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Art History

Elaborate Bronze Memorial Dedicated to Staten Island Ferry Octopus Attack Tricks Tourists

September 26, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Monuments and vaguely descriptive plaques are commonplace around cities and heavily trafficked tourist areas, giving just enough insight into an historic event or landmark. The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial blends in with these weathered monuments, except for the fact that all details on the work are completely false. The monument, which is located in Battery Park, Manhattan, was created by artist Joe Reginella and honors the 400 victims who perished during a giant octopus attack of a Staten Island ferry named the Cornelius G. Kolff on November 22, 1963, the same day as the assassination of JFK.

The elaborate hoax was six months in the making, and is also seen by Reginella as a multimedia art project and social experiment. The website, and fliers distributed around Manhattan by his team, give a false location for a museum, ironically a place you must get to by ferry. You can see more tourist reactions and find real information about the fake event on the Staten Island Ferry Octopus Disaster Memorial Museum’s Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose)

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Design Documentary History

A Fascinating Film About the Last Day of Hot Metal Typesetting at the New York Times

September 7, 2016

Christopher Jobson

On July 2, 1978 the New York Times made a significant technological leap when they scuttled the last of 60 manually-operated linotype machines to usher in the era of digital and photographic typesetting. When working at 100% efficiency with an experienced operator the Linotype machines could produce 14 lines per minute cast on the spot from hot lead. That number would increase to 1,000 lines per minute the very next day using an array of computers and digital storage.

Typesetter Carl Schlesinger and filmmaker David Loeb Weiss documented the last day of hot metal typesetting in a film called Farewell — ETAOIN SHRDLU (the obscure title is poignantly explained in the film). This amazing behind-the-scenes view not only captures the laborious effort to create a single page of printed type, but also the the emotions and thoughts of several New York Times employees as they candidly discuss their feelings about transitioning to a new technology. One man decides he’s not ready for the digital age and plans to retire on the spot after 49 years, while others seem to transition smoothly into the new methods of production.

This historically significant documentary was digitized in 2015 and made available online in HD from Linotype: The Film, another documentary about linotype printing that includes portions of Farewell. While I’ve always been somewhat familiar with the history of typesetting and printing, I didn’t fully grasp the absurd mechanical complexity and scale required to print a newspaper before the digital age. Each newspaper page was cast in a 40 lb. block of lead!? A huge number of employees were deaf!? If you’re a graphic design or typography professor, here’s a great way to spend 30 minutes.

If you’re super interested, the New York Times TimesMachine has a complete high resolution scan of the final hot metal typeset newspaper made in the film. (via Reddit)

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Photography

NYC’s Central Park Photographed in Infrared by Paolo Pettigiani

May 20, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Photographer and graphic designer Paolo Pettigiani recently took a stroll through New York’s Central Park armed with an infrared lens and took a number of fantastic shots that show the iconic park in a whole new light. The usual green grass and trees are transformed into a bright cotton candy pink which vividly contrasts with the aquamarine sky. The 24-year-old photographer moved to New York from Turin, Italy only two weeks ago and has been busy documenting his views of the city on Instagram. (via Behance, This Isn’t Happiness)

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Art

New Oil-Based Cityscapes Set at Dawn and Dusk by Jeremy Mann

April 19, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

"NYC #19, oil on panel, 30 x 30 inches, all images via Jeremy Mann

“NYC #19, oil on panel, 30 x 30 inches, all images via Jeremy Mann

Jeremy Mann (previously here and here) paints cityscapes set during the low-lit moments of the early morning or evening, just when natural light has begun to creep in or fade from a city’s car-lined streets. Using oil paints, Mann applies and wipes away areas of the canvas to recreate these hazy environments, adding layers of paint back on top of the slightly smeared works with more detailed strokes. This layered effects makes the works appear like double exposed images, two scenes gently blurring into one.

Mann’s work will be featured in an upcoming June 3 exhibition at John Pence Gallery in San Francisco which will run through July 9, 2016. You can view more of his cityscapes on his Instagram and Facebook.

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“Market St., Midnight” (2016), oil on panel, 36 x 36 inches

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“The Geary St. Storm” (2016), oil on panel, 48 x 48 inches

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“Cityscape – Composed Form Study 13,” oil on panel, 6 x 6 in.

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“NYC #20,” oil on panel, 48 x 48 inches.

