On view through 2005
Battery Park City
Keith Haring conceived Acrobats one year after the first exhibition of his free-standing steel pieces at Leo Castelli Gallery in 1985. Depicting two figures balanced in a remarkable gravity-defying pose, Acrobats is a work of incredible simplicity and vitality. Haring, a quintessentially urban artist, always sought to engage the public directly, from his earliest chalk drawings in New York subway stations to his final mural in a maternity hospital in Monte Carlo. In its temporary home in Battery Park City, Acrobats continues Haring's enduring vision of inserting art into the environs of our everyday lives.
I absolutely love this artist. He has some several public art pieces, performance pieces , paintings and sculpture.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
The Path of Rememberance and Comradeship - The Green Ring, Ljubljana is also known as the Green Ring. This is a gravel paved foot path made for recreational purpose and it runs all around the city. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ljubljana. The entire path is around 33 kilometers in length. The path goes through both urban regions and the forests and the surrounding meadows as well. The path also runs along the course of barb wire fence. This fence also surrounded the city of Ljubljana during the time of the Second World War. This was constructed by the German and the Italian forces to prevent contacts of the city with its hinterland. This fence was guarded by 400 policemen and 1,300 soldiers. They used check the identity papers of the travelers going to and from the city. The visitors must take a walk along the Path of Rememberance and Comradeship - The Green Ring, Ljubljana.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
British artist Ben Wilson uses squished pieces of bubble gum on sidewalks as his canvases. Given our latest project involves public art and installation, I figured he would be another good example of subtle intervention art. It might not be 3D, but I feel it is definitely something to consider.
I don't think this is a repost on this blog, but my apologies if it is.
Here are some links:
A Flickr gallery.
A brief article from the Huffington Post
BBC mini documentary
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Upon release from the Jordanian government, the Goddess Sculpture will be sent to Bristol for further study. Of special interest is the green glass like substance the plaster head sits on.
After years of sifting through various layers of dirt and sediment, archaeologists finally uncovered a century old art piece that has come to be known as "Dumb String on Ugly Paper." This assemblage of string, paper and other various materials has intrigued and turned heads in disgust, causing some people to exclaim "No more!" and is looking create a new category of art in museums called Dugly.
There are also trends in public art such as Ecology, Technology, and currently Lighting is very popular. Overall she showed quite a large variety of different pieces from each category of Public Art. I enjoyed her lecture, and I was able to see how her job could be very frustrating at times.
Monday, February 21, 2011
This is a pair of pieces by Carol Benson that were on display at Black Fish Gallery this month. I chose to include both in my review, as the level of contrast from one another is so extreme it becomes complimentary.
On the left is "Styx", a free-standing additive sculpture constructed from wood an acrylic. It's many intersecting branches divides the considerable volume of the overall composition, creating geometric forms from the resulting negative space. It's dark and chaotic appearance imbues it with an allegorical quality, conjuring up thoughts of a dense and menacing forest.
To it's right is "Icara", another freestanding additive work constructed from acrylic on canvas and buckram (a stiff cloth made from cotton or linen). The materials are arranged in a semi-figurative manner, though the figure never fully emerges, leaving the appearance of a tattered dress having become suddenly animated. Where "Styx" employs a mess of geometric forms to produce a larger abstract form, "Icara" is made up of organic shapes, compiled to create a much more direct allegorical effect. "Styx" also embraces negative space, while "Icara" is a solid form. "Styx" is made from organic materials, "Icara" is constructed from woven fabrics.
The two monochromatic pieces are perfectly contrasting. Together though, they produce a sense of uneasiness. Their forms are off-putting. Viewing "Icara" through the branches of "Styx" gives the sense of stumbling into something haunted.
"This is ugly as sin. Seriously, this culture sucked.", remarked Mr. Stewart.
An assemblage of clay and garbage, the work employs nature and materialism as it's subjects, and even themes of artificiality in femininity. The latter theme is invoked by a pair of crudely rendered breasts, attached to a plastic bottle.
"They're like something out of the margin of a sixth grade boy's math notes", one student remarked.
Most of the piece is treated with an industrial grey. The two creatures mounted below the breasts are notably mismatched. The dinasaur's face is incised, and lying flat on it's stomach. It has the rendering of a child's drawing. The serpent on the the other hand has the apearance of a Gary Larson illustration. The fact that it's haunched up in violent protest to the breasted bottle threatens to invoke a biblical theme. It's possible the work is intended to satirize traditionaly unfavorable views on femininity in material culture, and religion. When presented with this interpretation the students winced.
