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Making Money Assignment-Part 1 November 28, 2010

Posted by leskanturek in Class Assignments, Public art, Re-designing money.
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(above) Moneygami found at www.flickr.com/photos/closetheworld/sets/72157603796565739/

Everyday we all carry around, collect and barter…art. Money is after all illustrations and designs that we attach a very high symbolic value to.

We may perceive our money as staying the same graphically but in reality it has been constantly changing, evolving visually over the 234 years of the United States, along with the currency used all over the world. Re-designing American money has been in the forefront lately in an invigorated discussion on what our paper currency should look like due to new printing technologies making counterfeiting easier, and since the Euro has become the standard monetary unit in Europe drastically changing what each nation’s currency looks like. Has some part of a country’s national identity been erased by not having distinctly different money from it’s neighbors?

(above) The dollar that would have been in your wallet in the 1880’s

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While we’re used to seeing dead presidents/founding fathers and national symbols decorate US paper currency, there is a huge range of subject matter that appears on money in other parts of  the world; Indigenous peoples, insects, marine life, microscopic organisms, our solar system, elements of physics, the human body, and abstract designs to name a few.

At times in the history of money it has only been the artistic merit- the design and illustration on the currency that has given it value.  Artists are involved in creating and designing legal tender but also questioning it’s nature.

Artists have deconstructed it, (Shepard Fairey’s Obey money)  used it to protest, enhanced it’s artistic value and re-imagined it to more accurately reflect (for better or worse) contemporary culture.

For your next assignment you are going to illustrate/design 2 denominations of the same type of currency. back and front.  So you will have as an example a $5 and a $20 bill, or a $1 and a $100, but both bills should work within your concept. You will have on your note the denomination.

You have a lot of conceptual room here to mock, satirize, pay tribute to, comment on your subject /concept of choice.  You must have a concept that holds the series of notes together.

You can create currency for a fictional country, redesign US money, depict character and events fictional or real.

 

Your bills do not have to be rectangles, they can be round or any shape and material that makes sense with your concept. (ex: would currency for Atlantis be on seaweed or Sea shells?).

Bring in Sketches next week and we’ll further explore the topic. As part of your research google/look up the following:

Notgeld (google image search, there are quite a few sites) Below are some examples of Notgeld. Emergency regional money printed during the 20’s to counteract German inflation.

www.art-money.org/ (Artmoney is an International art project)

http://weburbanist.com/2008/12/14/art-from-money/

blog.eyemagazine.com/?p=543 19 Artists Design a New One-Dollar Bill from Avant Garde magazine 1969

Dollar ReDe$ign Project

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Making Money-Part 2 November 28, 2010

Posted by leskanturek in Class Assignments, Public art, Re-designing money, Student work.
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Class Currency Project:

(above) Ray Masaki/ Poo Coins

(above) Kristin Chae/Kanye West, Pharaoh Williams

(above) Hope Weissman

(above) Tessa Lloyd/Amazon-Future Society

(above) Mi Young Shin/International Museums of Natural History

(above) Linnea Gad/Banana Money

(above) Taylor Grant/Art Money. With each denomination the artwork becomes more complete

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(above) Amelia Chia-Money Can’t Buy You…

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(above) Leigh Cunningham- Ocean Money (top)  and Mountain Money (bottom)

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(above) Loren Kang

More to come…

Artfully Unforgotten: Voices of Afghanistan October 20, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Political and Social Art, Public art.
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Last year, Parsons Illustration students collaborated with Artfully Unforgotten , a non-profit that stresses  social advocacy through the arts. Parsons illustration students donated their art and raised $5000 for an orphanage in Kigali, Rwanda. This semester, we are collaborating again,  now to  raise funds for women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and generate awareness of the realities and  possibilities in aiding this region and people in crisis. To start our  partnering  a short film, “Voices of Afghanistan”  was presented in Kellen auditorium  (66 5th ave.) today by Heather Metcalfe, founder and Executive Director of Artfully Unforgotten, and Kirsten Larvick the film’s editor and assoc. producer.

