This is Janus, an addition to the Rapperswil-Jona Municipal Museum by MLZD. The project’s name comes from the two faces that the project presents. From the north, the project blends in the the jumble of historic buildings that make up the museum, but from the narrow streets, the project presents a distinctly contemporary folded skin. In the architects’ own words:
“The “janus” project, which won a competition held in 2007, is giving the Rapperswil-Jona municipal museum a new profile commensurate with its public significance. It is designed to attract the attention of members of the public interested in culture without stopping at the municipal boundaries and presents the museum and the town as an appealing destination for excursions. The project to put up the new building has been sensitively integrated in the historic town. The view from the north, which is important for the overall visual impression of the town, is to remain unchanged. The building fits discreetly into the background of the historic picture presented by the narrow town-centre streets. With the new terrain situation and the tasteful bronze façade, the building imposes a new emphasis on its immediate surroundings and can easily be read as the main entrance to a modern museum complex.”
Over the last few months I’ve become a big fan of Tom Sachs. If you’re not familiar you could describe him as an artist, a jack-of-all-trades, a thinker and a dreamer. You could also read his Wikipedia page to get the full rundown, it’s a good read. Tomorrow night he’s opening up a show called SPACE PROGRAM: MARS which seems pretty rad.
Artist Tom Sachs takes his SPACE PROGRAM to the next level with a four week mission to Mars that recasts the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures. Using his signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio, Sachs engineers the component parts of the mission—exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, recreational amenities, and Mars landscape—exposing as much the process of their making as the complexities of the culture they reference.
At the same time he’s got this amazing collaboration with Nike called Tom Sachs: NIKECraft. The collab features an eclectic range of products – The Mars Yard Shoe, the Trench, The Marsfly Jacket, and the Lightweight Tote.
Nike design and Sachs applied materials that have never been used in sportswear, taken from automotive air bags, mainsails for boats and the space suit itself. Each piece is packed with functionality that would prove useful in the voyage through space. Zipper pulls that double as storage containers, paracord that can be fashioned as a tourniquet and embellishments like the periodic table of elements screened on the inside of a jacket – they all merge visual interest with purpose.
To say I want this whole collection would be an understatement. How cool would it be to walk around in space shoes?
I’ve had a recent affection for pottery lately, sort of an itch I haven’t scratched when it comes to inspirations. Seeing these tiny smoked-fired white earthenware pots with gold interiors makes my little obsession all the worse. These tiny vessels were created by Syma Small Works, a small pottery business from New York, who as far as I can tell only really have a small Etsy shop. I think what I appreciate most about these is the stark contrast between colors and textures. You have a naturally white surface which has been smoke fired, giving it an ashy appearance, which is then contrasted by the rich brilliance of the gold interior. This blend of surfaces gives the pots both a rustic but refined appearance.
Abstract expressionist painter Jasper Johns turns 82 today. I thought it would be nice to include him in gold week, and even though the painting above is titled ‘White Flag’ it still looks gold to me. The New York times wrote a nice piece about Johns back in 2008, I especially loved this quote regarding the art world.
Unlike so many contemporary artists producing in today’s overheated art market, Mr. Johns relies neither on dozens of assistants nor a computer to make his creations. He executes his work by hand. “It’s a different art world from the one I grew up in,” he said, relaxing in his living room in a pair of khaki shorts, a light blue shirt and sandals. “Artists today know more. They are aware of the market more than they once were. There seems to be something in the air that art is commerce itself.
“I haven’t really been a part of it, although I’m sure in some way I am. It just doesn’t interest me.”
Asked what influence he feels he may have had on those young artists, Mr. Johns paused. “To me,” he said, “self-description is a calamity.”
Considering that we are posting about gold all this week on The Fox Is Black, it seems kind of understandable that we’d come across a couple of bizarre things as we scavenged the web for the precious metal. Yet I’m not sure anything could have quite prepared me for this golden bicycle made by the Scandinavian design company AURUMANIA.
Hand built, plated with 24 carat gold and hand-adorned with more then 600 Swarovski crystals; the ‘AURUMANIA Gold Bike Crystal Edition’ costs €80,000 (roughly US $103,700). Understandably it is said to be the most expensive bike in the world, and with only ten in existence it’s a real collectors items. Originally released in 2008, AURUMANIA are still taking orders from their website, so if you have a few spare grand lying around you know what you can do with it.