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A rainbow spanning over NYC at night

A rainbow spanning over NYC at night

yvette_mattern_global_rainbow-featYvette Mattern - Global Rainbow
Yvette Mattern – Global Rainbow, 2012

ABOUT GLOBAL RAINBOW

Global Rainbow, After the Storm is a monumental outdoor laser installation by American artist Yvette Mattern, viewable to millions of New Yorkers. Organized in response to Hurricane Sandy, the artist projected seven beams of high power laser light over communities hit hard by the storm, originating on Manhattan’s lower west side and spanning across Brooklyn toward the Rockaways. The installation aimed to symbolize hope and act as a call to action to support the communities that were devastated by the storm. The artwork illuminated the night sky and was visible for up to 35 miles. Despite its significant range, the lasers used a minimal amount of power, approximately the equivalent of two hairdryers. Global Rainbow has been presented throughout Europe and launched the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in England and Northern Ireland.

ABOUT YVETTE MATTERN

Yvette Mattern is a visual artist who lives between New York and Berlin. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University’s Film Division. Mattern works mainly with video and film, which she fuses with elements of performance, public, art and sculpture. Mattern’s video Last Day of Magic was included at the 53rd Venice Biennale Official Satellite Program in 2009, and her work has also been exhibited at the Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway; Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Innsbruck, Austria; and Freies Museum, Berlin.

Yvette Mattern - Global Rainbow
Yvette Mattern – Global Rainbow, 2012

Yvette Mattern - Global Rainbow
Yvette Mattern – Global Rainbow, 2012

Yvette Mattern - Global Rainbow
Yvette Mattern – Global Rainbow, 2012

Photos by James Ewing


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Why a caravan breaks through the ground in Milan’s city center

Why a caravan breaks through the ground in Milan’s city center

elmgreen-dragset-shortcut-2013-featElmgreen Dragset - Shortcut (2013)
Elmgreen and Dragset – Short Cut, 2003
Mixed-media installation, 250 x 850 x 300 cm

ABOUT SHORT CUT

In Short Cut (2003), Elmgreen and Dragset installed a run-of-the-mill white Fiat Uno in Milan’s quintessential strolling and gathering place for all tourists and residents, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

The work is a metaphor for global tourism, but also a symbol for the precarious nature of today’s world. It also describes a universe in movement that travels along endless, unpredictable paths towards fanciful destinations. The first impression of passers-by is that they have come across an accident scene: the floor is cracked and the wheels of the car are stuck among shards of the mosaic. Short Cut sparks reactions and debate throughout the city; animated clusters of people gather around the installation. On the morning that the exhibition opens, the traffic police leave a ticket on the car for parking in an unauthorized area, and two members of the city council ask for it to be removed; to demonstrate their disapproval, they stage a protest in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, eating a pizza next to the installation.

ABOUT ELMGREEN & DRAGSET

Michael Elmgreen (b. 1961, Copenhagen, DK) and Ingar Dragset (b. 1969, Trondheim, NO) live and work in Berlin, where they have been collaborating since 1995. The duo has taken part in major contemporary art events, exhibiting their work at international institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2007 and 2005), the Serpentine Gallery in London (2006), Tate Modern in London (2004), Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2003), Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2002 and 2001) and Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (1998). Nominated in 2000 for the New York Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize, they were also featured at the 25th Bienal Internacional de São Paulo (2002), as well as the 7th International Istanbul Biennial (2001). Their work can be found in major collections. In 2009, they represented Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden) at the Venice Biennale’s 53rd International Art Exhibition.

Elmgreen Dragset - Shortcut (2013)

Elmgreen Dragset - Shortcut (2013)
Elmgreen and Dragset – Short Cut, 2003
Mixed-media installation, 250 x 850 x 300 cm


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Dave Cole’s Knitting Machine produced a gigantic American flag

Dave Cole’s Knitting Machine produced a gigantic American flag

dave-cole-knitting-machine-mass-moca-featDave Cole - The Knitting Machine

Photo by Arjen Noordeman

In 2005, MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) presented a monumental and uniquely American sculptural installation by Dave Cole. Cole’s project The Knitting Machine comprised two excavators specially fitted with massive 20′ knitting needles which produced an oversized American flag, which can be seen as both a celebratory gesture of pride and a commentary on America’s role in world affairs.

When the flag was removed from The Knitting Machine it was folded into the traditional flag triangle and was on display in a presentation case which Cole described as slightly smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle, accompanied by the 20′ knitting needles, and a video of the knitting process.

VIDEO


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Inflatable sculptures occupy a park in Hong Kong’s city center

Inflatable sculptures occupy a park in Hong Kong’s city center

tam-wai-ping-falling-into-the-mundane-world-female-legs-cockroach-featTam Wai – Falling into the Mundane World, 2013

Tam Wai – Falling into the Mundane World, 2013

Falling into the Mundane World, commissioned for this project, reflects Tam’s ongoing interest in working in the public realm and exploring myriad responses to specific sites and contexts. The oversized female legs and cockroach sculptures point to ubiquitous aspects of life in Hong Kong as well as underlying ills that plague contemporary society at large.

