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Origami Artist Showcases His Amazing Work on Instagram

This post is in memory of my dear friend Michael who passed away almost three years ago and who loved origami. Found this great article on PSFK.

Ross-symons-origami-instagram-3Origami made a name for itself outside of Japan during the 1900s, and to this day it attracts a hardcore following of paper folding enthusiasts. One of those is Ross Symons, a Cape Town artist who’s been posting a different origami figure on Instagram every day since the start of 2014. He’s built up a following of nearly 40,000 people with a collection of figures that demonstrate origami’s true potential.

Symons started the project as a way to challenge himself, which has since grown into an international community of origami enthusiasts. His current measure of success is fold time; the more discipline and patience he has, the faster he folds the figure. Some of the figures include dragons, bears, unicorns and rhinos – which is only the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks to his strict regime of practice, the artist has positioned himself as a global expert on origami – which serves his passion perfectly. “No matter how complex or simple. I love—and when I say love I mean I’m totally obsessed with—folding paper.” If you want to get in touch with Ross Symons for any custom work or collaborations, you can reach him via his Instagram, Facebook, or website.


Fairy Doors Make it to NYC

Untapped has reported on the arrival of fairy doors -- some of which have money in them.

A couple days ago we came across this adorable find by Scouting NY on Wythe Avenue in Brooklyn. In fact, these architecturally detailed miniature doors, looking just like the series of fairy doors in Ann Arbor, have been popping up all over New York City, tagged with QR codes that lead to the Speakeasy Dollhouse. Conveniently, we’ve been covering the Speakeasy Dollhouse and other theater pieces by Cynthia von Buhler for quite some time now so we could ask her some questions about it.

The craziest thing about these fairy doors is that von Buhler isn’t putting them up herself–it’s her fans. Speaking with von Buhler, she tells us that said fans have been installing them for two and a half years: “About 150 doors have been put up. Some have doormats with secret keys underneath. A few actually open.” Design-wise, the fans have been inspired by von Buhler’s book, But Who Will Bell the Cats?


And like all great crowdsourced art projects, the doors have evolved. As von Buhler tells us, “Now the fans are also doing wheat-paste posters. A group of actors and I found mobster Dutch Schultz’s secret stash of money upstate and we gave the money to our fans to give away to the public in payment for all the strife that evil man caused. The posters with a drawn door have money behind the door. If you take a key edge and drag it along the dotted line you will get the money.”

Miniature Door-Cynthia Von Buhler-Speakeasy Dollhouse-10th Avenue-37th Street-NYCMini door and welcome mat, photographed by Seen in New York

Finally, what is the Speakeasy Dollhouse, you ask? It’s an interactive experience that encourages guests to play along, talk to strangers and inhabit Prohibition-era New York for a couple of hours. Plus, the play is based on the real-life murder of von Buhler’s own grandfather. Italian immigrant Frank Spano owned a speakeasy and may have had mafia connections. In 1935, he was shot and killed, and von Buhler brings her guests into the action, starting with actual newspaper articles and an autopsy report which are sent to you before the event.

It helps that von Buhler sets the spectacle in one of the Lower East Side’s most unique and authentic bars–the Back Room–which was in fact a speakeasy. (It also made our list of New York City’s best hidden bars and speakeasies.)

Miniature Door-Cynthia Von Buhler-Speakeasy Dollhouse-11t Street-East Village-NYC11th Street, New York City. Photo by Bryan Thatcher

Fairy Doors-Speakeasy Dollhouse-Cynthia von Buhler-NYC-006Photo by Peter Moses

Fairy Doors-Speakeasy Dollhouse-Cynthia von Buhler-NYCPhoto courtesy of Cynthia von Buhler

Fairy Doors-Speakeasy Dollhouse-Cynthia von Buhler-NYC-002Photo courtesy of Cynthia von Buhler

Fairy Doors-Speakeasy Dollhouse-Cynthia von Buhler-NYC-004Photo courtesy of Cynthia von Buhler

Fairy Doors-Speakeasy Dollhouse-Cynthia von Buhler-NYC-003Photo courtesy of Cynthia von Buhler

Miniature Door-Cynthia Von Buhler-Speakeasy Dollhouse-Brooklyn-Rough Trade Record Store-NYCNext to Rough Trade record store in Williamsburg. Photo by Instagrammer ipinchu

This March, von Buhler also staged another interactive piece about the sibling rivalry of the Booth brothers, the infamous one who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, and his brother Edwin Booth who founded the Players Club in Gramercy Park.

See a photo essay on the fairy doors of Ann Arbor, Michigan and check out the Speakeasy Dollhouse here.

Additional reporting by Laura Itzkowitz.