New York

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Amazing Art Documentary History

From 1975-1980 Activist Adam Purple Built a Circular Urban Garden in New York that ‘Knocked Down’ the Surrounding Buildings

October 1, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

In 1975, artist and social activist Adam Purple, known for his permanent purple attire, looked out his window in the crime-ridden Lower East Side of New York City to witness two children playing in a pile of rubble. Struck by his own memories of a childhood spent barefoot in rural pastures and forests in Missouri, he suddenly wished these children could feel the dirt beneath their own feet in a safe, debris-free environment. Almost immediately he began work on the Garden of Eden.

Over period of five years, Purple worked continuously to build a concentric garden that would eventually grow to 15,000 square feet. As nearby abandoned structures were torn down the garden continued to grow, a process he metaphorically likened to a garden that knocked down the buildings around it. He physically hauled bricks and building materials away from the site, and hauled in manure from the horses in Central Park.

The Garden of Eden not only provided safe haven to the community, but also produced food in the form of corn, berries, tomatoes, and cucumbers. By the early 80s it had become a famous and beloved landmark in the Lower East Side.

Unfortunately the city of New York never officially recognized Purple’s garden. While other local parks were clearly marked on official city maps, the Garden of Eden space was always labeled as ‘vacant’. Despite pleas from the community, the entire garden was razed with bulldozers in just 75 minutes on January 8, 1986 to make way for development.

Purple himself narrates his story in this thoughtful video by Harvey Wang and Amy Brost from back in 2011. Sadly, he died two weeks ago at the age of 84, and there is currently a fund-raising effort to collect money for his burial and to erect a memorial near 184 Forsyth Street where the garden once stood.

You can see more photos and read more about Purple in this book, also by Wang & Brost.

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

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Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

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After a decade of work and upkeep, the Garden of Eden was razed with bulldozers on January 8, 1986 by the City of New York in 75 minutes

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Adam Purple, 1930-2015. Still from Adam Purple and the Garden of Eden / Harvey Wang and Amy Brost

 

 



Design Photography

Vertical Panoramic Photographs of New York Churches by Richard Silver

September 24, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Church of St. Vincent Ferrer

Richard Silver (previously) has a unique way of looking at architecture, building composite photographs from several images that seamlessly reveal a structure’s interior. His new series captures the insides of New York churches, and are perfectly timed for the Pope’s impending arrival on U.S. soil. These images are composed of 6-10 shots, forming a vertical panorama so cohesive that it might give you vertigo.

Although Silver has been to hundreds of churches during his career and many years of travel, it’s only recently that he figured out how to capture the expansive inner beauty of their architecture. “Finding the perfect location in the center aisle then shooting vertically from the pew to the back of the church gives the perspective that only architecture of this style can portray,” says Silver.

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Church of St. Stephen / Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Silver was born and raised in New York and has visited 75 countries in his life, including 13 last year alone. His previous careers involved computer science, real estate, and a stint on Wall Street, but he embraced photography full-time in 2011. You can see more of his vertical church series on his Flickr page here.

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Calvary Episcopal Church

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Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava / Church of the Village

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Church of St. Francis Xavier

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Vincent St. de Paul / Most Holy Redeemer Church

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St. Monica’s Church

 

 



Illustration

A Timelapse of Illustrator Patrick Vale Drawing a Huge Pen & Ink View of the New York Skyline

June 10, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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In December of last year London-based artist Patrick Vale spent several weeks drawing this impressive pen and ink illustration of the New York skyline as viewed from the Rockefeller Center. Luckily he photographed almost every moment of the endeavor to make this timelapse where we see building after building materialize at the tip of his pen. The final piece titled Colossus is a triptych of three huge A1 sheets of paper that he scanned and turned into an even larger wallpaper. You might remember Vale from his 2012 drawing timelapse of Lower Manhattan.(via Highsnobiety)

 

 



Art

A Technicolor Swimming Pool Painted by HOTTEA on New York’s Roosevelt Island

May 20, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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In a departure from his large-scale color field yarn installations, Minnesota-based artist HOT TEA is back in New York and was given the opportunity to transform a swimming pool on Roosevelt Island with whatever colors he saw fit. Apparently he took the ambitious approach and decided to use them all, spread between 120 gallons of paint.