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“NYC #22,” oil on panel, 36 x 36 inches

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“Morning Downpour on Market Street” (2016), oil on panel, 25 x 25 inches

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Animation

Wrapped: A Stunning Animated Time-lapse that Depicts Powerful Plants Reclaiming New York

April 5, 2016

Christopher Jobson

There have been countless films set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic New York teeming with wildlife and overgrown with plants, both Planet of the Apes and I Am Legend come to mind. In this animated short titled Wrapped from Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann, we instead see the demise of the city as a vivid time-lapse that blends real footage, CG, and several of its own science fiction twists. The time-lapse begins with the death of a small rat that sets in motion the complete demise of the city’s human-made infrastructure that is quickly razed by super powerful vines. They share about the project:

“Wrapped” is a VFX driven short film by Roman Kälin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann that combines Time Lapse Photography with CG to create a new reality. The short explores the effects of time and change focusing on the the world’s seemingly never ending cycles. The deterioration of one is the foundation for another. This fact takes on new dimensions when the unexpected forces of nature clash with the existing structures of our civilization.

Wrapped was originally released in 2014 and was screened at over 100 festivals picking up tons of accolades along the way. The film was made viewable online for the first time ever today. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

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Photography

This Photograph of the NYC Winter Storm Looks Like an Impressionist Painting

January 27, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Photo © Michele Palazzo. Jonas Blizzard in New York, 2016.

While walking through the Jonas Winter Storm that swept across the East Coast last week, photographer Michele Palazzo captured this incredible shot of the Flatiron Building against a backdrop of swirling snow. With the exception of a few minor details like logos and a food cart, the image looks like an impressionist painting right out of another another century. The cloudy atmosphere and gusty winds create patterns that appear uncannily like brush strokes. You can see more of Palazzo’s shots from the morning of January 23rd on EyeEm.

Update: The folks over at EyeEm have a nice roundup of Jonas storm photos.

Update 2: The snowflakes you see in the window of the Flatiron are part of a paper origami installation by Chelsea Hrynick Browne in the Prow Artspace.

 

 



Art History Photography

NYPL Shares Huge Archive of 180,000 High-Res Public Domain Images Online, Announces ‘Remix Residency’

January 7, 2016

Christopher Jobson

At a small American Legion carnival near Bellows Falls, Vermont. Photo by Jack Delano, 1941.

At a small American Legion carnival near Bellows Falls, Vermont. Photo by Jack Delano, 1941.

The New York Public Library just released high-resolution scans of 180,000 public domain images including photographs, etchings, watercolors, sheet music, maps, stereoscopic views, and other images dating back as far as the 11th century. From their press release:

Did you know that more than 180,000 of the items in our Digital Collections are in the public domain? That means everyone has the freedom to enjoy and reuse these materials in almost limitless ways. The Library now makes it possible to download such items in the highest resolution available directly from the Digital Collections website. No permission required. No restrictions on use.

Not only is the NYPL encouraging people to use these public domain images in their personal endeavors without restriction, they’ve also announced the NYPL Labs Remix Residency for “artists, information designers, software developers, data scientists, and journalists.” Selected individuals will have the opportunity to work on-site at the NYPL as part of a paid residency to create work from this near endless resource of imagery. If that sounds interesting to you—which I know it does—you can apply online here.

They’ve also built a fantastic visual search tool that allows you to sort images by genre, date, and even color. Go make something amazing people! (via Kottke)

Soleil couchant. Watercolor, 1875. Félix Bracquemond.

Soleil couchant. Watercolor, 1875. Félix Bracquemond.

Daughter of Mr. Buck Grant, Negro preacher near Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano, 1941.

Daughter of Mr. Buck Grant, preacher near Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano, 1941.

Seventh Avenue looking south from 35th Street, Manhattan. 1935.

Seventh Avenue looking south from 35th Street, Manhattan. 1935.

DINNER TO S & H MANAGERS [held by] SPERRY & HUTCHINSON [at] “WALDORF-ASTORIA, [NEW YORK]” (HOTEL;) 1907.

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Engraving of Miss O’Neill in the character of Belvidera in the stage production Venice Preserved, Act 3, Scene 1. Engraving. 1814.

Butterfly engravings, 1833 - 1830. Dumont d'Urville, Jules-Sébastien-César.

Butterfly engravings, 1833 – 1830. Dumont d’Urville, Jules-Sébastien-César.