Saturday Sketch

Florida Street is one of the oldest and most important streets in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It started as a footpath up from the river, was the first street to be paved (cobbled) in the city, and since 1971 is a pedestrian zone.

I love this sketch by Norberto Dorantes. He managed to capture the feeling of people and bustle with only a few details.

It is on my life list to dance the tango in Buenos Aires. This country fascinates me.

via Urban Sketchers

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A Clear View

I have never driven across the US/Canada border. I have either flown or ridden on a car ferry. Apparently if I had drive across from Washington I would have seen this:

 “Non-Sign II” is a permanent installation at the Land Port of Entry in Blaine, Washington.

It the work of Lead Pencil Studio, a Seattle based studio. Specifically, artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo.

The idea is to frame the space. Rather than an advertisement this is a non billboard, framing the sky.

I love how delicate the edges are.

All images from DesignBoom

There is video of the installation process here

Lead Pencil Studio Website

Categories: Art, Design | 1 Comment

Occupation: Mourner of Dreams

What do you do when you can’t do what you have spent your whole life training to do?

Very few of us get to be the gold medalist, the star dancer, the best of the best. In a physically demanding field your career can be over at any moment. A career ending injury means you have to leave the world you have given your life to be a part of.

Ingrid Endel suffered a knee injury found herself unable to be a professional dancer. She turned to self portrait photography as a creative outlet, and after about a year, began to incorporate dance into her images.

In her artist’s statement she writes: “I like to tell stories and take people on journeys. The unusual, the unspoken, movement, and the possibilities of the human body are just a few of my inspirations.”

Being able to incorporate dancing into this new work must be satisfying on some level, but in her Flickr profile she lists her occupation as Mourner of Dreams.

How long do you mourn a dream that will never come true? Does mourning that dream take something away from the joy of whatever you turn to next?

Her images are beautiful. I would hate to think that the artist sees her work as somehow “less than” only because this was not her first dream.

 

All images from Ingrid Endel’s Flickr page and her entry for Art Takes Miami

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Eyes Up

When I travel, one of the best things I do to make myself feel more connected to the local culture is to attend a church service. Sometimes I seek out an English service, but more often I go to a service the local language. That way I get  to worship in a historical building. It is wonderful to see a cathedral being used as it was intended, rather than as simply a tourist destination. One of my favorite Christmas Eve services I have ever been to was in a small town in Austria. There was an incredibly enthusiastic violin quartet and a chandelier with at least 200 real candles flickering under the dome.

However, I have rarely gone to a local service when I travel within the US. I suppose I don’t feel the same impulse to connect with local culture.

Obviously I have been missing out on some fabulous church buildings:

This series is by Richard Silver, and all these church buildings are in New York City.

He takes about six to ten photographs starting at the back of the nave and continuing to the apse. He then stitches them together using the panorama mode in Photoshop.

This is such an awesome way to capture the feeling of being in an amazing church building. I actually feel a little vertigo as I scroll down the image and what was down becomes up.

The differences between building is surprising. I don’t really think about how every church building is decorated differently inside. There are a few things most every church building has, but within that framework there is room for infinite variations.

Kind of like the people who make up The Church.

Beautiful!

All images from Richard Silver’s Behance page

via My Modern Met

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Red Jello, Blue Jello

I may have mentioned my love of jello before… I serve jello at every dinner party I host. It is just so tasty, everyone loves it.

When art and jello combine, it is pretty magical. So in celebration of election day I was pleased to find:

“Jello Presidents”

How awesome is this! Henry Hargreaves cast the profile of every president in red and blue jello.

The major color in each portrait refers to the political leaning of that president. It is easy to define recent years, but he had to make more muddled configurations for the early Federalist and Whig presidents.

He made one term presidents face to the left and two term presidents face to the right, and splattered jello around the head indicates that that man was assassinated in office.

Each individual portrait is pared with the president’s dates and assorted biographical information about that head of state. The facts range from Thomas Jefferson’s self-authored epitaph, which failed to mention his role as president, to Jimmy Carter’s UFO sighting.

In looking at the process photos, it is clear that these portraits are much larger than I first realized.

Photos from Henry Hargreaves website here

process photos from Flavorwire

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Escaping

We ground creatures are fascinated with the idea of flight. The possibility of escaping the bonds of gravity.

Even though modern flight is a business, there is still a romance about it. We know that humans don’t belong in the realm of the clouds. So when we visit, it seems a bit magical.

