Riding off the success of Les Ballets De Faile, Brooklyn-based duo FAILE are fast on track to world domination. Last week, Very Nearly Almost (VNA), a popular street art magazine, celebrated the release of their 23rd issue with a launch party in NYC’s Lower East Side establishment, Reed Space. The issue features extensive coverage of FAILE’s work. In commemoration, FAILE hand silk-screened a limited edition design onto a series of VNA covers. Continue reading this post…
While I think that Valentine’s Day is gross, there are a few things I’ve wanted to share that don’t really fit anywhere else. So today, three love stories: The first isn’t so much a story as a valentine to a city; the second is about a more amorous love in the same city, and the final story is about a relationship between a professional and his profession.
The Valentine, designed by BIG, sits in the middle of Times Square. There’s an LED heart inside the grid of translucent tubes that glows brighter and beats faster with increasing activity, or an increasing number of people touching the heart-shaped sensor in front of the sculpture. You can watch an interview with Bjarke about the sculpture here (you just have to ignore the first minute or so of people talking about “goin’ green” for Valentines.)
The more amorous kind of love is happening, or was happening, under and around the old High Line. Robert Hammond, one of the co-founders of Friends of the High Line (the group that spearheaded the transformation of the abandoned elevated railway into a new typology of public urban park) spoke in an interview about the gay past of the infrastructure-turned-park. The project happens to snake through the areas of Manhattan most closely associated with gay folks. Robert talks about a whole bunch of clubs that used to be there, an unnamed donor who used to leave said clubs and puke on the High Line, and why it is that so many of the early supporters of the project were gay. His answer? “I believe gays have an ability to see beauty in places other people might find repellent or unattractive. It was easier for gays to see potential in the High Line. They were more willing to support a crazy dream.”
Finally, The relationship is between Lebbeus Woods and Architecture. In twoposts from his personal blog, the architect talks about how his relationship with architecture began. Recently, the news surrounding architecture has been gloomy, with architects suffering the highest unemployment rates in survey after survey. So it’s nice to see an architectural professional recall a rosier time in his relationship with the profession by talking about why he gravitated toward architecture. Why was architecture so attractive to Mr. Woods? Here’s a hint: it was never about money or job security.
Today we have images of iconic architecture sprayed onto the sides of a particular building in Lisbon. I found this gallery on SpaceInvading, where the homem (or mulher) behind the spray can has depicted works from a range of architects including SANAA, Niemeyer, Utzon, and others. Maybe you recognize the Bruder Klaus Chapel by Zumthor above, or below that the Casa da Música by OMA.
In an architectural nod to the neighborhood, Herzog & de Meuron created this aluminum, graffiti-inspired gate for the entrance to 40 Bond, a residential building in Manhattan. All this twisting metal is not really graffiti or street art but rather this is art for the street inspired by graffiti, oozing with as much street cred as any architect can garner. But this graffiti gate keeps people out, like would-be taggers, and away from the surface of the building, which at street level is also covered with wiggly lines. The graffiti pattern continues to inside surfaces of the lobby, where wood becomes carved and mirrors become etched with the über graffiti lifted from the streets outside.
About six or seven years ago, maybe more, I bought a t-shirt from the Giant Robot store on Sawtelle, it featured the words Cookie’s Surf Shop with a simple drawing of a female surfer. I didn’t really know anything about it, only that the line work seemed so perfect, a mixture of times gone by with a sense of modernity. It turns out the shirt was based off a painting by Margaret Kilgallen. The saddest part is that she had already passed away from cancer.
When I think of the story of Margaret Kilgallen it makes me incredibly sad. Only in her early 30′s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer… while she was also pregnant with her husband Barry McGee. In order for their daughter, named Asha, to survive, Margaret forwent chemo therapy, sacrificing her own life for that of her unborn daughters. It’s a sad and tragic story that I feel should never be forgotten, because she was not only completely unselfish, she was one of the most incredible artists from the Beautiful Losers movement.
I had the extreme pleasure of seeing her work at the opening of Art in the Streets, one I chose to truly relish. I sat back and soaked it in, absorbing the way she drew people and the curves in her type. I sat there thinking of all the time it took her to hang paint each of these panels, and how beautiful it all looks as a complete thought. It saddens me that the world has lost such a brilliant artist, but I always look on the bright side and think of how glad I am that she was here at all.
Check out the photo gallery below, and if you have the chance, visit Art in the Streets so you can see her brilliant work in person. If you’re in San Francisco, there’s also some of her pieces up right now at Ratio 3, you can get more information here.