TOPIC / Environmental Design
I first noticed these icons on various streets, lying like flattened pedestrians, slowly being absorbed into the asphalt.
I have not seen them arranged in a group and I have not seen them on placed on a vertical surface. These figures behind a grate on Spring, off Bowery, surprised and pleased me.
I do not know who created the icon, or really what it is meant to represent, but I've been pointing my BlackBerry at them for the last few years. Is the artist a social critic or is he/she a social critic playing at art. It's next impossible to say which is which, and if one is more helpful than the other.
But I salute the person and his/her compulsion to lay these figures down, and in that way compel us to note their presence—citizens of some parallel two-dimensional world who find our streets strangely hospitable.
TOPIC / Creative Consulting
Koho School of Sumi-E interior. Shot from the outside by a neighbor turned voyeur: A stool someone sat on. A floor someone painted to suggest a carpet. An old desk.
I find that I am increasingly looking backwards. I assure you it is unintentional and that I get no pleasure from it.
For years, I passed this way and along the way I took the School for granted. Its eccentric presence was a reminder of days gone; and so why was I surprised to one day find it gone. The little storefront was never more than a little storefront. A space, sometimes occupied, now unoccupied, soon to be occupied again.
Sumi-E. Now, officially consigned to my past. A place in of my imaginary City. Peopled by people gone. Places erased, as it were, from the map. I wrote someone recently: "The City gives us little time to manage properly. Put something off and, more often than not, it’s lost. And, if not lost, it is left undone. A thing, such as a thank you note, that takes only a moment to complete, if not addressed immediately, can find itself on a list that has a beginning but absolutely no end."
I admired Sumi-E but never said thank you. I see I'm growing sentimental, which may not be the worst thing a person can become in this City, but it it necessary?
TOPIC / Fine Art
Walking home, noting various stickers on various utility poles, boxes, and random surfaces, I saw this today (August 7, 2009) at the base of a blue box, at the intersection of Sullivan and Prince Street. It looked to me like a work by Kara Walker, but I was surprised that an artist of her reputation was experimenting with public sphere wheatpaste posters.
It appears someone tried to peel off the object—unsuccessfully as you can see.
If it is Walker, I congratulate her on her participation in this medium. I suspect in most cases the street has become the backdoor into the gallery world, yet it is an exciting "wall" as Banksy and Fairey continue to demonstrate. As the number of empty storefronts grows, I look forward to seeing more and more interesting works of art, by a wide variety of artists, compete for our attention.
TOPIC / Architecture
It's a lovely thing to turn the corner and see this beat up sign and better yet, see the old counter open and countermen prepared to make you a sandwich and pour you a cup of coffee. Every day Eldridge Street changes, a brick falls and brick face rises, and one day soon the sign will be gone, too, but for now it is there and I recommend a visit to this very curious corner of the City
TOPIC / Creative Consulting
Implausible. But there it is behind an tenement on a suddenly fashionable street. They were quite rare and once thought extinct, until rediscovered in, I think, Southeast China, during the Second World War.
All our work subject to decay the moment it is approved. The best of of our work might be seen once before it passes into oblivion. It might be savored, or ridiculed. It is, however, of necessity, narrow, parochial, even bigoted. Too often it's self important, often a lie. (And a bad lie.) The death of the work, which is to say, its relevance, is the only truth about it. The above being true, let us create everything with its death in mind.
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