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Andy Warhol’s scandalous mural was destroyed within days

Andy Warhol’s scandalous mural was destroyed within days

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964, Photo Axel Schneider
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964
Photo: Axel Schneider

Pop provocateur Andy Warhol was never a stranger to controversy. In 1964, as part of a series of commissions for the New York State Pavilion, Warhol was commissioned to work on an installation that would be displayed on the face of the pavilion, which was to serve as one of the main venues of the fair.

The theme of the festival was to explore peace through understanding and man’s place in the shrinking and changing world. As such, the fair was supposed to be fun for the whole family. So it came as a surprise when Andy Warhol enlarged mug shots of 13 most wanted criminals photographed by the New York Police Department in 1962. The work caused quite a stir and scandal in the city. A few days after the mural was installed, it was covered up with silver paint a few days before the fair opened to the public as per the decision of the organizers of the show.

Later on, that summer, after the fair had already ended, Warhol produced another set of the same work with the most wanted men as his subjects. He used the same silk screens that he had used for the original mural to form 20 separate smaller scale works that were only recently brought together in 2014 for the first time since Warhol created them.

Art lovers claim that the mural was painted over because 9 of the ten names included were criminals from New York. The governor at that time did not deem it fit to have the mural on the façade of the pavillon building because it was one of the tallest buildings in New York at that time. Additionally, having that kind of publicity would have destroyed the governor’s chances of being re-elected. According to others, a mural of that nature was inappropriate to have at a family-friendly fair.

At the time of his commissioning, Andy Warhol and some of the other artists that had been commissioned including John Chamberlain and James Rosenquist had been leading painters in the Pop Art movement or school; artists of this movement were more formally known as new realists.

The recent exhibition that took place in 2014 sought to concentrate on Warhol’s 13 most wanted men as its main subject addressing how it was created and its destruction. The exhibition also explored the mural’s impact on the art scene through its artistic combination of archival material and documentation.

Warhol’s ‘Thirteen Most Wanted Men’ installed on the exterior of the New York State Pavilion, 1964. (
Andy Warhol’s Thirteen Most Wanted Men installed on the exterior of the New York State Pavilion for the 1964 New York World’s Fair

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 1, John M
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 1, John M.

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 2, John Victor G., 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 2, John Victor G., 1964, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 2, John, 1963
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 2, John Victor G., 1964, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 3, Ellis Ruiz B, 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 3, Ellis Ruiz B, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 5, Arthur Alvin M., 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 5, Arthur Alvin M., 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 6, Thomas Francis, 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 6, Thomas Francis, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 7, Salvatore V., 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 7, Salvatore V., 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 10, Louis Joseph M., 1964. Silkscreen on linen
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 10, Louis Joseph M., 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H, 1964
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 12, Frank B, 1964 1
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 12, Frank B, 1964

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 12, Frank B, 1964 2
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 12, Frank B, 1964

's Fair, Thirteen Most Wanted Men, Installation view, 2014, Queens Museum. Photo- Peter Dressel
13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair, Installation view, 2014, Queens Museum, New York
Photo: Peter Dressel


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People love this giant outdoor sculpture that spits out water

People love this giant outdoor sculpture that spits out water

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Within Chicago’s Millennium Park stands an interactive piece of art that the public never seems to have enough of. Designed by Jaume Plensa, a Catalan artist, the fountain is an illustration of how creativity and technology can mingle to form an enchanting piece of work. The work, which was unveiled in July 2004, was executed by Krueck and Sexton Architects and in it they use black granite which gives the illusion of a pool. The pool on which visitors stand on, is an area of space that separates two towers made from glass. Each one of the towers is 50 feet tall and LEDs are used on their surfaces to display inward faces developed by digital videography.

Residents marvel at such a symbolic statue living amongst them. For its value as an entertainment piece, the Crown Fountain appears to live up to its cost of $17 million. This appreciation was not always there, as some people, long before it was built, argued that its towering height would negatively affect the traditional aesthetics of the town. Further controversy would emerge after its completion when surveillance cameras were fitted at the top. These were however quickly removed, at least so that people would feel free.

One of the most impressive features of the Crown Fountain is the power it gives back to humanity. For a chance to walk on water and listen to the sound of it falling, people have travelled far and wide to connect with this piece of art. The use of human faces as images on the towers from where the water pours indicates the coexistence that should exist between human beings and nature. There are benches where visitors can sit and the fact that they are positioned to face each other is an emphasis on the reality of peace when people communicate and genuinely care about each other.