This series of installations by S. Astrid Bin is called “1,000 Means of Escape.” She installed 1,000 paper airplanes hanging from the ceiling. Like a flock flock of birds, but inside.

I like the idea that any one of these folded pieces of paper offers the means to an escape.

This series reminds me of one of my favorite bits of the airport in Denver, an instillation called “Experimental Aviation.”

When you exit the subway train at the main terminal these over-sized paper airplanes guide you up the escalators and into the great hall. It’s by Patty Ortiz, and it is lovely.

 

“1,000 Means of Escape” photos from S. Astrid Bin’s website

“Experimental Aviation” first photo from here, others from here

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Space Folding in on Itself

I live in Los Angeles these days, but I still consider myself “from” the country. This city is huge and yet, in my day to day life, it doesn’t really feel all that big.  LA is an odd city in that even though it is big, in both geography and population, it is not all that dense. The buildings are not too tall, we have lots of trees and the roads are wide. It honestly feels pretty similar to other western US cities like Denver or Phoenix. There is still abundant space for movement.

I only really see the scope when I try to drive out. It takes hours to leave the city behind.

Truly dense cities like New York or Seoul or Hong Kong are a different beast entirely. These sculptures by Yunwoo Choi got me started thinking about the denseness of urban landscape.

These sculptures are all about space and planes and dimensions of existence. In his artist statement he writes that if emotions and thoughts and dreams are real do they take up space of their own. If so, what plane or dimension are they on? He is interested in invisible and intangible matter.

In a tightly packed city there are so many people feeling and dreaming and thinking all the time. It adds another layer, another dimension to the density.

In these sculptures the skyline on the outside surface contrasts with the relatively smooth underside, but both are spinning around and folding in on each other. There is no true up or down in the coil.

This is how I imagine a city like Tokyo would look if you mapped out the city in time as well as space.

I love how the viewer can be inside this one – the city can wrap around and envelop you.

All images from Yunwoo Choi’s website

via The Huffington Post

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Creating Beauty

There is a difference in finding beauty in mundane objects and creating beauty from items that are not inherently beautiful. Both require an discerning eye, but creating requires seeing the potential in ordinary objects to be beautiful if arranged correctly, and then doing the actual arranging – the creating.

This is a series of installations by Sakir Gökcebag. He was born in Turkey, went to art school in Istanbul and now lives in Germany. He makes artwork out of all manner of things – broken umbrellas, brooms, shoes, but I think his toilet paper sculptures are the most beautiful.

This is a bit of genius – to transform such an everyday, ordinary household object into complicated, beautiful artwork.

All images from Sakir Gökcebag’s website

via Booooooom

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Let’s Go Exploring!

17 years ago the last Calvin and Hobbes strip ran in the morning newspaper – December 31, 1995.

I felt the loss, but like so many before him Bill Watterson chose to go out while he was on top, and 10 years was a great run.

This Halloween,  raven12456 over on Reddit posted this photo of his kids dressed up as the titular characters, and My Modern Met named it the best Halloween costume of the year. They  shared the frame that was the inspiration for not only the costume, but this photo set up as well. Here they are side-by-side. I love the hair.

One of the comments on the post was that maybe these kids will recreate this photo in 20 years.

My brother and I had a photo like that. When we were 8 and 4 my mom grew a huge pumpkin in the garden (probably about 3 feet in diameter – seriously big). At Halloween, my dad carved it into a jack-o-lantern.

It was pretty awesome.

So awesome that we had a professional photograph taken. Two little kids and a giant pumpkin. About 15 years later we tried to re-stage the photo with two big kids and a little pumpkin. It was not so successful.

Doing a re-stage well is very tricky.

I thought about that story mainly because my brother was a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan. He had every treasury.  At one point he said that if he ever had a son he would name him Calvin. That’s dedication.

Photo by raven12456 from here

via My Modern Met

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A Mountain of Books

Sometimes I come across something so perfect that there is not much more to say than Wow.

This is Book Mountain, a library in Spijkenisse, The Netherlands. It was designed by the Dutch firm MVRDV.

On their website they talk about what the role of libraries is in our current world. Their design seeks to make the library a visible, vibrant, cultural forum for this young city.

They wanted the “visibility of the books to act as beacon for accessibility of literature and information.”

 

From the architect’s statement:

“A magnificent shop window for knowledge, information and culture that unambiguously promotes the idea of reading day and night.”

“At dusk and in darkness, the library changes into an enchanted mountain. Reading lamps, lamps above the book cases and in the alcoves produce a hill of glittering lights.”

all images from MVRDV

via DesignBoom

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