AttendancePreface to film(Above) left Heather Metcalfe Founder/Executive Director of Artfully Unforgotten), middle Kirsten Larvick the film’s editor and assoc. producer,  right Assoc. Prof. Nora Krug from the illustration dept.

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The film was followed by a panel discussion on the situation in Afghanistan with Heather, Nora and Adrianne Dicker Kadzinski, an army reserve officer who served in Afghanistan in 2002 and who is now involved in humanitarian  projects  for Afghanistan as a civilian.

Heather _Adrianne(Above) Heather and Adrianne Dicker Kadzinski taking audience questions.

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A number of aspects of the situation in Afghanistan were discussed and highlighted. Adrianne began by explaining the  many forces playing a part in the politics of the country: the Taliban, native tribes , the Afghan government, the U.S., gender politics, corruption, and the drug trade.   Afghan women have taken on the  role of  rebuilders of the the country but many obstacles stand in their way.   Both Heather and Adrianne  remarked  that through this turmoil and war the Afghan people remain hopeful  and proud of their country.  There is  a pitfall in portraying the Afghan women and people as victims which would be a dis-service to them. It is a complicated  and many sided issue as evidenced when Wendy Popp (Soph concepts instructor) asked about the meaning of the burqa to Afghan woman. The answer was not as clear cut as it would appear.

Peter Hamlin, sophomore concepts instructor, illustrator and photo journalist brought along  images shot in Afghanistan  by Associated Press photographers and brought up the issue of a personal opinion  and journalistic neutrality  in art. Nora Krug also spoke about the role of artists and illustrators throughout history  in creating social responsible work ( or at times irresponsible work and propaganda).

The book ” The Photographer ” with  photographs by Didier Lefevre and  illustrations and story by Emmanuel Guibert was brought in for attendees to look through. Didier Lefevre is a French photojournalist who documented a Doctors Without Borders mission to Afghanistan. The book is excellent.

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I would add to the above book Illustrator/graphic novelist Joe Sacco who  has a number of fantastic  artist/journalist books : Palestine, Stories from BosniaSafe Area: Gorazde, The Fixer. He has traveled to Yugoslavia and the middle east and brought back in graphic novel form the personal stories of these war torn areas.

The four sophomore  classes in the illustration dept. will be creating art pieces based upon their research and the  presentation. The pieces will ultimately be displayed and auctioned off as part of a silent auction with the proceeds being donated to the Business Council for Peace, which works with women business owners in Afghanistan and the Mashale Noor School, located in Mazar-e Sharif.   The benefit and auction will be held on December 4th at the Best Buy Loft in Soho.  The auction is of course open to any artist who wants to donate work.

Wendy had remarked that this is a unique opportunity  to experience a feeling of unity and purpose that extends beyond our private classes and and to see the passion and dedication given to a social cause.  It’s important  to discuss and experience how art can be a powerful catalyst for social change.

It has been mentioned that the work created by Parsons students is their own reaction to the material presented .  A great aspect of this project and art with a social conscience for me in a class room is that it stimulates discussion.  This is a complicated topic with many valid viewpoints. In fact Nora, during the course of the presentation conveyed how difficult it would be try and some up the whole Afghan conflict  within a single piece.   I’ll be posting some work done by students as the project progresses.

-Les

Below are a few links to learn more about Afghanistan and the project:

Visit Artfully Unforgotten for more info on Voices of Afghanistan and other projects.

Here is a new PBS documentary on the current situation in Afghanistan
www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/obamaswar/view/

www.pbs.org/itvs/globalvoices/afghanistanunveiled.html
www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/afghanistan/women.html

About Afghanistan/Pakistan.
www.hulu.com/watch/101088/al-qaeda-family

Afghanistan Wikipedia is of course a place to start for basic info with a number of interesting links in the reference section.

