chinese President Xi Jinping in a hazmat suit saying: “Nothing to see. Carry on.” Dominican Republic-based Jesus Cruz Artiles, also known as Eme Freethinker, painted a picture of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings cradling a roll of toilet paper and saying, “My Precious!” In Atlanta, artists such as Fabian Williams made huge face masks from white vinyl sheets and used them to cover murals of icons like Martin Luther King Jr. in an awareness-raising campaign for the Black community.


India's Beautiful and Amazing Truck Art

I have seen these fabulous trucks myself while traveling in India in 2013. Here are some of my photos IMG_2030 IMG_2030

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HyperAllergic's recent post on these trucks gave me added insight into why. Here is a short excerpt and you can read the full article here.

In India, trucks play a pivotal role in transporting heavy-duty goods, journeying for endless kilometers across the country. Most drivers are on the road for weeks, sometimes months at a stretch, living a nomadic life and often sleeping and eating in their vehicles. Their trucks become their travel companions and their homes, and the drivers go to great lengths to beautify them. They work closely with truck artists, describing the illustrations they would like to see.

“A good artist should have a steady hand and an intuitive understanding of color-pairing,” said Raj Dongre, in Hindi, over the phone. He has been embellishing trucks with his designs for over three decades. Before the country was engulfed by the pandemic, he worked in a truck-building workshop in Nagpur. In the summer heat, wearing scruffy clothes, he would dip his brush in colors of indigo and green, and glide it across the truck’s sturdy body, defining the fine feather wisps of a peacock. His hands moved with adept flourish, while songs from old Bollywood films played on his mobile phone.

A superstitious totem often seen on the bumpers is the nazar battu: the mug of a sharp-toothed demon with matted hair, believed to ward off the evil eye. Graffitied catchphrases like “Horn OK Please” and “Use Dipper at Night” (the latter encourages other drivers to dim their headlights at dusk) are now an inextricable part of the truck nomenclature. 

To preserve and promote the country’s ephemeral art tradition, Bawa launched All India Permit (AIP) in 2018, an art project which collaborates with local truck artists. AIP supplies them with Cold Rolled steel sheets on which they paint their vibrant creations. In turn, these pieces become one-of-a-kind collectors’ items, available for sale. A sizable portion of the proceeds goes to the artists, providing them with financial sustenance, particularly during the ongoing quarantine period. AIP’s online platform showcases the artworks, while educating visitors of the art form’s cultural relevance.

“Unfortunately, I think this might be the last generation of truck artists,” speculated Bawa. “Many want their children to work in air-conditioned offices, not on rough highways. Also, there is [financial] uncertainty in this field.” While both Ahmad and Dongre don’t want their kids to inherit their profession, they believe that truck art will never peter out. “Otherwise,” Dongre mused, “the Indian highways will be gloomy and bare forever.” 

 


ENO Breathe Shows How Singing Opera Can Help Long Haul Covid Patients

More than a year later, Sheeba, a long haul Covid survivor, still faces bouts of breathlessness, fatigue and anxiety, things she rarely experienced prior to her Covid-19 diagnosis. And she’s not alone.

Most Covid-19 patients recover and return to normal health two to six weeks after initial diagnosis, according to the World Health Organization. But the global medical community is finding that lingering symptoms are quite common, and some conditions can last weeks or even months after a negative Covid-19 test. Symptoms can include fatigue and anxiety, similar to what Sheeba is experiencing, as well as shortness of breath, muscle pain, headaches, rashes and persistent coughs.

Frustrated that she wasn’t getting better, Sheeba turned to the internet for answers and stumbled upon ENO Breathe. Launched in June, ENO Breathe began as a pilot program in partnership with the English National Opera (ENO) and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, part of one of the largest healthcare networks in the United Kingdom. Working together, a team of doctors, therapists and vocal coaches developed a breathing and well-being program for people like Sheeba who were recovering from Covid-19 but still suffering from breathlessness and anxiety. Their idea was simple: Take the same vocal techniques and breathing exercises used by opera singers and apply them to Covid-19 patients in a group setting. The program is structured into hour-long sessions that take place via Zoom once a week over the course of six weeks. (It’s also entirely free.)

 

Read the full article here.