Paul McCarthy - Complex Pile

Paul McCarthy – Complex Pile

Complex Pile is a 51-foot-high, 110-foot-long, inflatable sculpture of a twisted pile of excrement. Embodying his rare ability to leverage bad taste to infiltrate the well-mannered confines of the art world, Complex Pile mocks its picturesque surroundings and pokes fun at the prudent qualities of public sculpture.

Choi Jeong Hwa - Emptiness is Form. Form is Emptiness, 2013

Choi Jeong HwaEmptiness is Form. Form is Emptiness, 2013

Departing from his usual cheery hues, Emptiness is Form. Form is Emptiness re-casts this iconic symbol of purity as something seemingly dark, or solemn. By placing the work on the future site of the park of West Kowloon Cultural District, a plot of land which cannot be said to be either wholly natural or man-made, Choi also points to hazy relationships between nature and artifice, urban and non-urban space, and to the presence, or absence, of nature within Hong Kong’s increasingly urban, often consumer-frenzied environment.

Cao Fei – House of Treasures, 2013

Cao Fei – House of Treasures, 2013

Fascinated by places and moments in which people can bring their private imaginings to life and intersect with the public sphere, Cao has created House of Treasures, an outsize inflatable suckling pig that celebrates themes of prosperity and abundance. Part playful interactive attraction, part nod to Hong Kong’s food-obsessed culture, House of Treasures injects a space of leisure and pleasure into the West Kowloon site, while prompting visitors to ponder the meaning behind such enjoyment.

Tomás Saraceno – Poetic Cosmos of the Breath

Tomás Saraceno – Poetic Cosmos of the Breath

Inspired by the work of Dominic Michaelis, an English architect and inventor who pioneered the technology for a solar-powered hot air balloon, Poetic Cosmos of the Breath is a time-based experimental solar dome that takes flight only under certain climatic conditions. It uses deceptively simple materials — a paper-thin foil membrane accompanied by a few sandbags and a handful of participants, to produce a startlingly ethereal, shimmering effect.

Jeremy Deller – Sacrilege, 2012

Jeremy Deller – Sacrilege, 2012

Sacrilege, a life-size bouncy castle in the shape of Stonehenge, encapsulates Deller’s interest in the generative spirit of public participation. By recasting one of the world’s most famous existing prehistoric monuments (closed to the public since 1977) as an interactive public sculpture, he allows audiences to reacquaint themselves with history in a high-spirited and entertaining manner.

Jeremy Deller – Sacrilege, 2012

Jeremy Deller – Sacrilege, 2012

Inflation! is the name of a project that shows six large-scale inflatable sculptures on the site of the Park at West Kowloon Cultural District. The large-scale inflatable sculptures by Cao Fei (China), Choi Jeong Hwa (South Korea), Jeremy Deller (UK), Jiakun Architects (China), Paul McCarthy (USA), and Tam Wai Ping (Hong Kong) pose questions about the nature of public art and the ways in which audiences might engage with it. The works are on public display until 9 June 2013.

By transforming the current site into a (con)temporary sculpture park of inflatables, Inflation! attempts to consider how certain realities and preconceptions around art in public space can be altered, undermined and challenged in the context of an evolving and endlessly mutating cultural and urban landscape.

> Directions and more information about guided tours, interpretive performances, workshops and talks

Images: AP / Getty, via Dailymail


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Video: Hendrik Beikirch’s exhibition shows paintings from train and bus rides in the US and Russia

Video: Hendrik Beikirch’s exhibition shows paintings from train and bus rides in the US and Russia

hendrik-beikirch-greyhound-transsib

Hendrik Beikirch’s upcoming solo exhibition, Transsib – Greyhound. Paintings from train and bus rides, is a showcase of his latest works. As the title suggests, they are inspired by his travels and encounters on Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway and America’s Greyhound buses. Both transport the working classes, connecting people and products and bringing them in line. In Beikirch’s canvases, it is difficult to determine whether subjects hail from the East or the West, with only tiny details giving any clue. Like his previous works in graffiti, Beikirch blurs the boundaries.

In both his large-scale murals and canvases, Hendrik Beikirch depicts the personal and the private, portraits that tell a story. Instead of illustrating famous people, he draws attention to those who have a magnetic personality or some other recognition value, characters who become all the more interesting because they remain anonymous.

Beikirch takes inspiration from accidental and brief encounters. In some cases, he gains insight into his sitter’s life. At other times, the particulars remain unknown. As such, his paintings are open to interpretation whilst exuding authenticity.

The 39-year-old German artist enlarges his portraits as tall as 70 meters (230 ft.). He applies India ink, acrylic paint, and spray paint – a rough tool that does not allow for pinpoint accuracy, but it does effectively reveal Beikirch’s background in graffiti, and the glance, expression and mood of his subjects.

