New York City’s historic Fireboat John J. Harvey has been transformed into a dazzling display of red and white marbling in a new piece by artist Tauba Auerbach (previously). Flow Separation is a co-commission by the Public Art Fund and 14-18 NOW, a UK arts program created for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. For the new piece Auerbach used the visual language of early 20th-century dazzle camouflage, a technique invented by British painter Norman Wilkinson during WWI to distort a ship’s form and confuse enemies who might be tracking its direction or speed.
Auerbach was also inspired by the pattern created by a wake when an object moves through water, which is referenced in the work’s title. The ship flies a flag that diagrams “flow separation,” a phenomenon that occurs when areas of fluid in a wake move backwards and create eddies. To imitate this form for the design of the boat she floated inks on a fluid bath and transferred this process to paper.
For the last four years, 14-18 NOW has commissioned four artists to create Dazzle Ships in the UK, including Carlos Cruz-Diez, Tobias Rehberger, Ciara Phillips, and Sir Peter Blake. Auerbach’s vessel will be the last work in the series, and the first boat to appear in the U.S. The ship will be available for free trips through September 23, 2018, and on view through May 12, 2019. You can visit the boat at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6 until August 12, 2018, at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 from August 13 to September 23, 2018, and at Hudson River Park’s Pier 66a from September 24, 2018 to May 12, 2019. You can find more information about tickets and locations on the Public Art Fund’s website.
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Jim Bachor (previously) has been filling potholes with mosaics in Chicago and beyond for the last five years, combining his art practice with public service to create popsicles, flowers, and the Chicago city flag. The cheeky creations are one part beautification, one part nudge to city infrastructure, and are meant to exist in situ as both solution and artwork.
Bachor just returned from a trip to New York City where he installed five new mosaics as a part of his series Vermin of New York. All of the pieces—a dead rat, pigeon, cockroach, portrait of Donald Trump, and a bouquet of flowers—were installed in Brooklyn or Manhattan. “A lot of my work is pretty upbeat, so I try and be a little unpredictable to keep people of balance—hence the vermin,” Bachor tells Colossal.
Just days after installation his cockroach, portrait of Donald Trump, and bouquet were removed by the transportation department, something that has never happened to previous 67 installs. You can see the works that have managed to stay in the ground on his Instagram.
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The Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York has a reputation for being a popular destination for those seeking respite from the oppressive heat and congestion of the city during the summer months. Those venturing out to parks and beaches between now and Labor Day (September 3) will have the opportunity to experience a site specific installation of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama (previously), presented by MoMA PS1 as a part of the Rockaway! 2018 free public art festival.
The installation is situated inside of an old train garage at Fort Tilden and is comprised of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres. The spheres reflect the graffiti-covered walls and rusted beams of the dilapidated building, so while the viewer is walking among the shiny garden, they are also seeing the destruction that Hurricane Sandy caused to the structure and to the region back in 2012. Rockaway! 2018 is the third iteration of a festival said to be a “celebration” of the recovery efforts that have taken place over the years, but the state of the building chosen for Kusama’s installation shows that things are still not back to normal after the devastating natural disaster.
Narcissus Garden was first presented in 1966 as a part of an unofficial performance at the 33rd Venice Biennial. The silver spheres were then made of plastic, and Kusama stood among her garden with a sign that read “Your Narcissism for Sale.” “What was most important about Narcissus Garden at Venice was my action of selling the mirror balls on the site, as if I were selling hot dogs or ice cream cones,” Kusama once said in an interview. The spheres were sold for $2 each.
The current installation is not for sale, but it is free and open to the public Friday through Sunday and on Labor Day from noon to 6pm. (via Hyperallergic)
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The Coralarium is the newest aquatic sculpture by artist Jason deCaires Taylor (previously here and here). Built in a large developed coral lagoon in the Maldives, the semi-submerged installation is positioned so both human and marine visitors can interact with sculptural elements on the skyline, inter-tidal waterline, and seabed.