From Peter Hamlin:

Opium in Afghanistan: Cultivation, addiction, and eradication
This interactive includes video reporting and infographics showing opium cultivation statistics.
hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_international/afghanistan_opium/index.html?SITE=AP

Depth of Field:The War in Afghanistan
An AP photographers visual essay of a US military outpost in Afghanistan.
hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/photographers_gallery/depth_afghan_guttenfelder/index.html?SITE=AP

Afghanistan election: Casting votes in a troubled country
Video reporting and infographics about the candidates and the election in Afghanistan.
hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_international/afghanistan_election/index.html?SITE=AP
From Nora, examples for politically motivated illustration:

http://comicsworthreading.com/2006/03/20/persepolis/
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1611731
http://www.old-coconino.com/sites_auteurs/simplicissimus/index.html
http://www.palestineonlinestore.com/books/palestine.htm
http://www.moca-la.org/emorydouglas/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grave_of_the_Fireflies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barefoot_Gen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EbsrJuAoQo
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/eresources/exhibitions/children/
http://www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/OKUCIT.html
http://terezinmusical.com/drawings.htm
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/07/27/arts/0727-KENNEDY_7.html
http://www.blackshipsandsamurai.com/HiroshimaDrawingsSelects/index.htm
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWweberP.htm
http://daddytypes.com/2007/06/11/heil_struwwelhitler.php
http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/ww2/american/amerprop.htm
http://calitreview.com/875
http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/2985/anton-kannemeyer-at-jack-s
hainman-gallery-new-york.html
http://williamkentridge.net/

A Picture For A Thousand Voices June 22, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Political and Social Art, Public art, Student work.
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Concepts class alum, Evan Turk has initied a wonderful project titled :

logoheaderand has  posted a call for submissions/participants to the project.  A Picture For A Thousand Voices …”is is a project to help create a dialogue about the individual hopes for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equal rights movement through the medium of illustration. ” Artists  (and writers) are asked to submit artwork depicting  their hopes for equal rights for the LGBT community or a relevant story depicting their experiences  and send it to Evan at evan@evanturk.com.   If you’re  a writer looking for an artist  or an artist looking for  a story to illustrate  Evan might be able to  facilitate a collaboration. The project’s address is picturefor1000voices.blogspot.com/ where you can read about the project, see submissions and read the parameters for the project.

posters4Above are two silkscreens by  Evan titled “Holding Hands” that are starting off the project.  Please pass on info about the projectand check out Even’s blog, or better yet submit something.  Also take a look at Evan’s earlier May 6th post on this site about Gay Art.

-Thanks

MTA Arts in Transit Guest Visit April 29, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Art History, Guest Visits, Public art.
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blog-train1(Above) Barbara Segal’s “Muhheakantuck (The River that Flows Two Ways), Aluminum reliefs on train overpass (2005) on the Hudson Line /Yonkers

On Monday (April 20th), Amy Hausmann (below-left), the Assistant Director of MTA Arts for Transit, paid a visit to our class to speak aboamy-stillut her department’s mission and role in commissioning artists for site specific, public artwork in the New York transit system.

Statistics on the amount of people using the transit system is staggering, approx. 8 million commuters on a given weekday. That’s per day. Asking for a show of hands of how many students (our class was joined by Wendy Popp’s concepts class.) view art work in the subway during their daily commute, it was an overwhelming majority. This was not always the case. My memory of subway stations while growing up in the 60’s and 70’s is one of decaying, vandalized public spaces. The way we presently experience the subway (and the LIRR and Metro-North) is a testament to the work MTA Arts for transit has done over the last 25 years to change the way we look at the shared public space of the transit system.

Amy started her powerpoint presentation pointing out that from the subway’s inception a mandate was built into it’s mission statement to create and design a visually beautiful public space, “…and enhance the experience of travel.” As Amy stressed , very forward thinking for 1904. MTA Arts for Transit’s budget for projects is derived from a portion of the renovation budget of the station/space to be refurbished. So art works are installed or planned only for a station that is being rehabilitated or improved.

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(Above) Art en Route, A pocket guide to art in the MTA Network that was passed out during the visit. You can e-mail a request for a copy at the MTA Art for Transit site.

