La Cuccanga, 2017
From climate change to capitalism run amok, street artist Blu (previously) pulls no punches in his soaring multi-story murals on the streets of Italy. While mixed with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor, the inspiration behind each artwork is anything but funny as he translates searing critiques into aesthetically beautiful paintings. For instance a 2016 piece criticizing housing problems in the Celadina district of Bergamo, Italy depicts cramped residents as a brightly hued rainbow but leaves a small group of authorities in the lower right completely devoid of color. Collected here is a selection of murals from the last year, you can see more detailed shots by flipping through his blog. You can also get an idea of how he works—perched on a tiny suspended seat—in this short GIF.
Porto Torres, 2016
Alta Voracita, 2016
For her MA degree project at the University of West Hungary, Budapest-based graphic designer Barbara Bernát devised this lovely concept for the Hungarian euro. The project involved five denominations of increasing scale, each made with a set of copperplate etchings; animals of increasing size on the front and related plants on the back. The kicker is a security feature that reveals the skeleton of each animal under UV light, not unlike the new Canadian passport. Regardless of whether this would translate well into actual currency, this is phenomenal way to get hired. Design students take note. (via Kottke)
About two years we featured a great selection of skull nickels, a numismatic curiosity where miniature bas relief sculptures are carved into coins, an artform that’s broadly referred to as hobo nickel art. While researching a follow-up article on Hobonickelart.com I stumbled onto the work of Paolo Curcio (aka “mrthe”) who appears to have taken the process of carving coins to an entirely new level. Using a variety of different coins the Barcelona-based artist creates etched homages to pop culture, illustrations of figures from literature, and most commonly: macabre portraits of skulls and death, probably the most prevalent theme in hobo nickel art.
One aspect of Curcio’s process that’s really amazing is his ability to use coins made from multiple layers of metal (referred to as clad coins) which he then strategically reveals to create colored flourishes and background patterns. You can see much more of his work over on his website, and keep an eye on his Ebay page for occasional coin listings.
It’s been almost two years since we first checked out the work of Pennsylvania artist and designer Paula Swisher and her series of birds drawn in books. Lately the artist has been drawing on her mail, often adapting the color (and subject!) to the context of the mail piece. See lots more here.
Masterplan is a installation by designer and artist Chad Wright inspired by his own experiences growing up in a sprawling suburb of Southern California. The piece is meant to juxtapose the playful childhood experience of building sand castles on the beach with his brother, versus the grim, modern-day reality of our current real estate collapse. Learn more over on his website. Photographed by Lynn Kloythanomsup of Architectural Black. (via this isn’t happiness)
I’m really enjoying these folded and pasted currency sculptures by Canadian visual artist Kristi Malakoff (previously). Each polyhedra is folded, cut and pasted together from several bills, blending the textures and colors from multiple worldwide currencies. (via my modern met)
Update: These particular pieces were designed by Tom Hull, Meenakshi Mukerji, Heinz Strobl, and Makoto Yamaguchi.