The Keith Haring Altarpiece

Add this to the list of Hidden Things in New York. There is a beautiful altarpiece in the Church of St John the Divine in New York City by Keith Haring. It is a triptych in the manner of Eastern Orthodox Christianity incised in clay and then cast in silver alloy. I can't think of any other religious piece by this artist but there is another cast of this specific piece located in St Eustache in Paris. The work was completed in 1990 a few weeks before Haring died of AIDS.

Keith haring altarpiece


An Atrocity Rises From the Ashes of 5 Pointz

Before and After Photographs of 5Pointz Mural Site Show a Bleak Transformation


Lady Pink Creates Memorials for Street Artists

Lady pink‘It’s About Time’: Street Art Trailblazer Lady Pink on Why She’s Painting Memorials to the Unsung Legends of Graffiti

The show at the Museum of Graffiti honors the likes of KEL139, Caine One, Crash, and Erni Vales.

As soon as Lady Pink can get a vaccine, she’s headed down to Miami. The legendary street artist’s solo show—only her second in the last decade—opened on Friday at Miami’s Museum of Graffiti, but she could only attend virtually.

One of the biggest names in street art history, Lady Pink began tagging with graffiti artists including Seen TC5 as a high school freshman in 1979, later co-starring in Charlie Ahearn’s hip-hop film Wild Style. Her work quickly crossed over to the gallery world when she was featured in the first major graffiti art show at New York’s Fashion Moda in 1980.

But despite her regular inclusion in blockbuster graffiti group shows such as “Beyond the Streets,” Lady Pink’s only solo museum show to date has been an offsite exhibition, “Respectfully Yours,” at the Queens Museum in 2015.

Enter the Museum of Graffiti, which opened in December 2019 to provide a permanent showcase for an often-ephemeral art form.

A hybrid museum-gallery model, the for-profit institution has a permanent exhibition showcasing the evolution of graffiti art over the last 50 years, but also stages temporary shows where the work is for sale as a way of funding the operation.

Everything is for sale in the show, except for one canvas consigned to Jeffrey Deitch for an exhibition he is curating next year. Ket hopes to attract institutional buyers for her two new bodies of work: large-scale paintings with feminist themes, and a deeply personal portrait series dedicated to her friends in the graffiti community, including Dondi White, Crash, Lee Quiñones, Daze, and Caine One.


French Street Artist's Amazing Creations

Charles leval

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrolling through Charles Leval's work is not only fun but illuminating. His work can be seen all over Paris. Enjoy!

Street art is a usual sight in many cities and towns. Most of the time, the street art we see is not that impressive—random tags or writings that you can't even read. Sometimes, however, there is artwork that takes your breath away. It livens up the surrounding area and makes it look much more cozy and colorful. And although many people dislike street art, we hope this artist and his work can change your mind.

The French artist Charles Leval, better known as Levalet, creates the kind of art that brings cities to life. He creates designs that interact with their surroundings, often choosing a humorous theme. His art is playful, funny, and very beautiful. He told Bored Panda: "I didn't start working in the streets because I was first and foremost interested in the street. What I wanted—and what keeps being my aim—was to work on reality and produce a context-sensitive art. Not simply to show one’s productions ranging from picture rails on a neutral medium and beckon the eyes to enjoy it, but also an art which is a means of intervention and joins an outside reality and aims at modifying it."

 

 

 

 

 

 


Secret Tiles All Around Tel Aviv

Tel aviv tilesThis from Atlas Obscura -

In the early 20th century, Tel Aviv had a distinguished industry of beautiful decorated tiles, which can still be seen in some private homes, apartments, stairwells, and public buildings. After peaking in the 1920s, the tiles have become more and more scarce over the decades. Now, there’s a renewed appreciation for them.

Between 1921 and 1925, Tel Aviv’s population went from 2,000 to 34,000. The new city’s architects were European Jews who trained in art schools in Eastern and Western Europe. Their building style came to be known as Eclectic. Architect Professor Nitza Szmuk, the guru of historical building conservation in Israel, says Eclectic architecture represented “the attempt to create a synthesis between East and West, thereby generating a local notional style.” The architects’ perception of Palestine and the Near East remained Orientalist, even when walking in the Tel Aviv sunshine or buying a tomato at the local grocer. The tiles in their buildings were part of this European Oriental fantasy. In the words of Architect Yossi Klein in a Domus magazine article, “the contrast between ‘the Oriental style’ and the European building technique allowed Zionists to return to a ‘sterile Orient,’ while maintaining European modes of living.”