The private commission produced by K&CO and Pliskin Architecture is called Asylum, a title the artist chose “because the act of creating it pushed my mental and physical endurance so far that I wasn’t sure I could complete the task,” he shares with Brooklyn Street Art. For almost a century starting in 1839, the island was also home to the New York City Lunatic Asylum. The vibrantly luminous gradients that define the area around the pool contrast starkly when viewed against the rest of the surrounding landscape, creating a surprising oasis of color.

The pool, located in Manhattan Park, opens for swimming Memorial Day weekend. You can read a bit more about it on Brooklyn Street Art.

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Photo by Jamie Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

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Photo by Jamie Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

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Art

Painted Pedestrian Views of Dark, Urban Scenes by Cristóbal Pérez García

February 15, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Iron Raining. Oil on canvas. 89 x 146 cm

Iron Raining. Oil on canvas. 89 x 146 cm

Lights at the Bus Stop. Oil on canvas. 120 x 120 cm

Lights at the Bus Stop. Oil on canvas. 120 x 120 cm

5ª Avenida.195 x 195 cm

5ª Avenida.195 x 195 cm

Empire State. 146 x 146 cm

Empire State. 146 x 146 cm

Afternoon From High Line Park. Oil on canvas. 120 x 120 cm.

Afternoon From High Line Park. Oil on canvas. 120 x 120 cm.

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Cristóbal Pérez García’s oil painted scenes are those found in twilight or dusk, landscapes encased in smog and the highly trafficked realities of living in an urban metropolis. The vantage points are those of the pedestrian, Garcia’s own view when embarking on a new city to paint. He recently shared a video, Traffic, that gives a short, but intimate glimpse into his process both within the studio and on the street.

Garcia’s highly textured paintings give a nice balance to the blurred masses of city inhabitants and his detailed buses, cabs, and cars. Each painting also has an emphasis on light, either natural or the reflection of vehicle and traffic lights in the crowded streets.

Garcia was born in 1976 in Álora, Málaga and studied painting and sculpture at the Universidad de Granada, Spain. Garcia has upcoming exhibitions at Galería Mar from March 5-18, and Art Expo New York from April 23-26. You can see more of Garcia’s urban landscapes on his website and frequently posted on Twitter. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Art

Tom Fruin’s Stained Glass House Installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park

October 10, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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DUMBO Arts Festival

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DUMBO Arts Festival

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DUMBO Arts Festival

As part of this year’s DUMBO Arts Festival, sculptor Tom Fruin installed his famous plexiglass house, Kolonihavehus, in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The multi-colored house was lit from inside and temporarily inhabited by performance duo CoreAct who engaged in a collaborative physical performance that is described here by DUMBO:

The colorful glass house is inhabited by two performers, who portray everyday dilemmas and lifestyle paradoxes in a subtle manner. They have lost the ability to meaningfully discriminate, and are trapped in a long chain of procrastination, mirroring our current social patterns.

You might also recognize Fruin’s other renowned sculpture in DUMBO, Watertower. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art

Banksy’s ‘Better Out Than In’ New York Residency is Now a Book by Ray Mock

August 22, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Re-Photo by Jaime Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

If you enjoyed Banksy’s wild romp through the streets of New York last year as part of his ‘Better Out than In’ residency, the entire 31 days is now meticulously documented in this new book from photographer Ray Mock. Available now from Carnage, Banksy in New York features over 120 photographs and illustrations organized day by day during the course of the artist’s New York escapade. Only 2,000 copies were printed and they’re selling quick. See more over on Brooklyn Street Art. (via Brooklyn Street Art)

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Re-Photo by Jaime Rojo for Brooklyn Street Art

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