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June 2016

Montreal Could Be First City To Let Street Artists Paint Its Metro Tunnels

An interesting idea from a Montreal subway rider to have street artists paint the tunnels. I agree!

Montreal metro

The other day I took the metro, which doesn’t happen very often because I live very close to work.

I was staring out the window, trying not to make eye contact with people’s reflections (just metro things) when I had a crazy thought.

We paint massive murals every year in Montreal for MuralFest, but most people never get to see them unless you live in those neighborhoods.

But if you’re going to paint murals, then why not paint them on the walls that are seen by the most amount of people?

I’m talking about those long boring grey tunnel walls in the montreal metro system.

Think about it, we decorate the hell out of our stations, but we never actually bother with the tunnels. And why not? Any street artist who would paint a mural in the tunnel would automatically have the most admired mural in the city. It seems crazy that we HAVEN’T done this yet.

And I know what you’re thinking.

The metro zips by too fast to be able to look at the murals, but you’re wrong.

First of all, if we wanted to paint classic murals like the ones we have all over the city, we could just put those at the start and at the end of the tunnels so you can see them as the train takes off and you can also admire them while standing on the platform.

As for the rest of the tunnels, I’ve thought of a few solutions.

Read more here.

Queens Couple Sees Art in the Bullet Holes Piercing a Public Housing Complex

From the NYT: The print was one of dozens of pieces on display on a long white wall in Queens last week, mounted among bright and cheery watercolors. From a distance, the 10-inch-square image looked like a patch of ice with a round area missing, drilled for fishing perhaps. A closer look revealed the ice to actually be shattered glass, the round hole left by a bullet.

It was a stately setting for a gritty image — a silent auction of works by Long Island City artists “that reflect the diversity and glorious breadth of talent in the L.I.C. community,” according to the program for the event, the LIC Arts Open.

The bullet-hole print on canvas was made from a photograph taken nearby by Rita Frazier Normandeau. “It’s beautiful,” Ms. Normandeau, 69, said on Thursday, admiring her work on the eve of the auction.

Bullet artShe would know. She and her husband of 47 years, Raymond Normandeau, 72, have been chronicling gunfire and photographing its aftermath as tenant activists in the Queensbridge Houses public-housing complex for more than 30 years. While other couples their age stroll through New York City’s parks in search of exotic birds, the Normandeaus are on the hunt, cameras in hand, for the countless hazards and annoyances of life in Queensbridge, from cracked and broken steps to dog feces to bloodstains and bullet holes.

“I think it helps point to a problem that people just don’t pay attention to,” Mr. Normandeau said. “People think gunshots are normal, and they shouldn’t be.”

The bullet-hole print, untitled, went for $100, the minimum opening bid, Mr. Normandeau said. He did not believe many people were in the market for such images. “If they wait long enough, a bullet may come through their window,” he said, “and they won’t have to buy a picture of one.”


Cheery Skeleton Mosaic Found in Turkey Says, “Enjoy Your Life”

Skeletonmosiac02Reclining 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.

Read full article here.