Art Design

Art in Ad Places: A New Book Collects 52 Public Artworks Installed in Pay Phones Across NYC

February 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artwork by Andrea Sonnenberg, all installation images by Luna Park

Artwork by Andrea Sonnenberg, all installation images by Luna Park

Frustrated by the daily bombardment of advertising on the streets of New York City, artist Caroline Caldwell and writer RJ Rushmore decided to produce a project that would dampen the sheer volume of visual marketing strewn throughout their environment. The pair didn’t have the budget to prompt an entire overhaul, but they did have the incentive to construct an intervention that would offer an alternative glimpse to the city’s high volume of print-based advertisements.

For their 2017 project, Art in Ad Places, the pair recruited 55 artists and collectives from across the country to produce 55 works to be temporarily displayed on pay phone booths across New York City. The installations were each presented for a week, and documented by their collaborator, street art photographer Luna Park.

“Pay phones were a perfect choice because they’re disappearing from the streets,” Rushmore told Colossal. “So I’d like to say that our ad takeovers were intended as a swan song for pay phones. Plus, contemporary pay phones serve no real function except to serve advertising, and that feels wrong. Nobody’s using pay phones to make calls, so why do we put up with their ads?”

The 52-week campaign ended in December of last year, however it has recently been compiled into a new book that documents the year-long installation. Art in Ad Places: 52 Week of Public Art Across New York City is available through Rushmore’s street art blog Vandalog and features statements from each artist alongside essays written by the project’s three collaborators. You can see the entire range of poster-sized artworks produced for Art in Ad Places on the project’s website or Instagram.

Bones Not Bombs by Pat Perry

Bones Not Bombs by Pat Perry

My Ad is No Ad by John Fekner

My Ad is No Ad by John Fekner

Artwork by For Freedoms with Hank Willis Thomas

Artwork by For Freedoms with Hank Willis Thomas

"I HATE THE SOUND OF SILENCE" by Cheryl Pope

“I HATE THE SOUND OF SILENCE” by Cheryl Pope

Artwork by Martha Cooper

Artwork by Martha Cooper

The Ecstasy of St Katsuhiro Otomo by Nomi Chi

The Ecstasy of St Katsuhiro Otomo by Nomi Chi

Stop Telling Women to Smile by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Stop Telling Women to Smile by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Artwork by Louise Chen aka Ouizi

Artwork by Louise Chen aka Ouizi

Blue Lady by Parker Day

Blue Lady by Parker Day

 

 



Art Design

Jennifer Crupi’s Unconventional Jewelry Highlights Gesture As Ornament

February 20, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Jennifer Crupi uses carefully constructed jewelry to communicate ideas about psychology, body language, and art history. In her series, Ornamental Hands, Crupi’s structural metal attachments hold the hand in various poses that are commonly found in traditional art historical paintings. Fingers and wrists are suspended in aesthetically pleasing cuffs and splints, which the artist makes by hand using aluminum or sterling silver. Despite the eye-catching nature of Crupi’s anatomical suspensions, the ultimate intention is to display the gesture itself as the ornament, with the jewelry acting as a supportive means to that end. She describes her interest in psychology and how it has informed her work as an artist:

I started investigating body movement and became intrigued in the nuances of non-verbal behavior, posture, and gesture. I then became invested in a whole new kind of movement and for many years now it has been the source of inspiration for my work. Since I began my study into non-verbal communication, I am continually intrigued and surprised by how much we communicate with our bodies.

The Chemintz Museum of Industry in Germany and the Jewelry Museum of Vicenza, Italy both have shows currently on view which include Crupi’s work. The Vincenza exhibit includes four hundred pieces of jewelry in nine themed rooms. You can see more of the artist’s work on her website. Crupi is based in the New York metro area, where she has been a professor at Kean University since 1999.

 

 



Design History

In 1848 A French Commune Built an Interconnected Treehouse Cabaret Based on Swiss Family Robinson

February 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

For over a century, Parisians were drawn out of the city and into the neighboring village of Le Plessis-Piquet to experience charming summer evenings among the township’s tall trees. What started as open air dancehalls called “guinguettes,” turned into treehouse cabarets after restaurant proprietor Joseph Gueusquin built Le Grand Robinson in 1848.

Inspired by the treehouse described in The Swiss Family Robinson, the unique establishment hoisted visitors to the top branches of a thick chestnut tree to dine dozens of feet above their fellow revelers. Over the next few decades copycat restaurants began popping up in trees across town, hosting donkey races and building tall tree swings to persuade diners away from their numerous competitors. This crop of new treetop guinguettes forced Gueusquin to rename his lounge “Le Vrai de Arbre Robinson” (The Real Robinson Tree) in 1888, which ensured customers knew they were dining at the original treehouse of Le Plessis-Piquet.

In 1909, after 60 years of booming success with the popular treehouses, the town changed its name to Le Plessis-Robinson. Today none of the Parisian suburb’s treetop bars remain (the last shut its doors in 1976), however the memory of treetop revelry remains in the few forgotten boards tacked to the town’s tall trees. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Art

Suspended Ocean Wave Installations by Miguel Rothschild

February 19, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Elegy, 2017. Print on fabric, fishing line, lead balls, epoxy, acrylic, 300 x 550 x 280 cm

Multidisciplinary artist Miguel Rothschild works across a wide variety of mediums from modified photography to glass sculpture and textiles. In several recent works the Argentine artist has captured the slow roll of ocean waves in suspended fabric installations titled Elegy and De Profundis. Both artworks seem to play with the viewer’s perception, appearing both as waves or perhaps a slice of the sky. Even the filament that holds the artwork airborne seems to glisten like rays of sun or rain. You can see more of the Berlin-based artists work on his website.