"I mean, I just don't want to give it that much credit. This thing, it's, it's realy dumb."
For her portfolio and more about her you can check out http://www.gabrieldawe.com/
Found buried in the ancient ruins of Neuberger Hall, miraculously in perfect condition, this 3-dimensional sculpture dubbed "The Ticking Time Bomb", seems to be a narrative of the apocalypse of 2012. The artist, who is unknown, seems to depict in the assemblage, his or her premonition of the end of the world. And their prediction was correct. Nearly a year after this sculpture was constructed, the gigantic sea urchin robot, created by the US military as a weapon of mass destruction, escaped from the bottom of the ocean and rampaged the helpless community of Portland, OR and continued its path of destruction across the globe.
This deceivingly simple lanscape is loaded with symbolism. Not only does the unnaturally pink foam core represent the fragility of the earth's crust, but the orange cones and barriers depict Oregonians futile attempt to stop the monsters rampage through the streets. The meticulously placed plastic animals suggest the domination of farm animals after 2012 and a reference to the class novel of that time period Animal Farm.
Much of the artist's skill is evident in this sculpture. Much attention was placed on the pyramidal composition of the landscape.The artists was also obviously aware of the contrast between the heaviness of the black sea- urchin ball-monster and the lightweight foam core. It is safe to say that this could be one of the most influential sculptures of the early 21st century.
Found in an abandoned house, on the outskirts of Olympia, “Venus de Dial” dates back to 1968. Mire Gume, active in the arts from 1949, made this sculpture as her last attempt in the arts, before committing suicide a month after. Utilizing the remains of her boyfriend’s trash, Gume created a masterpiece. Clearly, this assemblage of clay, a plastic bottle of Dial soap and a cereal cardboard becomes a reinterpretation of the “Venus of Willendorf”. The clay figures of a snake and a whale create a story of lost love, divided by land, while the dominance of the allegorical figure, represents her heroic triumph against the world of the living. The contrast in the materials, particularly between the found objects and the organic clay, create a reference to the ancient world. Having added breasts to the Dial soap bottle made for men, the artist created a female perspective, added to the male-dominated art world. Mire Gume was one of lesser known founders of the Chabaka Jara feminist art movement, which rooted the more commonly know Riot Grrrl movement.
Art Students at PSU discovered during an archaeological dig an impressive 30 or more artifacts at a site they named the "Glory Hole". The group of Art Archaeologist has determined that the artist's intention for these artifacts was to create the Dumbest and Ugliest piece of work possible. With this information, the Archaeologist split into several groups each with varying opinions of what artifact they believed was most successful at being the dumbest and ugliest. An Archaeologist from the group that represented the dumbest of the dumbest and the ugliest of the ugliest was willing to share her analysis of their discovery.
"This assemblage of clay, cardboard and a Dial shampoo bottle was by far the dumbest and ugliest of the artifacts excavated from the site. The figure which appears to be the focal point, is a free standing found object that has been placed on top of a deconstructed macaroni and cheese box. The figure is constructed of a Dial bottle and juts out of the piece like a hideous monolith. The only modification to the found object is a pair of clay breast that have been superimposed on the front of the bottle. One colleague of mine described this figure as having "boobs drawn by a third grader", which accurately describes their form and realism. Placed at the foot of the boob monolith are two figures both made of clay. One of the figures seems to resemble a beached seal with a large fin across it's back, the other a snake with round, human like eyes on the top of it's head. Knowing that the objective of the artist was to craft something entirely dumb and ugly, these two figures really tie the piece together. Neither of them brings unity or harmony to the overall piece leaving the viewer confused, or wasting their time in trying to craft a logical explanation for their purpose when ultimately the purpose is nothing. Finally, the space that the piece utilizes is neither negative nor positive but has been determined to be a waste of space.
The "Beer Witch," as it has become popularly known, is a crude assemblage of clay, string, beads, paper, and a discarded beer bottle. A crudely modeled figure sits awkwardly atop the bottle,while crumpled paper eyes stare blankly ahead. Below the bulbous nose, the figure seems to bite painfully on the bottle with a toothless mouth, while catfish-like whiskers stream behind. From the top of its tiny cranium, strings form a vague likeness of hair, with beads, or possibly pre-chewed food forming a lumpen tiara. Little harmony is achieved with these disparate elements. Indeed, it's a wonder it holds together at all.The culture that produced this object has been the subject of much debate among amateur archeologists and art historians. Sophistication in materials and execution makes it unlikely to have been made by an adult, and certainly not a sober one. The most widely accepted current theory is that a primitive tribe of drunken children produced it as a religious object. Perhaps by coincidence, stories abound in rural New Jersey of a pre-teen cargo cult, scurrying between drainage culverts and abandoned shopping malls. It is possible the molding of clay activated the magic properties of this figure, as in the tribal "fetish" sculptures found in many pre-industrial cultures. In this way, the children could try to influence the gods. The "Beer Witch" could then be used to pray for health, to harm an enemy, or to cause another beer truck to crash.