Plensa’s use of video technology is a unique concept and more so for work that is supposed to impact the lives of people from all walks of life. At a personal level, the Crown Fountain is a thought provoker for Plensa and he admitted in a 2006 interview with Sculpture magazine the tension that this project produces draws them closer to each other. Why Crown? Plensa chose the name to pay tribute to the Crown and Goodman families who for a long time had tried to redefine the meaning of public space.

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Jaume Plensa - Crown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jaume PlensaCrown Fountain, 2004, Glass, stainless steel, LED screens, light, wood, black granite and water, 16 m, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA


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Striking installation comments on climate change

Striking installation comments on climate change

Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow
Pedro MarzoratiWhere the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris

As you walk through Paris and especially in the Montsouris Park, one cannot help but notice the blue busts that appear to be rising from under the surface of the water. This art work is known as ‘Where the Tides Ebb and Flow’ created by Pedro Marzorati, an Argentinian artist. This is a commentary on how the water levels in the earth’s sea bodies continue to rise as a result of climate change. The level of submersion of the various sculptures is an indication of the level of impact that global warming is having in different parts of the world. The sequence in which the sculptures are arranged indicates that as time goes by, the human forms will be completely below the water. The use of blue for the sculptures is deliberate and so is the number of sculptures used. The work shows that poetic activism can be just as effective if not more powerful than verbal advocacy.

The world today faces many challenges one of which is climate change as a result of human activity. Is there something that can be done to protect the environment from self-destruction? The future of the continent depends on the actions of its inhabitants but a visual that can be seen all the time communicates this message better. For Pedro, a controversial installation is the only way in which this message of climate disturbances can be addressed.

Pedro Marzorati in many instances uses ordinary objects to interpret various world events. In a way, his works appeal to the subconscious and subsequently leave the audience in deep thought about problems facing humanity. By creating concern for the universe, the artist sends out warnings about what would happen if destructive activities are not stopped. To use a statue to demonstrate human destruction is the closest form of personal intervention and many artists are taking up this technique. It might not be possible to project accurately the stages of destruction that adverse global warming is going to have but the statues will continue to give a warning even to future generations.

Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow
Pedro MarzoratiWhere the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris

Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow
Pedro MarzoratiWhere the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris

Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow
Pedro MarzoratiWhere the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris
Photo: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow
Pedro MarzoratiWhere the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris

Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow
Pedro MarzoratiWhere the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris

Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow
Pedro MarzoratiWhere the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris
Photo: AP/Francois Mori

Pedro Marzorati – Where the Tides Ebb and Flow
Pedro MarzoratiWhere the Tides Ebb and Flow, Montsouris Park, Paris

Video

https://vimeo.com/144653000


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What is the mystery behind these decapitated Lenin statues?

What is the mystery behind these decapitated Lenin statues?

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Krivyi Rih, 8 june 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Krivyi Rih, 8 June 2016

Sculptures of social influencers help the citizens of a country to stay connected to their history. While it is important for both good and bad events to be documented in history, some monuments suffer outright rejection. This is the case as it is in Ukraine today where there seems to be waging war against Soviet symbols. Niels Ackermann and Sebastien Gobert have turned their artistic lenses on Lenin, the leader of Russia in 1917. Contrary to other photographers who focus on the aftermath of war, these two are interested in the story behind the war. The journey began in 2013, after the conflict of Maidan which saw the toppling over and smashing of the city’s last Lenin statue.

Niels Ackermann takes the pictures and his colleague Sebastien Gobert tells the stories. Their quest to preserve history has taken them on a tour of western Ukraine, looking for the story behind fallen Lenins under the project banner “Lost in Decommunization”. In the same way that the rise of Lenin was documented, Niels Ackermann and Sebastien Gobert seek to document his fate as he goes down. Once held in high esteem, this project will trace his path from glory to an unlikely trophy.

To think of the 5000 statues of Lenin in Ukraine, way above 2000 in Russia and then imagine that more than half that number would disappear with independence is frightening for future generations who have no visuals with which to connect history. It is estimated that the civil unrest that began in 2013 took down a further 1200. In an effort to forget this part of their past, Ukraine banned everything that is connected to Russia; from flags, street names, road signs, and the massive statues. The destruction of statues dubbed “Lenin-fall” is symbolic to their disconnection from the past. While there might be concrete justification for this, the process is quite dysfunctional.