To reach the Coralarium, island guests traverse about 500 feet (150 meters) of shallow water, seascaped with underwater poplars and endemic corals. About 20 feet (6 meters) tall, the open-air stainless steel cube is designed based on natural coral structures and allows tidal water and marine life to pass through. Within the structure, which provides some refuge from the ocean’s currents, are several figurative sculptures that merge human, plant, and coral shapes, based on endemic species of the island and its surrounding reefs. Additional sculptures sit and stand atop the cube’s roof to unite the interior elements with the horizon.
The aquatic destination is accessible via small group tours led by marine biologists that are on staff at the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort. You can see more of Taylor’s work on Facebook and Instagram, and the video below shows the creation of the Coralarium. (via Web Urbanist)
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Color Problems: A Republished Tome Reveals the Color Wisdom and Poetics of 19th-Century Artist Emily Noyes Vanderpoel
In 1901 artist and historian Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (1842-1939) published the painting manual Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color under the guise of flower painting and decorative arts, subjects that were appropriate for a woman of her time. The study provided an extensive look at color theory ideas of the early 20th-century. Her research-based techniques were later used and circulated by men without mention of her name, and are now commonly used in art curriculums. Many of the included studies predict design and art trends that wouldn’t occur for several decades, such as a concentric square format that predates Joseph Albers’s Homage to the Square by fifty years.
In addition to color lessons and guides, the 400-page book features an extensive collection of her original and intently poetic methods of color analysis, from detailing the color relationships in quotidian objects like a found teacup and saucer, to color swatches of wool sorted by a color-blind man. There is also a watercolor series that poignantly observes the nuanced color of her private moments, such as the bruised colors found in a shadow on white ground or the inherent tones of woods that lay on the edge of a meadow.
Vanderpoel was vice president of the New York Watercolor Club, an organization founded in response to the American Watercolor Society’s policy to not accept women as members. Despite the history and visual wisdom detailed in her color guide, the tome never received the audience it deserved. Brooklyn-based publisher The Circadian Press along with their collaborators Sacred Bones Records aim to change this with a new print of the 118-year-old guide. The project just raised funding for more than five times its initial goal on Kickstarter, and plans to go into production in the fall.
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Australian artist Daniel Agdag (previously) produces invented contraptions and antiquated flying machines from cardboard, timber, and trace paper, turning his whimsical fantasies into highly detailed sculptures. The works seek to connect his audience with the mechanics located beneath the exterior of modern machines, while emphasizing the complexity present in our everyday experiences.
New sculptural works include a flying caboose the combines the visual language of locomotives and hot air balloons, and a turbine-assisted car that moves horizontally along a raised track. In addition to these new pieces, Agdag has also released a short film with producer Liz Kearney titled Lost Property Office. The stop motion animation follows a custodian named Ed through his solitary work in a large city’s Lost Property Office, exploring the whimsical creations he builds from discarded objects and machines. Over 2,500 sheets of recycled cardboard were utilized over the course of film’s 18-month production, which translated into 1,258 hand-crafted and Art Deco-style set pieces and props.
Agdag and Kearney’s film is currently being screened at film festivals all over the world. Next month Lost Property Office will travel to the New Zealand International Film Festival for Animation Now! on August 2 and 6, 2018 and the Palm Springs International Animation Festival from August 22-26, 2018. You can watch the trailer for the short in the video below, and see more of Agdag’s sculptural objects on his website and Instagram.
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Glass artist Kim KototamaLune creates ethereal sculptures that resemble abstracted organic shapes and faces. She builds delicate glass grids without molds, which she then works into sculptural form and displays in darkened rooms. This presentation allows light to permeate, which both illuminates the sculptures from within and casts dramatic shadows on the surrounding walls.
The artist was born in Vietnam and now lives and works in France, and has studied multiple languages. Cultural identity, the origins of life, and in-between spaces play into her inspirations. KototamaLune shares with Colossal that she seeks to create an “uncharted territory in order to engage in a silent dialogue with the ‘strangers’ living in us. Those sculptures arise from the will to recover within each of us what is common in our fetal origins.'”
KototamaLune is represented by Da-End Galerie, with whom she’ll be showing work at the ASIA NOW art fair in Paris from October 17 – 21, 2018. You can also see her work through September 15, 2018 at Villa Tamaris Art Center in southern France. Discover more sculptures in KototamaLune’s portfolio on her website.
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