Amy brought with her pocket guides to some of the art in the MTA system. it’s organized by subway line with called out images of art installations. There is also a book, “Along the Way” by Sandra Bloodworth , Director of MTA Arts for Transit, and William Ayres, curator at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. Looking through the guide and book gives you a sense of the varied range of art in the transit system, both in concept and in materials. Donald Lipski’s inverted olive tree

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with crystals at Grand Central Terminal, Walter Martin’s and Paloma Munoz’s Canal Street station filled with 174 grackles and blackbirds…the subway is one big art museum.

A number of illustrators have created art for the transit system; Raul Colon, Owen Smith, Milton Glaser, Dave Calver, George Bates (Parsons Illustration Dept. instructor), Peter Sis, Jose Ortega, Edward Del Rosario (Parsons Illustration Dept. instructor) to name a few. In that spirit, finishes for the class assignment of creating proposals for site specific art in individual subway stations were also up on the wall during Amy’s visit. she graciously agreed to critique them and offer her professional opinion .

just-wallblog

You can view the entire assignment sheet I handed out in a previous post. In a nut shell, each student created artwork for a subway station of their choice. In the course of creating a proposal students researched the history of the area/station and took into account the amy-critblogmake up of the community it serves. Each student attempted to integrate their art with the architecture of the station in some way.

Below are some of the assignments.

P(Left) Amy Hausmann criting a student’s proposal

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Paula Searing: Wall Street

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Rather than work with Bulls and Bears , I was struck with horses because they can be both graceful and rampant like Wall street’s sides of prosperity and cut throat behavior. The original art is done in acrylic paint, sprayed over stencils.

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Mark Lev: 50th Street

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50th Street station ( the 1, 2, 3 line). My subway installation is interactive (a musical component) as well as aesthetic. It consists of several Hang drums (developed in 2000 in Berne Switzerland) of various sizes and tunings, installed into the subway wall. In the above mural they are the blue spheres with darker blue round indentations. The drums can be played without any special tools and create resonant, ghostly tones similar to a steel drum. The effect of several people playing them would be a mass of tones echoing throughout the station creating an eerie but sonorous atmosphere. Colorful, circular tile patterns around each drum seem to ripple across the wall, evoking ideas of sound waves, water droplets, and mimicking the sound qualities of the drums.

hang2

Here is a link to a video of the Hang drum being played http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEJc2wKkwjM&feature=PlayList&p=D12F8B5F76C1C4E8&index=32 it’s a very distinctive sound .

William Crosby: Smith-9th Street Subway Station Gowanus

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The Smith/9th Street Station · Opened in 1933. The station has the distinction of being the highest elevated station in the system. The station was originally built elevated 91 feet to accommodate tall-mast shipping in the Gowanus Creek under the station.

Evan Turk: Greenpoint Ave. Station Brooklyn

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Evan’s mural is a narrative based on the Lenape Indian legend of Rainbow Crow. The Rainbow Crow brings fire from the Great Spirit in the sky to the earth. But due to the smoke he no longer is rainbow-colored , but a black crow. This myth was chosen to reference the Lenape Indians indigenous to the Greenpoint area.

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Julian Uribe: ” Cultural Intertwine” Jackson Heights (7, E, F, G, R, V)

Jackson Heights is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods and the first garden city in the five boroughs of New York City. I realized in every culture found in Jackson Heights the frog is a common symbol of nature, peace, and power. Ethnic patterns unite with the frog symbol in my design for the station, all of which I hope allow the neighborhood to be more in touch with their diverse ethnic community .

subwayjulien

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Julie Pinzur: The Bleecker Farm” Bleecker Street (the 6 train)

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bleeckerjulie

Ceramic mosaic on walls near the subway exit. Anthony Bleecker, who the street was named after, along with his family owned the land where the station now stands. The scene shows farmland, which is representative of  this area  in the 1800s. Anthony Bleecker was also one of the founders of the New York Historical Society, and was a trustee of the New York Society Library.