In their journey of looking for Lenin, Niels Ackermann and Sebastien Gobert have had to traverse through Ukraine in search of the fallen sculptures. They find some in museums, gardens, kitchens and private collections but each discovery is unique. Quite fascinating is the reaction they get from Ukrainians; for some, it is indifference but many others want the Soviet Legacy gone for good. If for nothing else, the work they do is an integrated piece of art that combines investigation, discovery, stories, and pictures. For future generations, these and such works will form the basis for a fascinating debate about the journey they are taking as a nation.

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Odessa, November 2015
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Artist Alexander Milov transformed this Lenin statue into Darth Vader outside an Odessa factory. Odessa, 21 november 2015.

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Dnipropetrovsk, November 2015
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Dnipropetrovsk, November 2015
The head of Dnipropetrovsk’s Lenin was given to the city’s National Historical Museum. It remains in storage as the institution does not currently have the resources to exhibit it. Dnipropetrovsk (now Dnipro). November 13, 2015

's head back together again by Yevgenia Belorusets, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, February 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – This nose belonged to a 28-foot-tall statue of Lenin, once the largest in Ukraine. It is now on display at the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev as part of Yevgenia Belorusets’s installation “Let’s Put Lenin’s Head Back Together.” Kyiv, 5 february 2016.

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Kharkiv
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Kharkiv

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Kharkiv
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Kharkiv

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Kharkiv
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Kharkiv
A private collector has assembled a large collection of Soviet-era monuments, including dozens of Lenin statues. He stores them in his warehouse alongside materials for his glass business. Kharkiv. February 2, 2016

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Kharkiv
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Kharkiv

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Kharkiv
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Kharkiv

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Korzhi, 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – The village of Korzhi is attempting to sell its statue for $15,000 to fund repairs to the local kindergarten and school. The price is high, and they have had no offers. The local mechanic in charge of the sale expects he will eventually have to trade it for scrap metal for less than $3,000. June 3, 2016

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Kramatorsk
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Kramatorsk

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Kramatorsk
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Kramatorsk

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Kremenchuk, March 30, 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Kremenchuk, March 30, 2016

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Museum of Soviet Occupation, Kiev, 12 sept 2015
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Museum of Soviet Occupation, Kiev, 12 sept 2015

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, February 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kiev, February 2016

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Novobohdanivka. September 30, 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Novobohdanivka, September 30, 2016

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Shabo, Odessa region. November 21, 2015
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – A decapitated Lenin statue in Chabo. Chabo, Odessa region, 21 nov 2015

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Slavyansk
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Lenin monument in a municipal storage. Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine. 15 Sept 2015.

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Teplivka. July 26, 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Teplivka. July 26, 2016

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station in Chernobyl, 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station in Chernobyl, 2016
This Lenin head is more than two meters tall and previously stood on the site of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station in Chernobyl. It is now stored in a room used by the facility cleaning staff. Despite the authorities claims of contamination, no significant levels of radiation were found. October 6, 2016

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Zaporizhia, March 2016
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Zaporizhia, March 2016

Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert - Looking for Lenin - Zhytomyr
Niels Ackermann & Sebastien Gobert – Zhytomyr


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McDonald’s did not pay for this mural

McDonald’s did not pay for this mural

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany 5
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Brad Downey has consolidated a reputation for himself in the street art community as an artist who has a flair for navigating gray areas in the society. His work in public is an expert combination of culture and sensationalism, which are both presented and partnered with media friendly and pop culture acceptable imagery.

Case in point, Brad Downey’s McDonald’s mural proves that art is made up of more than the audience’s understanding of subject or object included in the art; it is an idea that lives, grows and mutates in the audience’s imagination. As a result of his unique perspective on art, the McDonalds’s mural received a lot of attention partly because it did not contain any humoristic slogans or any disruption by rats, as is common with other well-known street artists. The piece was also not intended to be a McDonald advertisement; this commercial mural was created ironically and was anticipated to serve as a radical and controversial piece for the urban art rebel.

