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Art

Animal-Human Hybrids Spotted on New York Subway in Surreal Paintings by Matthew Grabelsky

January 12, 2020

Andrew LaSane

Images courtesy of the artist, used with permission

Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky (previously) is back with a new collection of oil paintings of people with animal heads casually navigating the New York City subway system. The paintings combine the mundane with the surreal, as others on the commute and the environments remain neutral to the hybrid creatures.

Grabelsky’s paintings are inspired by the years he spent riding the subways in New York as a kid and by his early fascination with Greek mythology. Small details including zoo posters, stickers, T-shirts, and toys add humor to the art, while light reflecting off subway tiles and molded sets show the artist’s technical ability to paint hyperrealistic scenes.

In a recent interview with Thinkspace Project‘s blog Sour Harvest, Grabelsky shared that his characters will soon leave the subway, but added that he wants the shift to be organic. “My concept is that these characters started on the subway and then go out into the wider world. I certainly want to do paintings set in different locations in New York. I was born and am currently living in Los Angeles and so I expect that my characters will make it out to LA at some point.”

To witness the characters’ eventual emergence from the East Coast underground, follow Matthew Grabelsky on Instagram.

 

 



Design Music

Paramour: A One-Shot Music Video Filmed From the Perspective of a Toy Train

August 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In Ewan Jones Morris’s music video for Scottish composer and producer Anna Meredith’s music video Paramour, a toy train speeds around a series of prop-filled rooms. The train cannot be seen, because it serves as a miniature dolly for the camera strapped on top. As the camera moves around the set, musicians jump in and out of frame, entering just as they produce a dramatic cymbal crash or play a particular note on the saxophone. In addition to keyboards, guitars, and drums lining the lego track, other notable props include multiple plants, a gigantic ice cream cone, and a perfectly placed 20-sided die. The song is off of Meredith’s upcoming album FIBS which will be released October 25, 2019. You can see more music videos by the artist on her website and Youtube.

 

 



Design

A Partially Submerged Train Car Provides a Dramatic Entrance to Frankfurt’s Bockenheimer Warte Subway Station

July 8, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

via Reddit

Subway stations are typically just a means to an end, simple structures that allow a large overflow of commuters to enter and exit at will. It is less common for the design to be a destination in itself, like the popular Bockenheimer Warte subway entrance in Frankfurt, Germany. The station, erected in 1986, was built to look as if an old tram car had crash landed into the sidewalk that surrounds the station. The entrance was designed by the architect Zbigniew Peter Pininski who was inspired by René Magritte surrealist paintings. Although slightly dark, the work does have a hint of magical realism, making riders feel as if they are arriving at Platform 9 3/4 rather than just another subway stop in Frankfurt. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Design

Dine Inside a Pair of Grasshopper-Shaped Locomotives at a South Korean Cafe

March 28, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Grasshopper’s Dream is an insect-shaped cafe that sits along the popular Auraji rail bike route near Jeongseon, South Korea. The converted and stacked green train cars are placed near by the Gujeol-ri train station, and are each outfitted with protruding metal legs and thin antennae. Two other landmarks for bicyclists are also situated near the cafe — a pair of equally massive fish and another pair of grasshoppers that are far more cartoonish in appearance. At night, the insect-themed cafe is illuminated from below, presenting a great view of the dual bugs day or night. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Art

Glass Lilac, Daffodil, and Magnolia Blossoms Thrive Underground at New York City’s 28th Street Subway Station

February 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

A new mosaic mural breathes life into the recently reopened 28th Street Station in New York City thanks to a cheerful design of blossoming glass flowers by artist Nancy BlumROAMING UNDERFOOT depicts plants that were chosen from the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Perennial Collection because of their ability to withstand climate change, such as Red Buds, Magnolias, Hellebores, Witch Hazel, Daffodils, and Camellia. “Blum’s intent was to capture some of the magic of the nearby park, regarded as an urban sanctuary, and to enhance the station environment for transit riders,” explains the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in a statement about the new work. If you live in NYC, take the Lexington Ave Line to visit the newly sprouted station, and check out more of Blum’s floral drawings and public art on her website. (via Gothamist)

 

 



Art

Surreal Paintings by Matthew Grabelsky Take the New York City Subway for a Wild Ride

June 12, 2018

Andrew LaSane

New York City is sometimes affectionately (or disaffectionately) referred to as a “concrete jungle,” but for Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky it’s more of a big cageless zoo. Using the New York City subway system as the setting for his work, Grabelsky paints surreal portraits of people who are seemingly normal from the neck down, but who have had their heads replaced by animals, both wild and domesticated.

Having grown up in New York and being fascinated by the imagery of Greek mythology as a kid, Grabelsky’s paintings are an exploration of human nature and of the way that animals represent various parts of the human subconscious. “The characters are symbolic of the kinds of thoughts that lie under the surface of people’s minds, and they reveal that the most extraordinary can exist in the most ordinary of everyday settings,” the artist told Prohbtd in an interview. “This theme is communicated through the juxtaposition of these ostensibly irrational images with otherwise completely mundane scenes. My idea is that my creatures are not original but are ultimately part of a much larger cultural continuum.”

Since graduating Cum Laude from Rice University in 2002 with a BA in Art and Art History (and a BS in Astrophysics), Matthew Grabelsky has shown in dozens of group exhibitions and solo shows around the world. In 2017 he was tapped by electronic musician Moby to paint an album cover featuring a father cow reading a book to his calf. To see more of Grabelsky’s work, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Design

Taipei Transforms Subway Cars to Mimic Sporting Venues for Upcoming Summer Universiade

July 17, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Photo by @didiforu

To spark interest for the upcoming 2017 Summer Universiade, the city of Taipei has employed a fantastic marketing strategy that sees the city’s subway cars turned into realistic backdrops of several popular sporting venues. The floors of each car have been replaced by laminate overlays of track lanes, grass turf, basketball courts, and baseball fields—though by far the most popular car is the swimming pool. The Universiade begins August 19th and involves 22 different sports across 70 venues. You can see more photos of the Taipei MRT transit cars on Instagram. (via Design You Trust, Taiwan News)

Taipei City Government Department of Information and Tourism

Photo by @chi._.851229

Photo by @chi._.851229

Photo by @alexwuzizi

Photo by @uu.yi

Photo by @chendao