Tucked away in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert is a tiny pool whose location is unknown to the public, identifiable only by guarded GPS coordinates. It was imagined by Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia, and is technically open to the public. If you want to swim in it, all you need to do is ask the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood about the longitude and latitude points and obtain the special key to open the pool’s cover.
The four-foot by 12-foot body of water is available for 24 hours to any one person or small party, and you must bring a gallon of water per person to replenish the pool. Its minimalist stylings are painted white and stands out against the sandy and arid terrain. Alone in the desert, it’s an oasis for a weary traveler or nomad. Barsuglia calls it Social Pool, and meant for the swimmer to consider the societal ramifications of this outdoor installation. A description of the project reads:
The work embodies the massive socio-economic changes that have taken place in the last forty years. It thus understands itself as the product of an economy in which privacy and immateriality have been fully commodified… For many a consumer, art is expected to operate according to the principles of the service economy rather than following humanist ideals of intellectual or moral stimulus and education.
Whether or not this pool encourages this deep thought or is simply a well-thought gimmick remains to be seen. (Via Huffington Post)
At times strangely numb, and at other points echoing a modernist affection for the coldest of structures and surfaces, the most recent work by Philadelphia painter Erin Murray certainly doesn’t lack in focus. Murray’s fixation on the bland, eerily coded architecture of American cities reveals an underlying criticism (or slightly tongue-in-cheek reference) to the simultaneous banality and sinister intentionality that exists in the spaces around us. Rather than allowing these ever-present backdrops of contemporary life to fade quietly into the background, she brings them forward in the hopes that the viewer will find the same suspicious significance in each graphic, expertly rendered façade.
Where her graphite works are dark and slightly ominous, the lush, surrealistic landscapes Murray has sketched out are deliciously disorienting. As a group, they reflect a curious interest in space, place and structure—something that might eventually push Murray’s works off the page and into the 3D realm.
Scandinavians are best at all things in my mind- but if I had to narrow it down to two genres, I’d have to pick design and music. Here is a wonderful example of the two realms combining: Nan Na Hvass’ lovely illustrations and animation for Efterklang’s single, Mirador. I love her candy palette.
It’s difficult to discern whether Lisa Kellner‘s silk installations are natural or intrusive, peaceful or menacing. Her delicate fabric structures resemble jellyfish or coral as much as something cancerous or viral. Kellner’s work intentionally inhabits this duality. Each installation is made out of silk – a medium that is at once organic but also extremely strong. Her sculptures illustrate the curious path of growth organic matter can take. Lisa Kellner says of her artwork:
“The quickest path from point a to point b is a straight line. But nature is filled with curves and crevices. And human nature always seems to prefer a more circuitous path. Whatever means are chosen, the journey one takes presents a perfect painting problem: what is the essence of a moment that took everything to get there?.”
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, a Brooklyn-based painter and illustrator, responds to street harassment by creating dialogues through art in public places. Stop Telling Women To Smile, a series of portraits depict strong willed women responding to catcalls or inappropriate comments.
This series, which has been fostering solid conversations since it’s 2012 NY inception, is simple in its assertion, yet complex in the response. Madison Carlson of Feminspire addresses some male reactions the work has evoked, one of which involved a penis being drawn on the woman’s face. The New York Times additionally notes: “Andrés Carlos, 50, stood by the freshly pasted posters on Tompkins Avenue. ‘A woman likes nothing more than being told she is beautiful,’ he said. ‘For me, this is ridiculous.'”
But, Fazlalizadeh and Carlson disagree with Carlos. This is not about beauty, but control. Carlson asserts, “Yelling or whistling at a woman on the street like she’s a dog who will come when you call, or telling a woman to ‘Smile. It can’t be that bad. You’d be so much prettier if you smiled,’ dehumanizes her. It reduces her purpose to pleasing the male gaze. The posters, answering that reduction with confrontation, are meant to show street harassers that they are not entitled to women’s smiles or any other part of them.”
Scott Hocking has documented one of my favorite things, bad graffiti. Starting in 2007 scott has photographed hundreds of scribbles in and around Detroit. Maybe it’s the shakey lettering, potty mouth humor, or the never ending typos but I rather see some bad graffiti over real graffiti any ol’ day.
A swinging Mexican fiesta goes bad when a very hungry rotten avocado crashes the party and starts devouring the guests… Vegeterrible is a film about the last tomato’s fight for survival. If this is what goes on in my fridge when the door is closed I’m never eating again!
Sex and drugs go hand in hand so it’s no surprise that this trippy animation by Vince Collins has equal parts sex and acid flashback induced morphing. Ps. it was made in 1983 which makes it even better!