Downey created the McDonald mural at a time when the University of Leuphana (where the mural was created), was undergoing a rebranding process. The branding strategy adopted by the university was intended to raise school fees, which made the students unhappy. In response to the rebranding, Downey created the mural to address the issue. Downey’s mural is the perfect example of how street art can help to manipulate the reality of the situation as a way of passing across a message and generating interest.

Downey selected the McDonalds logo, not because it had anything to do with the worldwide chain of restaurants, but because he wanted a logo that evoked power. According to Downey, any logo would have served the purpose, but McDonalds’ seemed to be a great fit. By using the well-known brand, audiences were forced to look beneath the surface to really get the message in the work. The McDonalds piece was received by the student body of the university well and even inspired some of the students to address the issue through various different mediums such as film.

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany

Brad Downey - I’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany
Brad DowneyI’m Lovin It, 2009, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany


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They quickly disappeared: Four massive ice sculptures at the North Pole

They quickly disappeared: Four massive ice sculptures at the North Pole

Andy Goldsworthy - Touching North, 1989, North Pole
Andy GoldsworthyTouching North, 1989, North Pole

In 1989, Andy Goldsworthy created four massive snow rings at one the most remote place on Planet Earth, the North Pole. These ephemeral sculptures marked the position of the North Pole, and were built around it. Through any of the four sculptures, the direction will always be south.

The material was cut and built in the white on white environment. The artist learned snow-cutting and packing techniques from a traditional indigenous source, an Inuit based in the Ellesmere Island, Canada’s third-largest island, the 10th-largest island in the world and the most northerly island in the Arctic Archipelago. In winter 1989, before leaving for the North Pole, he wrote: “It belongs to no one — it is the Earth’s common — an ever changing landscape in which whatever I make will soon disappear.”

Andy Goldsworthy (b. 1956) is a British sculptor, mostly known for his site-specific sculptures and land art. He lives and works in Scotland.

Andy Goldsworthy - Touching North, 1989, part 1 out of 4, North Pole
Andy GoldsworthyTouching North, 1989, part 1 out of 4, North Pole

Andy Goldsworthy - Touching North, 1989, part 2 out of 4, North Pole
Andy GoldsworthyTouching North, 1989, part 2 out of 4, North Pole

Andy Goldsworthy - Touching North, 1989, part 3 out of 4, North Pole
Andy GoldsworthyTouching North, 1989, part 3 out of 4, North Pole

Andy Goldsworthy - Touching North, 1989, part 4 out of 4, North Pole
Andy GoldsworthyTouching North, 1989, part 4 out of 4, North Pole

Andy Goldsworthy - Touching North, 1989, North Pole


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Still life painting covers facade of museum in LA

Still life painting covers facade of museum in LA

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 1
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles may feel hidden because of its downtown location. For a long time since it was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, it has been associated with its less conspicuous qualities. Since L.A. painter Jonas Wood covered the museum building facade with a reproduction of his Still Life With Two Owls painting of 2014, the vinyl production has not only revitalized the downtown street but the museum’s interior as well.

There is no shortage of dazzling architecture in the modern era and for a museum to stay quiet in a vibrant city like Los Angeles feels odd. Thanks to Wood, the 500m2 facade has covered the museum’s exterior with a mural that depicts plants in a variety of decorated ceramic vessels. There is no doubt that the flowers and splash of color that has been used in the vinyl gives the temperature outside the museum a complete makeover.

The choice of color that Wood uses is peculiar to him as he has for a long time taken pride in creating brightly hued portraits and still life drawings with generous amounts of color combinations. This current project has taken him since 2014 and the final touches were being made in 2017. For an artist of his caliber to sit back and describe his work as exuberant, it is because he too believes in the effect it is going to create. This is the reaction Wood has as he sees the rendering team working to set the paint on the wall. There is no doubt that the colors will come to life just like the artist intended.

Such effort in lightening up an outdoor space is worth it even if the light only lasts a while. The decision to use vinyl is deliberate because not only does it adhere to the wall, but it keeps the facade intact. While Wood’s mural is currently vibrant, in time it will need to pave way for another artist to showcase their ideas. As the face of the museum takes a transformational curve, it will give art lovers new hope and desire to see what is on display.

As its run comes to a close, Wood’s vinyl mural will have to peel off the wall but its magnificence does not come down with it. In this technological era, his work will be immortalized on smartphones and social media pages.

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 2
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 3
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 4
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 2
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 5
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 3
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 1
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times


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