Artist Unknown
Istanbul, Turkey from my 2011 archive

October 12, 2011

Street Art continued...

Surprisingly, there is very little Street Art in Istanbul. I imagined beautiful stylized patterns and Arabic script. A complete naive fantasy. Nevertheless, for a major urban city, I would expect a lot more graffiti.

The little amount of graffiti I have seen seems to be done by a handful of artists. This Istanbul version of "The Eye" is not exceptionally skillful, but the artist is committed to it which I respect. It is a bit fun and happy with its accentuated eyelashes and whimsical line quality. I found it in abundance on a quaint sloping cobblestone street that focuses on selling musical instruments.

Taking an early morning walk gave me an opportunity to see the work on various roll gates that would otherwise be hidden during shopping hours.

rain washed chalk drawing
Upper West Side Manhattan, NY from my 2011 archive

September 8, 2011

Street Art continued...

It looks like September is taking a cue from August and is producing rain nonstop. I came upon this rain washed chalk drawing on a sidewalk during a lighter moment of rain. As I prepared to take the picture, a man on his cell phone came and stood on top of the image. I kindly asked him to step aside, motioning to my camera. He looked at me, the camera, at the drawing, and laughed (evil Joker laugh). He mumbled something about the drawing not being there anymore. I begged to differ and proceeded with my photo as he looked on.

I appreciate the faded quality of the image. The constant rain and the treading upon by passersby have given it an authenticity. The chalk melded into the sidewalk instead of remaining on the surface. Little does the "cell phone man" know that he likely enhanced the drawing.

Artist Unknown
Williamsburg, NY from my 2011 archive

September 1, 2011

Street Art continued...

On a Brooklyn street filled with an abundance of graffiti, this piece caught my eye. It stood out amongst the rest, complementary colors will do that. I appreciate the piece being cut out, making it borderless and freeing it. I also like the use of gray tones with a restrained splash of green, it contrasts nicely with the blue construction fence.

Andy Warhol was my first love during College. It is impossible to measure how many other artists he has inspired. I know it is many.

Roa's work (Title Unknown) altered by some local street artists
Astoria, NY from my 2011 archive

August 2, 2011

Street Art continued...

The Swede and I were walking to Costco (I love that place, sorry but I do) and he suggested we take a detour to see the updated Roa. I had been avoiding it, fearful that the work had been ruined. I am conflicted. The new additions are beautiful, but Roa's work is Roa's work and powerful on its own. Not sure if I like this version or the original.

In the end, I realize they are two different works. I think it would be easier for me to swallow if I knew it was a collaboration. I doubt it and that bothers me. Perhaps I think it is disrespectful, although I think the new additions are done in a thoughtful way. As I said, I am conflicted.

Street Art is temporal and I need to remember that. I guess that applies to most everything in life, to remember to live and appreciate things in the moment.

Glenn Ligon's "Rückenfigur"
Upper East Side, NY from my 2011 archive

July 26, 2011

I have not spent as much time as usual this summer going to the galleries or museums. In my defense, I have seen Alexander McQueen's "Savage Beauty" exhibition twice. My time has been spent tending the garden, which is extremely demanding during these hot months, I am working on a creative endeavour, and I have been catching up with friends (before it turns cold and everyone is in hibernation again).

Yesterday, while browsing at Strand Book Store, a collection of Glenn Ligon's writings and interviews caught my eye. I went to his exhibition, "America" at the Whitney Museum of American Art back in April. This book was printed on occasion of the show, but for some reason I did not notice it at the time. I bought the book and spent some time reading it last night. I have a feeling it is going to be a great read throughout, and I am hoping inspirational as well.

Brian Donnelly's "Companion (Passing Through)"
Meatpacking District, NY from my 2011 archive

July 11, 2011

Street Art continued...

Another clown, but this one is different. Not evil, not scary, not a Stephen King clown. This one is by the Artist, Brian Donnelly who also works under the moniker, KAWS.

I can appreciate the posturing and expression of the sculpture. I have felt like this for the past week, and I will likely feel like this for the next two days. Starting today, there is a severe weather alert in effect from 10am through Tuesday at 9pm. The National Weather Service recommends:


A heat advisory is issued for New York City when high humidity is expected to combine with hot temperatures to make it feel like it is at least 95 degrees for two consecutive days. Drink plenty of fluids...stay in an air-conditioned room...stay out of the sun...and check up on relatives and neighbors.