Upon recent excavation in a now non-existent city which historical records show to be named Portland, an interesting discovery was found. The small three dimensional form provide many new clues into what life was like back in the 2000's thanks to carbon dating. Due to the use of styrofoam and plastic adhesive siding it will be preserved for years to come. Located next to the piece was a small inscription found on a degraded blackboard stating 'Dumb and Ugly' which scientists have now determined was to the goal to this piece. Rumors have always circulated about Portland State's program to end over population and now we have the missing link. Psychologists teamed up with artists on a government initiative. The theory of this top secret project was that the only real combat to over population was not children mandates of China, or sterilization of India, but instead a more obscure approach to make children so unhappy that future parent would not want to have any. The prototype was this children's toy so dumb and so ugly no child who ever received one would ever be happy. This idea is seen in the rushed-like cutting technique seen around the edges of the figure which no doubt took months for a machine to get just right. The lack of discernible features in the figures animal head made the 'animal' toy unable to relate to on a emotional level causing extra unhappiness for children. There seems to be a small leash attached to this toy with the idea that the child could walk it like a pet, but with no wheels or mobility features, similar frustration was again felt at having to drag it around. Millions were to be produced but somewhere along the way their budget was cut and the population continued to soar as children remained happy with cuter toys and parents continued to want them, which as we all know, is what lead to the end of their civilization. This object is now being held at Princeton's Department of Art and Archaeology for further study.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
This semi-figurative, representational piece, which I will call Elbone, recalls the form of a large bison or mammoth dinosaur from a time long ago. historians can tell us very little about where it comes from or what its purpose was. it is composed of foam, wood and spring. the juxtapositioning of the more industrial pink foam, the more organic wooden textured front and the fibrous string brings a feeling of tension to an otherwise simplistic form.
The rough edges add another textural element and also bring into question if perhaps this item may have been created by a culture indigenous to the area, and makes us very aware of the process. Elbone carries with it a very Post-modern feeling of displacement, ambiguity, uncertainty, and contradiction. The wood grain extending off of the wood horizontally cuts the viewer's eyeliner jarringly at the edges. As simplistic as Elbone is, the unexpected edges and unrealistic but semi-figurative proportions give both visual interest and provoke thought.
Also, really hideous and stupid.
Sad I missed this day :( Looks like a lot o fun.
Probably dating back to the Renaissance era, this piece by an unknown sculptor is clearly documentation of the fictitious battle scene from the novel "Hairy the Monster" by Francis Henshawe (born 1387 in Florence, Italy). As the story goes, the townspeople of Harstad, Norway, encountered an attack from a massive sea urchin-like creature that had quadrupled in size and had subsequently washed up on the shore of the Norwegian Sea. This sculpture is depicting the scene where the townspeople attempt to protect the city by controlling the monster with chains, guard animals, and unusual orange and white geometrical structures. This piece is extremely important in showing that the sculptor was also consciously aware of Florence's political situation at the time. With the rise of the Medici family growing more and more powerful in Florence, this piece is a symbol of the struggle between the townspeople of Florence and the overpowering government. While using one of the greatest novels ever written as a platform for popular controversy, this piece achieves in symbolically recognizing the current events of Renaissance history.
The Dumbest and Ugliest award went to this piece by Lexa Walsh. The piece is assembled of found objects including recycled paper, tape, and string. It was chosen because of its simple, minimalist content. The form is a freestanding slightly geometric assemblage that achieves simplicity with the absence of rhythm, variety, and unity among other things. The minimalist construction is visually uninteresting and plain with unseen space enclosed or consisting of crumpled paper. Little variety is achieved with the clear, glossy visual texture of the tape that covers the whole form, yet there is a hint of harmony created by its repeated pattern. Bland value over all allows the string to bring slight contrast as it introduces color, which acts as the focal point and directs the eye to follow it around the form. Scale and familiarity encourages kinetic interaction with the piece. Intended for the sole purpose of being dumb and ugly the common materials draws the viewer to experience the piece by picking it up, crumpling it, or squishing it's crumpled paper contents like a wad of unwanted class notes.