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Naomi Koffman: Ghost” 72nd Street/Central Park West

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Jenel Lawson: Lexington Ave.  63rd St. Station

JenelALL3Near this station four embassys are located;  France, Italy, Pakastan and India. Different color strands of thread  represent each  country and stich part of the globe.



Raiders of the Lost Arcimboldo March 21, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Art History, Public art, Student Post, Surreal.
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by Alex Iezzi

The  15th century, Italian painter,  Giuseppe Arcimboldo is one of the most instantly recognizable artists in western art.  From Milan, Arcimboldo  worked  as a court painter, as well as court decorator, and fashion designer, painting the Royalty, in Prague. And he painted them as fruit, and other objects.

arcim_1(above left) Vertumnus (portrait of Emperor Rudolf II)c. 1590  (middle) Winter c. 1563 (right) Win

Arcimboldo had an uncanny ability to look at a human figure and turn it into still life observational-plant-matter-mosaic of sorts.  Arcimboldo can be seen as the grandfather of this style; influencing  A number of artists historically, and in contemporary art  in techniques, and mediums.
His influence on artists of the 20th century can be seen in the work of  the Surreal and Dada artists. The artists of these movements were influenced by the bizarre quality of  Arcimboldo’s work.  Salvador Dali,  a surrealist,  oftentimes created  hidden images within images, although doing it much more abstractly  and stranger than Arcimboldo.

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(above) Dali’s landscape  with hidden face.

Since the 1970’s, Mexican painter Octavio Ocampo has been creating  images  influenced by Arcimboldo.  His subject matter usually deals with religious, and traditional  Mexican imagery. Ocampo’s  portraits are comprised of juxtaposed historical images, painted and  composed in such a way as to create  very interesting  allusions relating to  a superimposed likeness. I would not  quite call it pop art.
ocampo

(above) Ocampo’s portrait of Don Quixote.

Moving to our contemporaries, a very large body of work has been  created in the style of Guiseppe Arcimboldo, even in mediums other  than painting.  Joel-Peter Witkin has referenced Arcimboldo, and  with his influence created  horrifying photographic works.  Witkin credits the witnessing of  woman’s decapitation during his childhood to be the source of his own  aesthetic sensibilities.  Like Acrimboldo, he arranges organic and man-made material  into portraits. Witkin’s portraits can seem disgusting and be of confusing scenes, whose purpose is to leave a  deep, and sick impression in the viewer. Here for more: www.edelmangallery.com/witkin.htm.

peterjoelwitkin(above) Joel-Peter Witkin’s photographs obviously are influenced by the work of  the late Arcimboldo.

Vik Muniz is another artist who uses this material-assemblage technique  and then photographs the result.  Muniz uses junk in a junkyard  setting and rearranges it in order to create images, which can only be captured by a camera hung from a crane far overhead.  The images  are  copies of some  great master paintings, including  Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Correggio, and Goya. Despite the use of a simmilar assemblage style Muniz does recreate a Arcimboldo. The similarities are interesting to note.  Here for more: www.vikmuniz.net/
muniz_saturn

(above) Muniz’s rendition of Goya’s Saturn Devouring One of His Sons.

A younger generation has also picked up on the style of Arcimboldo and  worked in a very grand scale, much like Vik Muniz. Blu, an Italian  mural artist most famous for his moving graffiti animations www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuGaqLT-gO4 , has exhibited influence in Arcimboldo. This can be  seen in his 2007 Berlin work. Here for more www.blublu.org

blu(above) Blu’s mural.

The last artist we look at is my personal favorite of the group, the  young (25), Aurel Schmidt.  Her drawings of the grotesque and  deranged can also show Arcimboldo’s influence.  She has a  modern twist however, using her own collections of trash to mold  monsters out of them.  Her drawings are incredibly detailed, every  inch is completely rendered, and should be seen in person to get the true effect.  Not only is Schmidt a master of capturing minute detail  in her drawings, but she masterfully lays them down into chilling  compositions that Arcimboldo would surely be proud of! Here for more: www.tinyvices.com/Aurel_Schmidt.html

aurelschmidtall (above) Aurel Schmidt’s beautifully intricate drawings.