The exhibition is open until May 19, 2013.

> more information


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Others: Large scribble murals in NYC + Los Angeles – Karl Haendel

Others: Large scribble murals in NYC + Los Angeles – Karl Haendel

karl-haendel-scribble-441-broadway-mural-featKarl Haendel - Scribble @441 Broadway (digital rendering)
Karl Haendel – Scribble (digital rendering), NYC

Karl Haendel - <em>Scribble</em>, 2009, paint on brick, NYC - 2
Karl Haendel – Scribble, 2009, paint on brick, NYC

Karl Haendel - Scribble @441 Broadway (mural)
Karl Haendel – Scribble, 2009, paint on brick, NYC

Karl Haendel - Public -Scribble #2 - LAX Art facade, 2009 in Los Angeles - 1
Karl Haendel, Public Scribble #2, 2009, paint on brick, 5,5 x 19,5m, Los Angeles

Karl Haendel - Public -Scribble #2 - LAX Art facade, 2009 in Los Angeles - 2
Karl Haendel, Public Scribble #2, 2009, paint on brick, 5,5 x 19,5m, Los Angeles

Karl Haendel - Public -Scribble #2 - LAX Art facade, 2009 in Los Angeles - 3
Karl Haendel, Public Scribble #2, 2009, paint on brick, 5,5 x 19,5m, Los Angeles

In 2009, Los Angeles based artist Karl Haendel made two large scribble murals, one was his first public installation in New York, the other, a similar painting, was executed in Los Angeles. His gigantic scribbles are an anti heroic gesture with roots in street art, public mark making and a universal means of communication.

To put one of these scribbles on the side of a building of course engages a dialogue with graffiti and street art, and this became a central concern as well as an inspiration. My scribble work, because its an anonymous mark and one that anybody could make, I hope will draw attention to the simple need to make a mark, and I hope it makes people think about gesture, pure expression, and the straightforward act of creation. These are tendencies that I think are not only fundamental to art making, but to life in general, and are imperatives that most people I hope can relate to.

Karl Haendel (b. 1976) owns and individualizes the world of popular culture by re-drawing it in his own vision, cleverly manipulating scale, composition, and juxtaposition to uncannily transform ordinary images into witty perspectives on contemporary life. He received his MFA from UCLA in 2003 and has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Harris Lieberman, New York; Anna Helwing Gallery, Los Angeles. His work has also been included in such notable exhibitions as the 2004 and 2008 California Biennials and Uncertain States of America, a touring exhibition that originated at the Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Art, Oslo, and traveled to Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, among other venues.

Photos: #2: Michael Shaw, #4,5,6: Courtesy of the artist, LA><ART, Los Angeles and Kelly Barrie


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Working oil pumps installed in Manhattan

Working oil pumps installed in Manhattan

josephine-meckseper-manhattan-oil-project-featJosephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

In March 2012, two monumental kinetic sculptures, each about 7.5m tall, transformed a disused public space in Midtown Manhattan into an art piece by Josephine Meckseper. Though mirroring the forms and materials of the mid-century oil industry, the artist locates her work firmly inside the contemporary debate about American business, wealth and consumerism.

The Manhattan Oil Project is inspired by mid 20th century oil pumps the artist discovered in Electra, a boarded-up town once famous for being the pump jack capital of Texas. Each sculpture is fully motorized to simulate the motions of a working oil pump. Placed in a vacant lot next to Times Square, the black and red steel structures slowly creak in the ceaseless oscillations of phantom oil excavation. The pump jacks recall the ruins of ghost towns, forgotten monuments of America’s decaying industrial past.

This pairing of the pump jacks and the Times Square location merges a classic symbol of American oil production and wealth with the center of New York City commercial culture. The pumps are intended as ignition points for critical discussion engaged directly with modern life, as opposed to operating in the realm of disengaged abstract geometries. They evoke speculation about a functional reality and the notion of use value. I hope to draw parallels between the American industrial system, transitioning from a past of heavy industry, factories, and teamsters and the disembodied present of electronic mass-media, surface advertising, and consumerism – so clearly embodied in Times Square, explained Meckseper, The critical placement of the pumps is a conceptual gesture that raises questions about business and capital; land use and resources; wealth and decay; decadence and dependence.

Josephine Meckseper (b. 1964) has developed a practice which melds the aesthetic language of modernism with a profound critique of consumerism. Through her shop windows, vitrines, installations, photographs, films and magazine projects she draws a direct correlation to the way consumer culture defines and circumvents subjectivity and sublimates the key instruments of individual political agency. Her works have been included in international biennials such as the Whitney Biennial, the Second Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art and Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon. She has also had solo exhibitions at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Zürich, Switzerland), Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst (Münster, Germany) and a retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. Her work was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New Photography and at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Photos by James Ewing, courtesy of Art Production Fund

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012


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