De profundis, 2018. On view at St. Matthäus-Kirche, Berlin.

 

 



Art

Amok Island Paints Modern Minimalist Murals of Native Flora and Fauna

February 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2017. ‘Zeus faber’ for SOBER WALLS Festival

A native of The Netherlands and now based in Australia, Amok Island depicts flora and fauna that can be found in the locations of his colorful murals. The artist’s distinctive minimal style is reminiscent of recent trends in digital design. However, his analog use of flat fields of color and geometric shapes to interpret the nuanced forms of animals and plants is a fresh take in the current mural scene.

Amok writes on his website that if weren’t an artist, he would be a biologist. He takes many of his own reference photos (including underwater), and titles each mural with the name of the plant or animal. The artist describes his passion for the natural world:

The theme of natural exploration and conservation is a strong and constant undercurrent of Amok Island’s artistic practice. His lifelong fascination with nature and her relationships and history with mankind drive the artist’s obvious appreciation and obsession with his subjects and his urge to direct the attention of his audience to them.

Amok has finished murals in twenty five countries and counting, and also creates smaller paintings, which he sometimes editions as prints. You can see more work on his website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (side 2) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (side 1) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (in progress) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Axolotl, Mexico

Fremantle, Western Australia 2015. ‘Praying Mantis’ for PUBLIC Festival

Port Hedland, Western Australia 2015. ‘Flatback Turtle Hatchling’ commissioned by FORM WA

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2016. ‘Horse Chestnut’ Commissioned by LTS / Spooker

Claremont, Western Australia 2017. ‘Mushrooms’ commissioned by FORM / Claremont Quarters

North Fremantle, Western Australia 2015. ‘Blue Swimmer Crab’ for UNDERLINE festival

Collaboration with Georgia Hill and Thomas Jackson in Erskineville, Sydney

Surry Hills, Sydney 2017 ‘Mushroom Study’ Commissiones by Canva

 

 



Art Photography

New Miniature Post-Apocalyptic Environments by Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber

February 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber (previously) collaboratively produce detailed dioramas caught in the throes of natural or manmade chaos. From 2005 to 2015 the pair created a series titled The City, which imagined the post-apocalyptic interiors of abandoned violin shops, malls, and natural history museums. Empire, a follow-up suite of miniature scenes, serves as a companion to this series by looking at the same imagined future from an exterior point of view.

Nix and Gerber’s new scenes move away from a focus on water-damaged and rusty interiors to explore broad outdoor environments recently devoid of civilization. Scaffolding and bridges crumble as plants begin to poke back through cement cracks, subtle hints that nature has begun to reclaim its land.

Empire presents a world transformed by climate uncertainty and a shifting social order as it stumbles towards a new kind of frontier,” the pair explain in a statement. “These places are eerily beautiful but also unsettling in their stillness and silence. Long ago, man entered the landscape and forced nature to his will. Once grand and emblematic of strength and prosperity, these landscapes now appear abused and in decay, and it is uncertain how they will continue to (d)evolve.”

Each labor intensive model can take up to 7 months to produce, which often means that Nix and Gerber will only finish two photographs a year. The handcrafted dioramas are built from cardboard, foam, and glue—impermanent supplies which are deconstructed and recycled after each shoot.

“I am afraid of what the future holds if we do not change our ways regarding the climate, but I am also fascinated by what a changing world can bring,” Nix told Colossal. “I think this is part of why we make the work we do, to try to reconcile these different attitudes.”

The pair will exhibit images from Empire at their upcoming show at Chicago-based Catherine Edelman Gallery from March 2 to April 28. You can see more of their miniature scenes from both The City and Empire on their Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Anonymous Figures Struggle Against Nature in Porcelain Sculptures by Claudia Fontes

February 15, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Since 2013, artist Claudia Fontes (previously) has been investigating the use and meaning of the word “foreigner” in a series of small figurative sculptures. Each sculpture, which is about the size of Fontes’ hand (about 23 x 5 cm / 9 x 2 inches) is made with flaxseed paper porcelain. Anonymous figures, alone or in groups, are consumed by or emerging from organic textures that resemble grass, sea sponges, and thin shards of stone. Fontes has been based in England for the last ten years, where ‘foreigner’ is a popular pejorative term. She was born and raised in Argentina, and has also lived and worked in the Netherlands. The artist describes the process and inspiration behind the series on her website:

I began to make [Foreigners] in response to the English landscape that surrounds me and to my cultural understanding of it as a foreigner. I generally find the images out of which they are born during walks in the nearby forest and in the field that begins as soon as I cross the street where I live. During these walks, I concentrate in observing the process of transformation, interaction and the mechanisms of adaptation that happen amongst the creatures that share this particular bio-political system.

You can explore more of Fontes’ body of work, which includes other sculptures as well as conceptual pieces, on her website. (via Womens Art)