Mark di Suvero's work (Title Unknown), Socrates Sculpture Park
Long Island City, NY from my 2011 archive

Mark di Suvero's work (Title Unknown), Socrates Sculpture Park
Long Island City, NY from my 2011 archive

June 21, 2011

The largest outdoor exhibit of Mark di Suvero's work in New York City since the 1970's is up at Governors Island. I took my sister a few weeks ago when she was visiting, and the forecast predicted a day of fair weather. I managed to snap two photos of his work before it started to rain. I have no idea why I even bother checking the weather.

Last time I was at Socrates Sculpture Park, I noticed a new work of di Suvero's out on the grounds. There is a fenced area to the left of the sculpture where he houses works in progress. (That is an assumption.) It was nice to view the work unobstructed, peeking through a fence is not the ideal way to view sculptures.

Fortunately, there will be another chance to see the exhibit at Governors Island. My sister is coming back in August, this time with my nephew and niece. Since we were rained out, she wants to go back. It should be interesting to see how my nephew and niece interact with Di Suvero's work. I have witnessed kids walking up to his sculptures and instinctually climbing them. I am sure my nephew and niece will not be permitted to climb the work, but they will get a chance to ding a bell that is installed on one of the pieces for the purpose of interaction. I should bring an umbrella this time, just in case, and earplugs are not a bad idea either.

photo credit: I.Theorin, Peat Wollaeger's "Eye Love 1984!"
St. Louis, MO from 2011

June 16, 2011

Street Art continued...

Mystery solved. The artist behind "The Eye" has been revealed. To make a long story short, The Swede was in St. Louis, Missouri for work and met someone who knows the artist. I have mixed feelings about finding out the artist's identity. He was my supposed to be "my new Banksy."

The good thing is that Wollaeger sells his work on his website, so perhaps an artwork of his will make it into my collection one day. (Hint hint to anyone looking for present ideas for me.) He sells small panels from his "Eyez Series" for $40. They are currently sold out but be assured, I will keep checking (and hinting).

Urs Fischer's "Untitled, (Lamp/Bear)"
Midtown Manhattan, NY from my 2011 archive

Urs Fischer's "Untitled, (Lamp/Bear)"
Midtown Manhattan, NY from my 2011 archive

May 28, 2011

Street Art continued...

I came across this giant Teddy Bear while running late for a meeting. Late or not, I could not resist stopping to take pictures of the giant cuddly sculpture. I quickly ran across the street and carefully snapped a few shots. As I ran off, I turned around to get one last look at the bear and spotted a standing information placard at the rear of the sculpture. I sprinted back, snapped the placard, and then ran off again.

I am not sure of the building name, but I do remember many years ago there were oversized Christmas ornament balls displayed in the fountain during the holiday season. Each ornament was several feet in diameter and a shiny crimson color. I will have to remember to pass by this building from time to time to look out for future installations.

The placard notes this is one work in an edition of two plus one artist's proof. I typically think of an artist's proof as a two dimensional work, usually a print, not an oversized sculpture. Nice to learn something new. It is refreshing to see such a colorful and lighthearted piece of art located in one of Manhattan's main thoroughfares. I am, however left wondering why the lamp cuts into the Teddy Bear's head...not sure how I feel about that.

The Wallnuts Crew's mural, left section
Long Island City, NY from my 2011 archive

The Wallnuts Crew's mural, middle section
Long Island City, NY from my 2011 archive

The Wallnuts Crew's mural, right section
Long Island City, NY from my 2011 archive

May 19, 2011

Street Art continued...

When I was a kid, I loved the circus, naturally since I was obsessed with animals. The first occupation I had professed to do when I grew up was to be "a cat catcher," which meant veterinarian. The stars of the circus were of course the clowns, perpetually smiling and oh so funny. I even liked the clown known as Ronald McDonald (I know, I know).

All that changed when Stephen King's book, "It" became a movie. From that point, clowns became scary, evil, and something to fear. I have never really looked at them the same, even now as an adult.

While out biking, I came across this circus themed mural by "The Wallnuts Crew." I definitely think the clowns in this mural belong in the "It" category. The mural is massive in scale and executed skillfully with beautiful bold colors. It lies in an alley that is the type portrayed in movies as the one you do not enter. Likely, it is an innocent alley, but the clowns got my imagination running...I think it is time for someone to make a new film about nice clowns, ones without razor sharp teeth and who do not terrorize others.