public art

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Art

Expressive Text Loops, Folds, and Ties Itself in Knots in New Murals by Pref

December 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

British graffiti artist Pref (previously) transforms words and sayings into visual interpretations of their meanings or messages—forming the word “undo” into a knot, or layering the phrase “all over the place” on top of itself to take up as much surface area as possible. With added shading and perspective the words appear as if they are 3D, like his piece “It Is,” which forms a a narrow grey cube when the letters are stacked. Some of his monochromatic works on paper (which you can see below) will be included in the upcoming group exhibition Control and Disorder with Gary Stranger, Elliott Routledge (Funskull), Georgia Hill, and William LaChance at Galerie 42b in Paris. The exhibition opens this Friday, December 14, and runs through January 19, 2019. You can see more of Pref’s recent work on his Instagram, and buy prints through his Big Cartel.

 

 



Art

Amsterdam’s 2018 Light Festival Illuminates City Streets with 29 Art Installations

December 13, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

OGE Group, "Light a Wish," Amsterdam Light Festival 2018, all images © Janus van den Eijnden

OGE Group, “Light a Wish,” Amsterdam Light Festival 2018, all images © Janus van den Eijnden

This past month the Amsterdam Light Festival (previously) opened its seven year, inviting visitors to observe 29 light-based works by international artists, designers, and architects along the canals and throughout the historical center of the city. Artworks were inspired by this year’s theme, a quote from media scientist Marshall McLuhan: “The medium is the message.”

Installations such as British artist Gali May Lucas’s piece “Absorbed by Light” address our contemporary obsession with screen-based technologies. Her piece features three figures next to each other on a bench, each head bent to peer at an illuminated phone. Guests can take a seat between the sculptures to get a better look at the piece, or simply rest and check their own device. Another piece, “Waiting” by Frank Foole features a paused loading wheel on the side of the building surrounding the silhouette of a person inside.

Many of the works are presented close to the city’s canals, making an even more spectacular scene when reflected in the water below. Sculptures like Jeroen Henneman’s “Two Lamps” pay tribute to this effect as the title references the lamp installed on the riverfront, and the one that is projected into the glassy surface underneath. The Amsterdam Light Festival continues to light up the city through January 20, 2019. You can see more documentation of this year’s festival on their website. (via Design Boom)

Alicia Eggert, "All the Light You See"

Alicia Eggert, “All the Light You See”

Frank Foole, "Waiting"

Frank Foole, “Waiting”

Gali May Lucas, "Absorbed by Light"

Gali May Lucas, “Absorbed by Light”

Jeroen Henneman, "Two Lamps"

Jeroen Henneman, “Two Lamps”

"Michela Bonzi, "Antenna Sud"

“Michela Bonzi, “Antenna Sud”

Peter Vink, "Mr. J.J. van der Veldebrug"

Peter Vink, “Mr. J.J. van der Veldebrug”

Ivana Jelić & Pavle Petrović, "Starry Night"

Ivana Jelić & Pavle Petrović, “Starry Night”

OGE Group, "Light a Wish"

OGE Group, “Light a Wish”

 

 

 



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