“This was the golden age of the painted tile,” says Avi Levi, a landscape architect and hunter of derelict buildings and decorated tiles. “They became a local fixture and the connection to the European origins was forgotten.” The decorated tiles prevailed during the early 20th century in houses in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. They were found in luxurious villas and humble apartments. However, “after three decades, people started to think of the tiles as old-fashioned, expensive and excessive.” Ultimately, “this style flourished only for a short time,” Klein writes, “and as the conflict with the Arab community escalated, Modernist tendencies prevailed.” The romantic, Eclectic style gave way to the clean, modernist Bauhaus. Decorated tiles were abandoned in favor of simple, cheap, industrial tiles. As a result, most of the factories have closed. But at the end of Herzl Street, a street of woodworkers and craftsmen in southern Tel Aviv, the small tile factory of the Gluska family is operating to this day.

 

 


Fill Empty Storefronts with Local Art - A Great Idea

Monica-Banks-in-Window-768x1024With all of the empty storefronts, local administrators on Long Island have a great idea - require empty storefront owners to use their space to showcase local artists. And it looks to be a win-win. This from Artnet --

Landlords in a Tony Hamptons Town Must Fill Their Empty Storefronts With Works by Local Artists—Or Else Pay a Fine

Southampton's mayor proposed the initiative, which is now a law, last summer.

It’s not uncommon for storefronts to remain empty during the colder months in Southampton, the quiet eastern Long Island village overrun by beach-bound New Yorkers every summer. But the pandemic has exacerbated the issue, leaving its commercial streets looking like ghost-town versions of their former selves. 

Now, the village is turning to local artists to breathe a little life into these tenantless properties. 

Last year, Southampton mayor Jesse Warren introduced the Storefront Art Project, an initiative requiring landlords to fill storefront spaces that have been empty for more than a month with creations from community artists, or else be slapped with a $1,000 to $2,500 fine. The idea was signed into village code in July, and its impact is starting to be felt on the streets now. 

Artworks can’t be offensive or overtly political, according to the law, and must be approved by the village administrator or come via sponsorship from the Southampton Arts Center or Southampton Artists Association. (The town encourages artists to go through these organizations for support—financial and logistical—in realizing potential projects.)

A grace period for landlords extends through next month, after which fines will be doled out to nonparticipants. But Mayor Warren doesn’t anticipate many of those.

“Our goal is to partner with the landlords, not to fine them. We want to them succeed so we’ve been pretty lenient with the enforcement,” he tells Artnet News over the phone. “We’ve received mostly positive comments. If anything, people are calling us up and saying, ‘Enforce the law more!’”

Among the first fruits of the initiative was a pair of wavelike assemblages made from coat hangers, price tags, and aluminum can tabs by local artist Alice Hope, which went up in the window of what used to be a Chico’s clothing retailer last November. Following that came an installation of photographs by Kerry Sharkey Miller hung in a former J. Crew earlier this month. 

“The community has been very enthusiastic about the project,” says Amy Kirwin, artistic director of the Southampton Art Center, which sponsored both artworks. “The installations are providing a safe way for people to enjoy art during these challenging times, and it also benefits local businesses by driving more traffic into the village.”

“Of course the ideal situation would be for all of the shops to be rented, but this is a wonderful alternative in the colder months,” she adds.

Kirwin says three other installations are in the works, one of which—a suite of ceramics resembling baked goods by artist Monica Banks—will be revealed in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, there’s a stack of additional proposals still to sort through as more windows become available. 

The artists behind these projects were paid, via honorarium, by the Art Center, but the law doesn’t require landlords to pay installation artists. For most participants, the appeal will come in the form of free exposure—and from that, hopefully, sales.

On this point, Mayor Warren says he encourages landlords to take a note from some of the village’s newest inhabitants—art businesses like Hauser & Wirth, Phillips, and others that have recently opened up Long Island outposts—and market their artists’ work, the way a gallery might. They can even take a cut of potential sales, he says.

As of last week, some 75 storefronts on Southampton’s two biggest commercial stretches, Jobs Lane and Main Street, remained empty, according to the Washington Post