Subway Station Assignment/Public Art February 25, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Class Assignments, Public art, Visually Cool & Relevant.
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Sketches due: March 2nd
Comp due:
Finish due:

…The MTA Arts for transit commissions’ site –specific permanent artwork for subway stations. Public art that is seen by hundreds of thousands visitors who use the subway. Arts for Transit’s projects create links to neighborhoods with art that echoes the architectural history and design context of the individual stations. Both well-established and emerging artists add to a growing collection of works created in the materials of the system — mosaic, ceramic, tile, bronze, steel, and faceted glass. The art can be seen in the miles of walls within the system and in the gates, windscreens, plazas, and architecture. Through the permanent art program, Arts for Transit works closely with the architects and engineers at MTA New York City Transit, MTA Long Island Rail Road, and MTA Metro-North Railroad to determine the parameters and sites for the artwork that is to be incorporated into each station scheduled for renovation. Artists are chosen through a competitive process that uses selection panels, comprised of visual arts professionals and community representatives, which review and select artists. Depending upon the project, artists may be considered through an Open Call or Invitational process.

(excerpted from the MTA site   http://www.mta.info/mta/aft/permanentart/)

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(above) On the N, R, W lines the 59th Street/Lexington Avenue street station  (connecting tunnel) Blooming by Elizabeth Murray. (above left) is a detail from an adjacent wall.

Your next assignment is to propose art for a train station of your choosing.

•    Research your station
•    Propose your project/sketches
•    Finished art, including your images/project in place in the station (via Photoshop)

  1. Pick a station. Research the history of the area/subway stop. The stops for Chinatown, Coney Island, Wall Street etc. might seem to have an obvious history, but was Wall Street always the financial district? Some smaller less famous stations serve very interesting communities rich in history and events,(some quirky) so don’t overlook them.  Did you know there are a large number of abandoned stations?
  2. Go to the station, take lots of pictures for reference, as well as to use later when you place your art in the station via photoshop. Here is a link info on the legalities of Photography in the subway http://www.nycsubway.org/faq/photopermits.html

  • Think about a concept, a theme,  that will tie your images together for your station vs. a single image  that is scaled up.Remember, your art should address the community and reference it’s history, and social culture. The subway station you choose is not simply a canvas for your own art. Your art is serving/celebrating/commenting on the station’s population.
  • How will your concept be integrated with the architecture of the station. For an example; Is there a long hallway that might add to your concept?  Stairs? Lots of niches? What about the floor or ceiling? Several station artists have made use of the railings and grill work of gates. Look at  A Gathering by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz on the A line at Canal street.
  • Graffiti-  No graffiti as a solution to this assignment. I agree that there are some phenomenal work being done out there. Graffiti is a part of the subways history. It can also be a cliche.  Use it for another assignment. If you want to talk about this come see me.

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(above) On the A line,  the 14thSt. station. Life Underground by Tom Otterness.  Bronze sculpture on railings, beams, and columns throughout station.

Links:

A complete guide of all the art at stations:   http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/artwork

This commissioning process:http://www.mta.info/mta/aft/permanentart/

The photos above are from the MTA Arts for Transit  website

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(above) On the N line,  our class at the Canal St. station. Looking at the Ceramic Tiles by Bing Lee, titled  ” Empress Voyage” .

