Category Archives: Contemporary art

Nomade

Originally uploaded by marisa.landrigan

Location: Gateway Park, Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Sculpture by Jaume Plensa, stainless steel, 2007

Quoted from sculpture.net:
Venture capitalist and philanthropist John Pappajohn has purchased a 25-foot-tall sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa as the signature piece for the sculpture garden Pappajohn wants to create in Des Moines’ downtown Gateway Park.

The piece, titled “Nomade,” is being shipped to Iowa from Florida, where it appeared…in Art Basel Miami Beach, an international art show… The sculpture is made of randomly arranged stainless steel letters that are painted white and welded in the shape of a person sitting with knees drawn up to the chest with arms around the knees. The artist has said the shape was based on a position that his son sometimes assumes.

“It will be so interactive with people,” said City Councilwoman Chris Hensley. “You can go in and walk around inside the sculpture and sit inside it. The lighting will make it spectacular at night.”

Nomade is lighted from the ground inside the sculpture…causing the inside of the letters to reflect the white enamel paint and the outside to take on a ghostly, dark presence.

flickr pic originally uploaded by broox

flickr pic originally uploaded by Don3rdSE

flickr pic originally uploaded by Erin Go Braugh 84

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Street Art: Christmas (Part 2)

Quoted from wikipedia:

“The motivations and objectives that drive street artists are as varied as the artists themselves. There is a strong current of activism and subversion in urban art. Street art can be a powerful platform for reaching the public, and frequent themes include adbusting, subvertising and other culture jamming, the abolition of private property and reclaiming the streets. Other street artists simply see urban space as an untapped format for personal artwork, while others may appreciate the challenges and risks that are associated with installing illicit artwork in public places. However the universal theme in most, if not all street art, is that adapting visual artwork into a format which utilizes public space, allows artists who may otherwise feel disenfranchised, to reach a much broader audience than traditional artwork and galleries normally allow.”

Graffiti Christmas tree with “toy” ornaments: taken in St. Petersburg, Russia in June, 2008 (originally uploaded by быдло-метро трэш-мажор)

Merry Fishmast:” taken in Locarno, Switzerland in 2006 (originally uploaded by angora frog)

Winter in America:” by Chris Stain, taken in Norway (?), September 2008 (Originally uploaded by Romanywg)

Darth, I am Your Father” by eye, taken in Cardiff, Wales, UK, Nov. 2008 (Originally uploaded by Thiefree)

Santa’s Ghetto: Found on the security barrier or ‘apartheid wall’ in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, this graffiti art is from Italian street artist, Blu (photo taken in Dec. 2007 and originally uploaded by eddiedangerous )

Endangered Peace Dove: An original Banksy, well-renowned street artist, also found in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine (photo taken in May 2008 and originally uploaded by hazy jenius ); Note: for a news report on this, click here

Street Art: Christmas (Part 1)

Quoted from wikipedia:

Street art is any art developed in public spaces — that is, “in the streets” — though the term usually refers to art of an illicit nature, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheatpasting and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, flash mobbing and street installations. Typically, the term Street Art or the more specific Post-Graffiti is used to distinguish contemporary public-space artwork from territorial graffiti, vandalism, and corporate art.

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Subway Greeting: Shot taken in London, UK (2006); Originally uploaded by daveknapik

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Tough Santa: pic taken in Montreal, Canada, 2008 (originally uploaded by Christian et Cie)

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Sneaking Elfvis: part of a series of graffiti art found in the streets of Auckland, New Zealand, 2007 (originally uploaded by Robyn Gallagher)

Holiday Satire: a stenciled message taken in Norwich, UK, Dec. 2007 (originally uploaded by Simon_K)

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Elf by street artist Box. (taken in Jan. 2008 in Bristol, UK; originally uploaded by Box.)

