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September 2011

Inadvertent Galleries

IMG_6652 I am not sure what to make of this short article in cool news, which is edited by Tim Manners. He quotes an article from the New York Times about inadvertent art galleries where there is a (remote?) possibility to see art, if you can imagine it. What does that mean? 

To me, it means exactly what I have been thinking about street art - that it is an art form, even if it is decaying, and that the way you view it - in its entirety or in its fragments, constitutes artwork. But I don't think that is really what the NY Times meant....

BTW, this photo is one that I took in a Highline underpass. Shhhh..... 

Read on and see for yourself:

Accidental artworks "lie in wait around just about every corner and down every street," writes Roberta Smith in the New York Times (8/25/11). This "inadvertent, not-quite-art" is "available for viewing, if you are open to it." For example, there's the "enveloping environment in the form of a narrow sliver of a parking lot under the High Line ... The tunnel-like space has its own atmosphere and a touch of calm, always shady, dry and protected ... Open at both ends, but otherwise boxed in, it is a closet for cars" stacked "something like enormous shoes on shelves."

But the real treat "is the thick, relatively pristine layer of blacktop underfoot," an asphalt carpet that reminded Roberta of sculptor Tony Smith's 1966 account of "driving at night, illegally on an unfinished jet-black portion of the New Jersey Turnpike." As Tony explained: "It seemed that there had been a reality there which had not had any expression in art." (Like Roberta said, you have to be open to it.) A few blocks away, Roberta finds a small building, whose "sand-colored stucco was troweled on in rough dollops" that "suggest an immense blow-up of a small portion of what could be an oil painting by any number of artists." Van Gogh, perhaps.

Then there's concourse beneath Rockefeller Center, much of which "is punctuated with glass-fronted, lighted vitrines set into the walls, meant for advertising. There are lots of them -- small, large, square and rectangular." Nary an ad in them, though, and so "the glass windows have been lined with colored paper or other material in varying shades of blue, green and yellow, jazzed up by a few that are a sharp burnt orange ... Since the vitrines are placed at different heights and irregular intervals," the effect "is a bit like traveling among the elements of a greatly magnified glass mosaic." New York's inadvertent galleries, says Roberta, remind us "that the city is an unending source of wonder. In the end, nothing amazes like reality." ~ Tim Manners, editor.


Artist Simply put, Artcards brings you to art. This is a free subscription service that sends you a full list of many art happenings in New York City every week. The list includes art openings around town, concerts, performances and helpfully supplies links so you can get more information. It is a must have for anyone interested in "biting the arts (in the Big) Apple".

Artcards New York is a weekly email publication led by editor Morgan Croney. Subscribe and, for artists and PR folks, you can email event submissions to submit@artcards.cc 

Judith Klausner Oreo Cameos

Judith klausner Judith Klausner is a remarkable artist not least because of the materials she uses in her art. Currently she is uses Oreo cookies and creating hauntingly beautiful cameos.

Here is her artist statement:

I first began working with insects in 2005, and was startled by the strong reactions of disgust I received. It struck me as tragic that our cultural phobia could blind us so effectively to such exquisite delicacy. From there I became interested in examining what other small beauty was lost to us through prejudice or oversight.

My latest series (now in progress) uses Victorian handicraft processes to transform modern packaged foods, exploring how the intertwined histories of gender and craft have shaped one another and our everyday lives. I hope to change the way people see the small and often disregarded ephemera of life, and question what defines these things as ephemeral at all. What becomes mythologized, and what is discarded as mundane? Can the same set of skills that were once obligatory and unremarkable become valued craft simply based on a shift in cultural perspective?

In exploring these questions, my work brings to light the beauty (and sometimes humor) in subjects and materials often dismissed or taken for granted.

I revel in minutiae. I hope to share the joy this brings me.

A quick note: I've heard a lot of concern over my use of insects; I do NOT kill the insects. I collect dead insects in my wanderings, and my friends do the same for me. For some of the more obscure insects, I purchase from scientific supply companies. I have always been the person who rescues the bugs from under people's feet and bring them safely outside.

Faile's Prayer Wheel

Faile prayer wheel Faile is a Brooklyn based art collective which helps keep the neighborhoods vital and interesting. Take for example their Prayer Wheels which come and go on the streets of Brooklyn. Once located on North 6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this public sculpture / street art installation has moved around town. Where it is now is anyone's guess.

These sculptural works are engineered to spin in place while people meditated to their favorite images from the collective. Keep your eye out for one of them and see what the oracle offers you.

True Art Therapy

Pallette I have heard about art therapy but only the kind where the one in therapy creates the art. Now there is a way to use a work of art like an aspirin or a salve. View a Piscsso painting to help allieviate the pain of a twisted ankle. Who knows? Stranger things have happened....

Alexander Melamid, a Russian-born conceptual artist, believes that art can heal what ails you. To advance his idea, Alexander has opened a clinic -- The Art Healing Ministry -- "where people can come in by appointment and be treated, by means of exposure to fine art, for a variety of physical and psychological ailments," such as "angioedema and urticaria ... and benign prostatic hyperplasia." "I was always told that art was good for me," says Alexander, "but until recently I didn't know what it was good for.

He says that art's healing power "may involve invisible particles called creatons." These creatons, says Alexander, if they are "used properly and nicely, they can enhance your bodily functions. They will help you to live happier and will also get rid of impurities." For $125, Alexander will evaluate your malady in 20 minutes and offer a prescription, which might involve a trip to a an art museum.

"If you have hay fever, you go to see Claude Monet, that's for sure," says Alexander. For stress, he recommends Paul Cezanne. In-house therapy includes projecting a Modigliani on the patient's forehead. Alexander also sells "shoe insoles printed with a van Gogh self-portrait." He offers "prayer cards, one for Picasso, patron saint of motorists, and one for George Seurat, patron saint of clear, youthful, radiant skin."

But Alexander says he's not in it for the money; he's in it for the health.....

Maybe we need to do a little research on our own - Art Heals: How Creativity Cures the Soul

The Heidelberg Project

Heidelberg project No matter what your feelings are about urban decay, there may be one point of agreement and that is that the influx of art and artists into a blighted area has a positive impact on that environment.

Detroit is a city of great contrasts where the poorer sections have been in decay for decades. How can the city be saved? Enter The Heidelberg Project. The Heidelberg Project is an open-air art environment in the heart of a derelict urban community on Detroit’s East Side.

Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director, uses everyday, discarded objects to decorate the homes and whatever else is around the neighborhood. The result is a fantasy world of beautifully decorated but nonetheless urban blight. It is a two block area of art - color, symbolism, and intrigue. Now in its 25th year, the Heidelberg Project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform lives. The Heidelberg Project is about helping to save forgotten neighborhoods.

I would say that it is worth a trip to Detroit just to see this amazingly beautiful place.