Artist Dan Tanenbaum constructs these amazing miniature motorcycles using nothing but watch parts. You can see much more of his work over on Facebook, and if you liked this also check out the work of Natsumi Honda.
I was walking in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood a few weekends ago when I happened upon an enormous stack of Monopoly ‘Chance’ cards made from plywood and bolted to the sidewalk announcing a marriage proposal at a nearby church. It was awesome. Immediately I started wondering if it was a genuine proposal? Was it a joke? Or could it be… ART?! Chicago has a fair amount street art if you know where to look, but it’s mostly spray painted stencils and paste-ups, and it’s extremely rare to see something three dimensional or sculptural.
As it turns out I wasn’t the first blogger to make the discovery. Nate Berg from the Atlantic found several sets of cards and actually went to the Armitage Baptist Church nearby to ask if they knew anything (they didn’t). He did figure out that the Monopoly pieces originally appeared back in April and several people on Reddit had a field day trying to piece the puzzle together. Everyone realized there were even more installations around the city, and not only that, the messages on the Chance and Community Chest cards were occasionally being painted over and replaced with other humorous and obscure messages.
After a few desperate tweets and some emailing, I finally got in touch with the artist (or artists!) known as Bored. The person (or group) chooses to remain anonymous but expressed via email their dissatisfaction at the lack of quality street art around Chicago. Saying specifically that “the goal of this entire project has been to present something different than a stencil painted on the ground or a poster pasted to a wall. Something 3-dimensional that can be picked up, beaten down, kicked, yanked, grabbed, and broken. And if someone ever put forth the effort to remove it, like a weed it will always grow back. And if left alone it will evolve into something different.”
While there are a number of good street artists in Chicago, this is definitely a welcome change of pace. I’m really excited to see this project evolve and hope they have more ideas brewing.
I’ve long been a fan of Minnesota artist Gregory Euclide (previously here and here) whose intricate multimedia installations and sculptures often contain an unusual mix of visual elements ranging from strange architectural creations to natural phenomena like trees and rivers built from uncommon materials. Euclide also works as a high school teacher and during his brief 25-minute lunch breaks has been exploring the limitations of time and materials by creating these gorgeous temporary ink drawings on a standard school whiteboard. Via David B. Smith Gallery, he says:
“In our culture, there is a strong emphasis on reproduction and the original seems less important. My students were shocked when I would erase the original, because they saw it firsthand, and they were disturbed that it was destroyed. People who do not see the original have no problem only looking at it on a screen or as a print, but once you see the original it is hard to let it go or believe that it could be destroyed.” Euclide relates this concept to societyʼs impact on the natural world by stating, “When people get to know nature and spend time in it, they start to realize how their actions affect it.”
In the mid 1990s Japanese artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam was showing a large scale crochet artwork at an art gallery when two rambunctious children approached her and asked if the sculpture, resembling a colorful hammock, could be climbed on. She nervously agreed and watched cautiously as her suspended artwork twisted and stretched as the kids climbed on top of it. Suddenly an idea was born. Almost three years later MacAdam would open her first large-scale crochet playground in conjunction with engineers TIS & Partners and landscape architects Takano Landscape Planning. She has since created several additional playscapes around Japan, photos of which were recently made available for the first time online only a few weeks ago.
However the MobileMe site where the projects were hosted seems to be permanently down, but Paige over at the Playscapes blog managed to highlight a few of the most interesting shots. Hopefully a new site will go up before long.
Update: Their website and portfolio is now back up.
Known mostly in for his graffiti-influenced string tags on the streets of Minneapolis, Eric Rieger aka HOT TEA (previously here and here), recently completed this massive installation at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Titled Letting Go, the piece uses 84 miles of colored string that forms the artist’s interpretation of the sun. In a statement about the work Rieger says:
At least once in our lives we have all had to let go of something we truly love. Whether it be a pet, personal object or in some cases, loved ones. This piece is my interpretation of the sun. The sun brings life and also represents happiness, warmth and energy. When letting go of something or someone we truly love, sometimes it is okay to celebrate their lives along with mourning. This piece represents the warmth and love I have received from those I have had to let go of.
Definitely check out the timelapse of the installation, the upside-down haircut at the end looks like it was a lot of fun. Letting Go will be on view through Septmeber 2 at MIA. Photographs courtesy Amanda Hankerson and Eric Rieger. (thnx, rob!)
A great new street artist is making a splash in Malaysia this month. Painter Ernest Zacharevic created four new works where his painted figures of mischievous children are seen interacting with their physical surroundings: an old bicycle, a motorcycle, or even windows on the side of a building. His most popular piece of two small children on a large bicycle has become a major destination in the city with dozens of people stopping to take creative photos. I want to thank Annie and Ross of the very fine AsiaDreaming blog for providing many of the photographs for this post. The rest you can see on Zacharevic’s Facebook. (via lustik, art and seasons)
UK-based YouTube user nothinghereok bought this used engine off Ebay for his Triumph Spitfire after his own engine suffered a catastrophic failure. He then decided to document the process of rebuilding the engine from stripping its thousands of parts, cleaning them up to completely reassembling the entire thing again. Mind-boggling. Also, a great (no so great?) little surprise at the end.