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Wheatpasted art by street artist Kriebel (taken in Dec. 2007 in London, UK; originally uploaded by Kriebel)

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Statement on Consumerism: taken in Jan. 2008, somewhere in Canada (originally uploaded by sin against nature)


Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial (aka The Nameless Library)


Flickr pic originally uploaded by Sarah Kernohan

Location: Judenplatz, Vienna, Austria

Artist: Rachel Whiteread, concrete and steel, 2000

Quoted from Wikipedia:
The outside surfaces of the volume are cast library shelves turned inside out. The spines of the books are facing inwards and are not visible, therefore the titles of the volumes are unknown and the content of the books remains unrevealed. The shelves of the memorial appear to hold endless copies of the same edition, which stand for the vast number of the victims, as well as the concept of Jews as “People of the Book.” The double doors are cast with the panels inside out, and have no doorknobs or handles. They suggest the possibility of coming and going, but do not open.

The memorial represents, in the style of Whiteread’s “empty spaces”… a cultural space of memory and loss created by the genocide of the European Jews. Through the emphasis of void and negative casting rather than positive form and material, it acts as a “counter monument” in this way opposite to the production through history of grandiose and triumphal monumental objects.

As a work of art, the memorial was not intended to be beautiful and as such it contrasts with much of the Baroque art and architecture of Vienna… There is an aspect of discomfort in the monument that was meant to provoke thought in the viewer through the memorial’s severe presence. It was intended to evoke the tragedy and brutality of the Holocaust and in the words of Simon Wiesenthal at the unveiling, “This monument shouldn’t be beautiful, It must hurt.”

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Cloud Gate


The Cloud Gate

Originally uploaded by Intrepide98

Location: center of AT&T Plaza, Millennium Park, Chicago, USA

Artist: Anish Kapoor, stainless steel, 2004-06

Inspired by liquid mercury, the 110-ton elliptical sculpture is affectionately called “The Bean” by the locals. It is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect the city’s famous skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a “gate” to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.  According to Kappor, “What I wanted to do… is make something that would engage the Chicago skyline…so that one will see the clouds kind of floating in, with those very tall buildings reflected in the work. And then, since it is in the form of a gate, the participant, the viewer, will be able to enter into this very deep chamber that does, in a way, the same thing to one’s reflection as the exterior of the piece is doing to the reflection of the city around.” (From millenniumpark.org)

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flickr pic originally uploaded by Ryanem

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flickr pic originally uploaded by Michael Kappel

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detail shot originally uploaded by Suranga13

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flickr pic originally uploaded by ccfenter

Applied Art: Benches (Part 1)

From Wikipedia:

Applied art refers to the application of design and aesthetics to objects of function and everyday use. Whereas fine arts serve as intellectual stimulation to the viewer or academic sensibilities, the applied arts incorporate design and creative ideals to objects of utility, such as a cup, magazine or decorative park bench…

Here are some public benches and seats from some parts of the world that were given a bit of artistic twist:

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Blue Carpet (detail) By Thomas Heatherwick, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK (flickr photo originally uploaded by Tony Worral)

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Bench/Chair in the form of hands found in a subway in Taipei, Taiwan (flickr photo originally uploaded by joeychiu)

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“Six Part Seating” by Scott Burton, red granite, (shot taken at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Washington, DC, 2008 and originally uploaded by kimberlyfaye for flickr)

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Seats resembling electric chairs (detail): It is one of the artistic benches found along Paseo De Reforma, a main avenue of Mexico City, Mexico (flickr pic originally uploaded by aaaminicabs)

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‘Eye Benches’ by Louise Bourgeois at Agnes R. Katz Plaza, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (flickr shot originally uploaded by hanneoria)

Speybank

Flickr pic originally uploaded by Joel Abroad

Location: shot taken in Yamashita Park, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan for the Yokohama Triennale 2005

Sculpture by Luc Deleu, metal containers, 1999

Quoted from museum.antwerpen.be:

Belgian architect/artist Luc Deleu’s motivation of wanting to erect (a) ‘container monument’, certainly amidst a sculpture park, is to jolt our perception of scale, or at least to render it more unstable… Being able… to walk around and between these pieces, we can experience them in a refreshing relationship with each other, the park and the wider environment. On the other hand, their inherent scale will provide an architectonic metaphor between the pieces of the collection in the artificial and new nature of the expansion.

The container installations may be described as mobile monuments, where both the theme and the material are universal, and thus applicable everywhere (‘orban’ monuments)…

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flickr pic originally uploaded by McWild

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flickr pic originally uploaded by kamoda

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flickr pic originally uploaded by philippjbigg