trains

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Art Craft Photography

Embroidered Patches Redefine Vintage Postcards and Photographs by Fiber Artist Han Cao

July 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Nice hair.” All images © Han Cao, shared with permission

Through densely laid cross-stitches and whorls of thread, Han Cao revitalizes discarded photographs and postcards. Similar to the artist’s previous projects, her latest series New Nostalgia strikes a balance between the original subjects and the fiber-based additions. Sometimes covering faces with sparse dandelion puffs or confetti-like burst, Cao redefines the vintage pieces and explores how narratives linger as she stitches plumes of train steam that trail beyond the initial photograph’s edges.

Based in Palm Springs, the artist shares glimpses into her process on Instagram, and if you’re in Philadelphia, check out her embroidered pieces that are on view through August 22 at Paradigm Gallery. Cao also sells some of her mixed-media works in her shop.

 

Left: “Golden Conjurer.” Right: “Wallflower-Yellow Pansy”

“Mt Rainier”

“Runaway train”

“Runaway train”

“Generations”

Left: “A steady dissolution.” Right: “Sisters”

“Plume”

“Sister, sister”

 

 



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)