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(above) The class in front of Blooming by Elizabeth Murray. (59th Street/Lex)

Good Clean Vandalisim February 18, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Graffiti, Public art, Student Post.
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by Will Crosby

What makes Graffiti an art form of the streets?  What keeps fine art confined to gallery walls?  Is it the medium used, or the visual content?  Philadelphia based (graffiti?) artist and elementary school teacher Justin Crosby (my older cousin) explores the relationship between these two traditionally disparate realms of the art world.  His obsession with experimental lettering and typographic art justincrosbybegan at a young age.  Justin, his brother Andrew and I would entertain ourselves on long family road-trips between Austin and Colorado by collaborating on intricate drawings often involving graffiti-esque versions of our names.  While Andrew and I have since channeled our creative interests in various other ways, Justin never lost his passion for creating unique and colorful word forms.   (Photo at left of Justin) Justin’s life is a conscious and active objection to the stereotype that graffiti artists are uneducated vandals whose work is an illegal defacement of private property.  He graduated with a degree in religious studies from the prestigious Swarthmore University and has devoted his life to the education of young underprivileged kids whom he teaches in 2nd and 3rd grade.  While some of his early work was done illegally on un-commissioned walls, he is now part of an artistic crew who do legal pieces and even tour around the world doing live graffiti shows where people watch them collaborate on large wall pieces.

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(Above) Madriz, Painted in Madrid with Adios. At this point Justin has worked all over the world.

He has also started to work with spray paint on canvasses and has sold some of these pieces in gallery shows.  He began his work writing “Plan” and now has started to write “Delve”.  He also experiments with a longer word fusion which is “Delovate” (delve, love, elevate).  Below are two examples of his work, one on a wall and one on canvas as well as a link to his flicker site which I strongly urge everyone to check out!

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(Above Left) Unraveled on canvas    (right) Plans w/Color Swatches

Justin’s work raises interesting questions about the direction of street art and graffiti in our visually saturated culture.  As the internet and technology change the world of journalism and blur the lines between home movies and professional videos, how will the world of fine art be affected?  Now that artists like Justin have more outlets for their pieces to gain recognition and begin to sell in galleries that used to be off-limits to art that was made with spray-paint, will traditional prejudices barriers continue to fall until all creative forms are held on the same plane in the eyes of the art critic?  Would this be a good thing, or are certain guidelines in the art world necessary to prevent chaos?  It seems many graffiti artists relish their place as rebels and underdogs, so would they even want their art to take on a new life in the arena of fine art?

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(Above) White and red character by Nose

Would this transition cause street art to loose its renegade charm, or does it deserve its place amongst the Chelsea galleries?  There are bound to be many opinions about these issues, but hopefully we can all agree that the more graffiti artists who can shape themselves into positive role models like Justin the better.

http://www.flickr.com/delovate

Manny Vega/Un Artista Con Alma January 13, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in Artists, Guest Visits, Public art.
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As you step off the train at 110th Street and Lexington in the NYC subway, you find yourself face to face with the art of Manny Vega. four panels, each approximately four feet high depicting scenes of life in the barrio lovingly, painstakingly crafted in mosaics. Un Sabado en la Ciento Diez (A Saturday on 110th Street). Manny took some time out to stop by class this last spring semester to talk about his work, and the process of creating art for the subway and the public. Manny is a self taught craftsman but also an obvious sponge for any knowledge of his craft. In terms of the 110th st. commission I was struck by the relatively short time frame it took him to accomplish such a laborious process. Months versus what I assumed would be a minimum 2 year process with execution and installation.

img_24(Above) 110th street station (6 train) 2 of 4 mosaics , Un Sabado en la Ciento Diez (A Saturday on 110th Street)

A characteristic of Manny that comes out when he speaks and that is also evident in all his meticulously crafted work is Corazón, passion, and a commitment to truly public art. Manny spoke about, what he felt was was his responsibility to represent the community that his work was appearing in. Manny spoke about working on the Portrait of Julia de Burgos mosaic in a storefront and having people in the community stop in and take part in placing tiles. The mural was completed in Oct. 2006

juliadeburgos_01(Above) Portrait of Julia de Burgos. East 106 Street between Lexington and Third Ave. Julia de Burgos was a Puerto Rican poet and civil rights activist who died at 39 in 1953.

(left) Mosaic El Rey Del Pollo at El Malecon Restaurant

Photos by Librado Romero of Manny and his work and audio of Manny speaking about his mosaics and philosophy.

(please note. this is an older post spring 2008 which was reposted – thanks Les)