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Label: new york

Wednesday 19th October 2016Get Ready for 'Vessel'

Continuing our theme of New York from the previous week, in this post we're going to take a look at one of the most ambitious and polarizing public art/sculpture/architecture hybrids to be constructed in recent memory. Part of the Hudson Yards redevelopment project taking place on the West Side of Manhattan, the centrepiece will be a massive project by artist Thomas Heatherwick, of Heatherwick Studios.
 
The CEO of the firm behind the plaza development that will contain the structure, Stephen Ross, was quoted as saying, "It will become to New York what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, I believe." Bold words, and even more bold for being quoted before the final design for the piece was unveiled - only the price tag. Originally priced at a staggering $75 million USD, the cost has since ballooned to upwards of $200 million USD.

For a sculpture alone, that would be a truly inconceivable amount of money, but the Vessel is going to be far more than a sculpture - it would probably be more accurate to classify it as a very useless building.

The design, which has been described as reminiscent of a hollowed out bedbug exoskeleton (thanks for that imagery, by the way, Gothamist), is actually a scalloped tier of interlocking staircases that scale up over 150 feet. With 154 staircases and at least 80 landings, the piece will no doubt become a hive of activity, which will hopefully draw more appealing and less revolting comparisons to a beehive, once it is filled with the milling masses.

"When I was a student, I fell in love with an old discarded flight of wooden stairs outside a local building site. It caught my imagination and I loved that is was part furniture and part infrastructure. You could climb up stairs, jump on them, dance on them, get tired on them and then plonk yourself down on them."

While that might not be the most eloquent description of the grandiose Vessel project, it certain provides an interesting insight into the nature of the design process of what will no doubt become an iconic New York structure. While it might not attain the cultural heights of the Eiffel Tower, it is sure to become a recognizable part of the West Side skyline.  
 
Vessel render by Visual House-Nelson Byrd Woltz

Posted on October 19th 2016 on 06:23pm
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Friday 02nd September 2016P.S. Art

Most artists create for the sheer joy of it. No matter what your medium of choice is, it's an impossible urge to ignore. Art for art's sake is all well and good, of course, but sometimes it's nice to get some recognition of our efforts as well, and there are few better ways of getting recognized than to have a gallery show. But the gallery show is actually a distant cousin of the real prize: getting your work into a museum.

To make that giant leap to greatness can take many artists their entire careers. Some only attain the honour posthumously, once they can no longer appreciate it - but not Cliffanie Forester. She's managed to attain this incredible dream at the tender age of 18.

Her piece titled Uganda is hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, along with 88 other selected pieces from high school students. The piece features a young Ugandan girl looking wistfully out of frame, and was painting from a photograph she took during a drop to Uganda.

Her reaction on social media was amazing and spread far and wide, as you might expect from someone so young and so talented. On Instagram, she posted:
"WHO JUST COMPLETED THEIR LIFE GOAL AT AGE 18? ME. AS OF 6/14/16 MY PIECE IS IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART."

And then later, she followed it up with:

"People think I'm stopping here bc I achieved my ultimate goal... Lol, I'm getting another piece in the MET one day & nothing will stop me."

If you've been working diligently throughout your artistic career without this kind of milestone, don't worry. Try not to be discouraged in your own work, instead look on her and her fellow winners as an inspiration! She's an amazing girl and she'll no doubt become a force to be reckoned with in the art world in a few years, along with her fellow winners. Congratulations, Cliffanie and all the P.S. Art winners!

To learn more about the P.S. Art project run by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York School Department, visit their website here. You can see all the entries from the students in a wide range of ages, as well as more about each of the winners.
 

Posted on September 02nd 2016 on 08:39pm
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Wednesday 04th May 2016Take that, Duchamp!

In one of the most famous modern art pieces of all time, Marcel Duchamp made a name for himself and secured his place in history. At the time it was arguably a stunt and wildly derided by those in the artistic establishment, but Duchamp didn't give a hoot what they thought - they were exactly the people he was trying to offend. The piece in question? A public urinal that had been ripped off a wall and submitted to a gallery, titled 'Fountain' and signed 'R. Mutt'. At the time, it was rejected, of course, but Duchamp's point was rather clear about his views of the state of the art world at the time. That was in 1917.

Fast-forward to 2016, and cross the Atlantic to the Guggenheim, New York City. Maurizio Cattelan, whose works have made him one of the most expensive and sought after living artists, has decided to come out of 'retirement'.During an interview on his reasons for a return to practice, he said,  “Actually, it’s even more of a torture not to work than to work.” Understandable, almost immediately so, for when you have a vision, not acting on it can be more painful than a root canal. .

Also immediately understandable is his first piece of work since his return, which is being installed in the Guggenheim this month. In the spirit of Duchamp but updated for the modern era, the piece is entitled 'Maurizio Cattelan: America' and instead of hanging in one of the gallery spaces, will be installed in a public washroom.

Because it is a working toilet made out of 18-karat gold.

99 years to the month after Duchamp failed to get his urinal installed in an exhibition, New York will finally get its artistic toilet.

Curiously enough, it's actually intended to be used for it's evident purpose, although it's hard to imagine that the lines for a public restroom can get any longer than they already are. “There’s the risk that people will think of it as a joke, maybe, but I don’t see it as a joke,” Cattelan explained, and commented that it really only becomes an artwork when it's actually being used by someone.

The commentaries on the state of modern America are obvious and rife with charged debate concerning wealth distribution and the unity of humanity, but it's also a hilarious jab at the self-importance of the rich. After all, everyone needs to use one.
 

Posted on May 04th 2016 on 05:52pm
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