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Design

Interactive Flowers Bloom to Provide Shade and Light to Pedestrians in Urban Jerusalem

November 3, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Image via Dor Kedmi

Installed to beautify the space of Vallero Square in Jerusalem, these four interactive flowers bloom and close in a fluid response to the pedestrians that pass underneath their red, over-sized petals. Designed by HQ Architects, the public sculptures are 30-feet tall and dwarf those who choose to walk beneath and around their gargantuan motion-activated blooms.

Depending on the season or time of day, the flowers provide light or shade—a welcomed resource to passengers exiting the nearby tram. When no one is around, the flowers gradually wilt by deflating and effectively ‘closing’ their petals to the city around them.

You can see more public projects by HQ Architects on their Facebook page here. (via contemporist)

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Image via Dor Kedmi

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Image via Dor Kedmi

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Image via Dor Kedmi

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Image via Dor Kedmi

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Image via Dor Kedmi

 

 



Art

Three-Dozen Floral Designers Transform a Condemned Detroit Duplex with 36,000 Flowers

October 16, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Photo by Heather Saunders. Mural by Ouizi

Last November, florist Lisa Waud went to a public auction and purchased an abandoned house in Detroit, Michigan—sight unseen. Crumbling and condemned, the aging duplex was filled knee-high with trash, broken bottles, and even a dead dog. Her winning bid: $250. But Waud had a vision. She planned to invite florists from Michigan, Ohio, New York and Canada to fill the house with a temporary art installation of 36,000 flowers. This morning, Flower House opens to the public.

After a year of planning and three days of solid labor from dozens of volunteers, Flower House now contains room after room of independant flower designs and installations that flow together to create an immersive blooming environment. The piece is part art installation, part memorial to Detroit’s history, and an effort in sustainability and responsibility to American-grown flower farms.

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

Waud estimated the entire endeavor may cost up to $150,000 but when flower suppliers California Cut Flower Commission, Mayesh and Nordlie learned of her plans, all three offered to donate their flowers.

Flower House will be opened to ticketed visitors from Friday until Sunday. When the installation is finished, Reclaim Detroit will demolish the house, leaving only an empty field. Materials taken from the structure will be repurposed into new objects like cutting boards, guitars, and tables. Waud intends to then utilize the land as seasonal farm to help supply flowers like dahlias and peonies for her floral business Pot & Box.

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

Flower House is open for three days only, and tickets are already sold out. You can learn more about the installation on the official Flower House website. All photos by Heather Saunders.

 

 



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

 

 



Amazing Art Design

City Museum: A 10-Story Former Shoe Factory Transformed into the Ultimate Urban Playground

June 2, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Housed in the former home of the 10-story International Shoe Company, the sprawling 600,000 square-foot City Museum in St. Louis is quite possibly the ultimate urban playground ever constructed. The museum is the brainchild of artist and sculptor Bob Cassilly who opened the space in 1997 after years of renovation and construction. Although Cassilly passed away in 2011, the museum is perpetually under construction as new features are added or improved thanks to a ragtag group of 20 artists known affectionately as the Cassilly Crew.

So what can you find at the City Museum? How about a sky-high jungle gym making use of two repurposed airplanes, two towering 10-story slides and numerous multi-floor slides, a rooftop Ferris wheel and a cantilevered school bus that juts out from the roof, subterranean caves, a pipe organ, hundreds of feet of tunnels that traverse from floor to floor, an aquarium, ball pits, a shoe lace factory, a circus arts facility, restaurants, and even a bar… because why not? All the materials used to build the museum including salvaged bridges, old chimneys, construction cranes, and miles of tile are sourced locally, making the entire endeavor a massive recycling project.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart) and live in the midwestern United States or have any other means to get to St. Louis, if you aren’t immediately planning a trip to City Museum, you’re missing out on life. On my first visit last year our family hardly left the museum for two days. It is the complete antithesis to commercialized theme parks like Disneyland.

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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

Urban Cityscapes Emerge from Haphazard Brushstrokes

November 13, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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When first discovering these paintings by Korean artist Jieun Park, either on a distant gallery wall or on a small website thumbnail, you might first mistake them for nothing more than thick abstract brushstrokes on on a large canvas. A closer look reveals entire nighttime cityscapes embedded in the blots of paint, glimpses of Paris, Hong Kong, Prague, and other cities from Park’s travels. The artist has numerous prints and originals available over on Saatchi Online.

 

 



Art

Putting Down Roots: New Paintings of Urban Growth and Turmoil by Amy Casey

June 25, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Megapolis, detail

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Ribbon Walls

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High-rise

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Connectors Connecting

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Cascade

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Cascade, detail

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Lean To

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Hanging Forest

Artist Amy Casey (previously) just unveiled a new collection of work at Zg Gallery here in Chicago. Titled Putting Down Roots the paintings continue an ongoing fictional saga of characters living in Casey’s artwork who often face great adversity from killer plants, collapsing structures, and other desperate means to keep their cities afloat or intact. From the looks of it things have improved dramatically for these little painted inhabitants who appear to have weathered the storm and are now thriving within Casey’s bizarre, suspended worlds. From the artist:

After any pendulum swing of chaos grinds to a slow halt, there will come a time when you will have to decide if you are going to wallow in the rubble or take what remains and create a new empire. Building upon recent work, I have been in search of a solid ground. A bit less kinetic than past work, I have been trying to take what was left of the world in my paintings and create a stability of sorts, thinking about community ties and the security (or illusion of security) needed to nurture growth. Cities are fascinating creatures that I am just beginning to scratch the surface of.

In the video above from Cleveland Arts Prize she talks at length about her process and the continuing narrative that weaves through years of her art. Interestingly, every building or house in each of her paintings is based on actual source materials. Casey will take photographs of some 500 individual houses, office buildings, and water towers which she then uses as reference for every small small structure you see in her artwork.

Putting Down Roots will be up through July 6th, with a smaller selection of work on view through August. All images copyright Amy Casey, courtesy Zg Gallery.

 

 

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