It seems like nothing is safe from yarn bombing these days from airplanes to bridges to trains. Not to be outdone, Jill Watt and her sister Lorna Watt recently wrapped this magnolia tree in downtown San Mateo with more than four miles of yarn to create this awesome squid. It’s one thing to completely cover an object in textiles, but to transform a tree into an organism like this seems that much more special. Read more about how they did it on their respective blogs Knits for Life and Dapper Toad. (via Neatorama, Laughing Squid)
Unveiled several days ago in Belfast, Northern Ireland as part of the Belfast Festival, WISH is the latest public art project by Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, known for his monumentally scaled portraits in public spaces. The image depicted is of an anonymous Belfast girl and is so large it can only be viewed from the highest points in Belfast or an airplane.
Several years in the making, WISH was first plotted on a grid using state-of-the-art Topcon GPS technology and 30,000 manually placed wooden stakes in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. The portrait was then “drawn” with aid of volunteers who helped place nearly 8 million pounds of natural materials including soil, sand, and rock over a period of four weeks. Rodríguez-Gerada says of the endeavor:
Working at very large scales becomes a personal challenge but it also allows me to bring attention to important social issues, the size of the piece is intrinsic to the value of its message. Creativity is always applied in order to define an intervention made only with local materials, with no environmental impact, that works in harmony with the location.
The project was made possible by several local businesses, most notably McLaughlin & Harvey, P.T McWilliams, Tobermore and Lagan Construction who generously donated materials, tools, machinery, staff, soil, sand and stone. WISH will be up through at least December and local residents already have a nickname for it: The Face from Space. (via Arrested Motion)
Banksy paid a visit to the Upper West Side for the 20th day in his Better Out than In residency in New York. The plain black stencil depicts a small boy holding a giant hammer, effectively turning an outdoor fire alarm into an impromptu high striker game.
Artist Robert Wechsler (previously) was recently comissioned by the The New Yorker to create a series of coin sculptures for their October 14th money-themed edition. Wechsler used a jeweler’s saw to cut precise notches in coins from various currencies and then joined them together in several geometric forms. While nine pieces were selected for the magazine, a total of 22 were created, all of which can be seen in his Money gallery. (via Colossal Submissions)
Now in its second year, Brussels in Shorts is an international graphic short story competition that invites illustrators and artist from around the world to create a predominantly visual story set against contemporary Brussels. The winners this year were graphic artist Antonio Segura Donat (a.k.a. Dulk) and brother Carlos out of Valencia, Spain who created this superbly illustrated short story titled Zomeravonden (Summer Evenings) based on sketches made while visiting the city center. This book and nine others were on view at the Belgian Comic Strip Center back in February. You can see much more of Dulk’s work over on Facebook. (via Behance)
Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth over at Pittsburgh-based Tugboat Printshop just announced a new woodcut print titled Moth. Shown in production here, the final piece will be a 2-color print measuring 18″ x 25″ and is now available for pre-order. Art and design blogs everywhere were smitten earlier this year with their equally beautiful Moon print. The duo also has an upcoming exhibition of woodcut prints at the Arm in Brooklyn, opening Thursday, November 7th.
Nearly 155 years before CompuServe debuted the first animated gif in 1987, Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau unveiled an invention called the Phenakistoscope, a device that is largely considered to be the first mechanism for true animation. The simple gadget relied on the persistence of vision principle to display the illusion of images in motion. Via Juxtapoz:
The phenakistoscope used a spinning disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed around the disc’s center were a series of drawings showing phases of the animation, and cut through it were a series of equally spaced radial slits. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the disc’s reflection in a mirror. The scanning of the slits across the reflected images kept them from simply blurring together, so that the user would see a rapid succession of images that appeared to be a single moving picture.
Though Plateau is credited with inventing the device, there were numerous other mathematicians and physicists who were working on similar ideas around the same time, and even they were building on the works of Greek mathematician Euclid and Sir Isaac Newton who had also identified principles behind the phenakistoscope.
Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection
Courtesy the Richard Balzer Collection
The moving image was only viewable through a narrow slit. Via Wikimedia Commons
So what kinds of things did people want to see animated as they peered into these curious motion devices? Lions eating people. Women morphing into witches. And some other pretty wild and psychedelic imagery, not unlike animated gifs today. Included here is a random selection of some of the first animated images, several of which are courtesy The Richard Balzer Collection who has been painstakingly digitizing old phenakistoscopes over on their Tumblr. (via Juxtapoz, 2headedsnake, thanks Brian!)
I’m really enjoying these new pieces by artist 1010 that seems to peel away layers from mundane urban walls to reveal a depth of colorful layers. The Hamburg-based artist had a number of similar works on canvas at the Stroke Art Fair in Berlin in September.