If you’ve ever been to a children’s playground and wondered why there isn’t anything for adults to enjoy? There’s no doubt that sculptor Bob Cassilly thought this at some stage too. He has built many inventions, installations, art works, statues and public attractions that kids of all ages can play on. His most ambitious project has been in development since 1983, and constantly draws thousands of visitors. The space – called City Museum, in downtown St Louis, Missouri is an “eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel.” (Source) All components of Cassilly’s wonder-world is repurposed and made from reclaimed industrial objects.
Cassilly and his wife at the time, Gail Cassilly purchased a 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) complex in downtown St Louis, Missouri. The couple started construction on the area in the mid 90s and opened it up to the public in 1997. Within the complex is a 10 story shoe manufacturing warehouse, which now houses a long list of attractions. It contains 2 airplanes, a firetruck, enchanted caves filled with sculptural stalagmites, a fully functional bar made from marble, an aquarium filled with sharks, rays, sea turtles, snakes and alligators, a skatepark, a circus area, and even a Ferris Wheel on the roof. It is also home to the largest continuous mosaic in America. The complex has even put on music gigs and events.
After the City Museum was deemed a success (it has attracted more than 700,000 visitors since it opened in 1997), Cassilly moved on to another project and started construction on Cementland – in what was an old cement factory. Tragically, Cassilly died in a bulldozer accident while under going work on Cementland in 2011. His vision is continued by a team of 20 or so sculptors affectionately called the Cassilly Crew who manage and add to his existing projects.
Make sure you indulge your inner child at City Museum soon, or at least build your very own playground to enjoy. (Via This Is Colossal)
Some of my photographer friends hate on digitally manipulated images but how can you when photographers like Koen Demuynck makes such breathtakingly powerful images with a bit of help from our old pal Mr. Computer? Each image is more amazing than the next with piles of elephants, crazy chimney sweepers, and Santa throwing a very naughty new years party. All of these and more after the jump!
I have a soft side for artists and designers who emerge from the punk rock/DIY scene. It’s probably because I grew up going to punk shows, making zines, and not fitting in with my own boring suburban surroundings . So when I opened my inbox and saw the work of Wasted Rita I immediately was drawn into her world of teen angst and brutal honesty. It reminded me of the same energy my friends and I had when we first started Beautiful/Decay. Thanks for keeping the dream alive Rita!
The work of artist Pard Morrison seems to reference both the analog and the digital at once. His hard edged fields of color are reminiscent of image pixels or two dimensional mock ups of some sort. Morrison often contrasts these blocks of color with a natural landscape barely touched by technology. His work addresses how experience is increasingly mediated by technology – how a three-dimensional landscape is increasingly lived in two dimensions. While these pixels and blocks build many images we experience everyday, they also can hide and obfuscate them. [via]
Gino Rubert’s studio practice focuses on the representation, animation, and reinforcement of the experiences and emotions that exist within the framework of contemporary romantic relationships. His narratives revolve around “the new man and woman, the contemporary couple in a time after the pill, after the strikes in May 1968, after the rise of Feminism, after all the politics and laws were developed to equalize men and women’s rights and opportunities,” says Rubert. “My characters are set in some kind of utopia. They are individuals who express their gender and nature without arrogance, complexity, or fear.” The new woman, new man, their functions (or dysfunctions), conflicts, and rhetoric are all key themes explored with a generous slice of self-deprecating humor by this Barcelona-based artist. To realize these investigations, the Artist employs painting, photography, and video – often within the same composition to achieve his singular style. “If I had to define a main thread that goes through my work,” says Rubert, “it would definitely be the need to look at the sentimental world from an ironic and critical perspective”
German photographer Thomas Kellner‘s contact sheet photo montages deconstruct iconic architectural landmarks and cityscapes. Each of Kellner’s frames are shot sequentially, then printed in the film’s exact order – no cut/paste or digital manipulation – before strips are cut and then placed together. Each final contact sheet montage’s size depends on how much film Kellner uses for his subject – with one roll of film, the montages are only 20 x 24 cm. Kellner first began descontructing architecture using the contact sheet method in 1997, and since 2003, has been photographing and decontructing buildings around the world.
Of his work, Kellner says, “I think I am more of an artist than a photographer. At the moment I am working on architecture, but it is not classic architectural photography. There are definitions in art about ‘construction/deconstruction’ or ‘collage/decollage,’ but I don’t think any of it really fits what I am doing right now, maybe my work is closer to conceptual art or conceptual photography. Many have said it is ‘very Germany,’ and that might be closer.” (via art chipel)
The intentional glitchiness of the photography of Federico Ferrari is at once familiar and surprising. This series appears to be still life photography interrupted by a scanner malfunction. A section of each image is dragged across the plane reducing it to simple lines of color. Small pieces of photographs are severely exaggerated in size. It abstracts otherwise benign photographs and plays with the viewer’s perception of a simple scene scene.
Russian photographer Katerina Plotnikova creates, what she calls ‘another tale about wonderland’. The various photographs bring forth a beautifully shot series that includes images of human/wild animal interactions and whimsical fashions.
Evoking a mythical, fairy-tale world, the images transport the viewer to a place outside of modern settings. The gentle and serene colored landscapes turn these images into something that, upon observation, takes the viewer to a world familiarized though childhood stories; the images can go both ways though; it can remind them of the latter, or of a high-fashion, fantasy photo-shoot.
The subjects’ interaction with wild animals are what make these photographs more surreal than not; in one of the photographs we see an auburn-haired young woman hold out her hand to a grizzly bear, as though the majestic creature is asking her to dance. But, how can a a small figured girl be dancing around with a live, three-ton bear you ask?
Plotnikova was able to pull off these incredible shots with the help of two professional animal trainers.