A Photographer Captures the Bizarre and Idiosyncratic Collections Displayed in Belgian Windows
When photographer Jean-Luc Feixa moved from Toulouse to Brussels, he began noticing the cultural, linguistic, and architectural differences between the two cities. “It may seem anecdotal,” he tells Colossal, “but the windows here are much larger than in France and easily disclose the house interiors.”
On his commute, Feixa often would pass the glass openings displaying robust collections, family mementos, and items for sale. “One day, I came across a group of children who seemed to be fascinated by a LEGO construction. It was quite captivating to see them commenting on this installation for many minutes. That was the trigger,” he says.
In the seven years since his relocation, Feixa has captured dozens of windows around the Belgian city, which he recently compiled in a book titled, Strange Things Behind Belgian Windows. Each provides not only a glimpse into the residents’ lives but also the objects they both intentionally and accidentally display. From a panda bear collection to a taxidermied fox to the finish line of a bike race, the objects encompass the cutesy and the odd and are always idiosyncratic. One display in particular—the homage to Elvis Presley (shown below)—has been exemplary of Feixa’s intention.
I talked for a long time with the couple. They are absolute fans of the King, and they were very moving. They decided to share their passion from behind their window. They really represent what I tried to convey with my series, that windows can be a perfect showcase to communicate a passion, send a message, reveal a part of oneself.
Since Belgians have begun quarantine, the photographer says windows have been transformed into a more intentional form of communication. “Whether to sell masks, encouraging people to stay home, or congratulating the medical staff, I see a lot of objects appearing, and it’s great to be able to continue the project,” he says. Feixa is hoping to chronicle this unusual period in a second volume.
To see the full collection of photographs, grab a copy of the photographer’s book, and keep up with his work on Instagram. (via Design You Trust)
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Pejac Launches Movement to Transform Home Windows into Imaginative Silhouette Art
From his home in Madrid, Pejac (previously) revived his miniature window figures, and simultaneously began an inventive global movement, by using nearby landmarks as backdrops for creative marker silhouettes. Since then, the Spanish artist has prompted hundreds of people around the globe to imitate his playful work as they convert structures, fences, and even powerlines into light-hearted and often humorous sites for their outlined figures.
The burgeoning initiative is an attempt to inspire interaction with urban environments from indoors, while also providing a creative and collaborative public art initiative. “I always believed that everyone has an artist hidden inside and that if you give them a good reason they are capable of doing wonderful things, and in these strange days of global lockdown, I believe that creativity can be one of the best therapies to fight anxiety and boredom,” says the artist, who’s been positioning figures atop airplane contrails and telephone poles since 2011.
Pejac also offered a simple tutorial (shown below) for those needing more guidance on how to create such realistic silhouettes. The artist first photographs himself posed in dark clothing and traces the image from his computer screen. He then cuts the drawing out and reproduces it on a window, perfectly orienting his own silhouette on the building next door. The trick, of course, is to be resourceful with the outdoor landscape and find ways to transform a mundane window ledge into a lively scene.
Head to Pejac’s Instagram for a deeper look at his process, and dive into the hundreds of imaginative contributions featuring kids picking fruit from a tree and a rollercoaster ready to dive down a powerline under #stayarthomepejac.
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Kinetic Artwork Attempts to Get a ‘Little Piece of Privacy’ with Mechanized Curtain
Berlin-based artist Niklas Roy isn’t just concerned about his privacy and protection online. To stop passersby from peeping into his workshop, he strung up a white, lace curtain stretching only partially across his window. Titled “My Little Piece of Privacy,” the ironic project from 2010 was established to offer seclusion to the artist, while recording those who walked past his space. Each outside movement triggers a motor to position the thin fabric in front of the person attempting to look inside. The resulting footage shows various strategies people use—think rapid arm waving and hopping from one spot to another—to try to trick the mechanism tracking their positions. They never succeed for more than a second, though. You can find more of Roy’s projects interested in humor and technology on YouTube.
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Peek Out of These Painted Airplane Windows to Spot Diverse Landscapes
An ongoing series by artist Jim Darling depicts many of the scenes you probably miss while you’re napping on a lengthy flight. “Windows” mimics that of an airplane view, depicting lush landscapes, rocky gorges, and dense urban areas from a 35,000 foot view. Since we last wrote about the Los Angeles-based painter, Darling has produced more cityscapes, glimpsing pockets of skyscrapers and lengthy freeways as the viewer swoops overhead. The white-framed paintings even seem to feature the shade that can be pulled down to block the aerial views. Pushing his lifelike portrayals even closer to reality, Darling refers to the piece shown above as “DFW to LAX” on his Instagram. (via Booooooom)
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Sun-Drenched Domestic Environments Built From Carefully Painted Straight Lines by Guy Yanai
Israeli oil painter Guy Yanai captures peaceful moments featuring architecture and plants. Often merging indoor and outdoor perspectives, Yanai presents placid scenes devoid of human figures. Instead, scraggly houseplants and open doors and windows act as visual focal points, suggesting the presence of human life that may have potted the plant or propped open the door. While Yanai’s subject matter is clearly representational, he works in a highly stylized manner, carefully building the volume of each painted form with perfectly straight horizontal and vertical lines that draw attention to the painting as object as well as a portal. In an interview with Culture Trip, Yanai shared:
As much as what I do is a physical thing, and in the end I make a physical object, the end-result in people’s brain is an abstract one. I would like some images to be kind of burned into people’s heads, so in this sense I don’t have a problem with people seeing images of my work online or on screens. It’s one more representation of that object, and it’s obvious that it only references the real painting.
Yanai’s solo show at Miles McEnery Gallery is on view through October 5, 2019 in New York City, and he will also have a solo booth through Praz-Delavallade at the Artissima contemporary art fair in Italy in early November. Explore more of the artist’s work on canvas, as well as monographs and collaborations with fashion labels, on his website and Tumblr.
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Public Restroom: A Bathroom Reimagined as a Town Square Using Custom-Printed Tiles
Lithuanian design studio Gyva Grafika has given a second life to a restroom by reinterpreting its tiled walls as building facades. Each tile features a unique view of a generic rectangular window, offering glimpses into the nuanced lives of individuals. Some windows are closed to the viewer with lace curtains; in others, a person or a houseplant peeks out. The creators share that the photos are from the neighborhood where the bathroom is located. They first made stickers to apply to the tiles, and then experimented with printing the photos directly on the tiles. You can find more projects by Gyva Grafika on Behance and their website. (via Design You Trust)
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.