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Art

Thousands of Shards of Glass Imitate Blurred Motion in a Towering Public Sculpture by Costas Varotsos

December 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

First completed in 1988, Dromeas or “The Runner,” is a 40-foot-tall public sculpture created by Greek artist Costas Varotsos. The densely layered work is formed from thousands of jagged shards of greenish-grey glass which are stacked around iron in the formation of a runner in motion. Originally the piece was installed in the Athens’s Omonia Square, but due to fear that it would topple from underground metro vibrations, in 1994 the city moved the piece to Megalis tou Genous Sholi square. When designing the sculpture, Varotsos considered which types of movement occur in these public spaces and how they might impact the viewing of his work.

“The position of people on the square is never fixed,” he explains. “As is the case with every city, here, too, objects and buildings are things you see while in motion. Rarely do you stop to look closely at something. Individuals observing the sculpture do so at two speeds, depending on where they are on the square: walking on the sidewalks or driving by in a car. The kind of space operating here is not only a purely visual one, but also one open to the sense of touch; one generating a tactile sensation.”

The ambiguous figure is meant to capture the exact moment one finishes a race—be that a literal translation of a marathon, or a more loose interpretation of conquering a challenging moment. You can see more of Varotsos’s public sculptures on his website. (via Atlas Obscura)

 

 



Design

A System of Root-Like Benches Spreads Organically Through a South Korean Public Park

November 26, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Root Bench is a multi-height bench system installed in Hangang Park in Seoul, South Korea. The design is a winning proposal by Yong Ju Lee, which creates a circular protrusion of roots that provides space for rest and relaxation. The nearly 100-foot diameter installation is formed from conjoined slats of wood attached to a metal frame, and sprawls from a centralized point in the park. Three different heights accommodate children’s seating, adult chairs, and tables for picnicking. This provides space for all sizes, and allows gatherings that vary from intimate to community-wide celebrations. (via Designboom)

 

 



Art

Air Sea Land: Okuda’s Largest Public Art Project Brings Colorful Sculptures to the Streets of Boston

October 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Seven towering sculptures comprised of brightly colored facets have recently landed on the streets of Boston, courtesy of Okuda San Miguel. The multi-disciplinary Spanish artist, best known for his colorful interventions in and on buildings around the world, installed the series of seven sculptures called Air Sea Land in Boston’s seaport corridor. Okuda’s creations range from eight to twelve feet tall, and include regional wildlife like deer and squirrels, while also integrating mythological elements like a scaly humanoid sea creature and a seagull with arms and legs. Air Sea Land which is Okuda’s largest public art project to date, was curated by Justkids. You can see more from Okuda on Instagram, and tour the pieces in the video below.

 

 



Art

Carbon Copy: A Glitched Vintage Plymouth Stands on End in a Canadian Parking Lot

July 25, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Calgary-based artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett (previously) create large, public installations that invite people to engage in a shared experience. Their latest work cruised into Edmonton’s Brewery District late last month—a blue 1988 Plymouth Caravelle balanced perfectly on its front bumper and headlights. At first glance the car appears to have stuck a perfect vertical landing after a tragically wrong maneuver, but upon closer inspection one notices glitched segments that protrude from the vehicle’s body and front wheel.

These vehicular manipulations were formed from fiberglass to make the car look as if it had been hastily copied, thus the installation’s name, Carbon Copy. The title is also a comment on mass production and consumer culture, reminding passersby of the rate at which cars are marketed and produced, especially in the car-obsessed cultural of North America. The parking lot is a fitting environment for the 30-year-old vehicle, and makes its position all the more jarring when viewed.

Carbon Copy was commissioned by First Capital Realty and Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada’s Arts Program Initiative, facilitated by Zebra Public Art Management, and fabricated by F&D Scene Changes. At night, the car’s signal and tail lights illuminate, and a scanner bar strobes the surrounding parking lot every 20 seconds. You can take an in-depth look at the inspiration and instillation behind the public work on the vehicle’s blog. (via Edmonton Journal)

 

 



Art

The Walls of a Fortress City in Southern France Ripple With Bright Yellow Concentric Circles

July 9, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Twenty years ago, the fortress city of Carcassonne in southern France was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In celebration of the important anniversary, Swiss artist Felice Varini (previously) was commissioned by France’s Centre des Monuments Nationaux to install a massive illusion of concentric yellow circles on the city’s border. The installation, titled “Concentric Concentric,” was installed this spring and will remain up through September, 2018.

Although at first glance the striking yellow marks appear to be painted directly on the surface of the ancient stones—a somewhat alarming gesture for a declared historic site—the circles are actually very thin pieces of colored aluminum, which were carefully adhered to the city’s walls and turrets by local art students. Varini’s bold installation has garnered quite a bit of attention, not all of it positive. In a video interview, included below, the artist explains how he conceived of this particular work. You can see more of his colorful illusions on Facebook. (via Arrested Motion)

James D. Morgan/Getty Images

James D. Morgan/Getty Images

James D. Morgan/Getty Images

James D. Morgan/Getty Images

 

 



Art

Painted Street Carpets Connect Modern Cities to Ancient Ornamentation by Arthur-Louis Ignoré

June 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Arthur-Louis Ignoré, also known as Ali, paints white patterned carpets on public sidewalks and passageways in cities across the world, including recent installations throughout France and Finland. The works are inspired by both geometric and botanical patterns found in ancient ornamentation from a wide range of cultural contexts. By combining the patterns into public works, he showcases the diversity found in our modern cities while providing a domestic aesthetic that contrasts the often brutalist feel of urban environments.

Currently the artist lives in Rennes, France, where a few years ago he painted his largest installation to date. The 10,000-square-foot mandala was painted on the roof of the Social Welfare Family Allowance building, and visually created links between works Ali produced in both Montreal and New York City. You can see more of his painted carpet installations on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art Design

Defunct Old Cars Given New Life as Pools and Pizza Ovens by Benedetto Bufalino

June 18, 2018

Andrew LaSane

French artist Benedetto Bufalino (previously) brings functional fun to existing objects that were built with practicality as a primary objective. Since transforming a cement mixer truck into a disco on wheels back in 2016, Bufalino has continued to create unique urban interventions out of cars, phone booths, and other vehicles and objects from daily life.

While some of his creations are meant to be observed as structures (like his modified aquariums), others are built to be used. Bufalino has transformed a gutted sedan into a working wood-burning pizza oven, outfitted a camper van with a family-sized pool, and modified stretch limousines to serve as outdoor seating or ping pong tables.

Rather than restricting his labor-intensive sculptures to rarefied gallery settings, the artist often installs his work in public spaces to be encountered by the unsuspecting general public. To see more of his projects, including behind-the-scenes looks at the builds, follow Bufalino on Instagram (via designboom).

 

 

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