Mary Jordan’s Water Tank Project brings to the New York skyline a beautiful and pertinent reminder that water is, in most respects, sacred. The project has brought glorious eye candy into the periphery, yet its first and foremost mission is to spread awareness regarding the dire water situation the majority of this world experiences.
The backstory to the effort reads like a movie: filmmaker Mary Jordan was working on a documentary in Ethiopia back in 2007. Three months in she became deathly ill from accidentally ingesting contaminated water. Nursed back to health by the women of the village she was living in, Jordan survived and was urged by these women to thank them through working to increase awareness on the water crisis within their country and the world.
One day, while back in New York, Jordan gazed up at a water tower and had an epiphany: “They’re like these little temples that hold water,” she thought, and realized the inherent symbolism of the structure itself, and the potential power to communicate that it held. Thus, the Water Tank Project was born. Jordan founded Word Above The Street, with the intent of utilizing the city’s water-related infrastructure to showcase water-related art and increase awareness.
The project gained an impressive level of momentum as artists Jeff Koons, Maya Lin, Andy Goldsworthy, Jeppe Hein, John Baldessari, and many, many others have signed up to produce graphic wraps for the over 100 water towers included in the project. With the tag line: Art Above NYC, Water Above All, Jordan is doing a remarkable job at fulfilling her promise, and getting you to think about your relationship with water and what effects the conservation of water can mean to those in countries less fortunate than ours.
Fresh from our Flickr Pool I introduce you to Miss Julia Jones of Sydney, Australia. Julia photographs are of the snapshot genre, mostly focusing on her hip set of friends doing all kinds of things from pretending to be Elvis & Iggy Pop to well, looking hip! If I were to judge Julia’s life by her photos I’d think she was living in a non-stop party.. I’m officially jealous.
Make sure to Join the B/D Flickr Pool and you just may see your work posted next!
Ai Weiwei is causing a stir once again. This time his project involves 14 outfits from 14 different designers, left over paint, a custom built pedestal, his friends, a camera and a rebellious streak. Asked by V magazine to be involved in this special collaborative series in conjunction with Comme des Garçons, Weiwei was sent a box of the designers one-off creations and was allowed free reign to create an editorial campaign for the magazine. He proceeded to dowse his friends and colleagues wearing the clothes with the paint he had accumulated from his earlier 2006/2008 Colored Vases project.
Following his anarchic philosophy and approach to art, Weiwei throws colors all over the delicate and expensive outfits with abandon, just like he did in his vase series. He continues to destroy the hierarchies we have come to accept (this time those of the fashion world, and how to represent clothing as a commodity). Not one to stick to the rules or to adhere to people’s expectations, Weiwei arguably destroys the original craftsmanship of these outfits – many of which took large teams of skilled tailors days to finish. The results have had mixed reviews. One of the designers, Shaun Samson (who had lilac paint splashed all over his plaid ensemble) shares his thoughts:
I don’t know if it’s sad or positive that he decided to do the project this way, but the outcome is beautiful. (Source)
Some may say Weiwei has destroyed others’ works of art, but the controversial artist sees it very differently:
Pouring a color on an outfit creates a new condition for the design. It creates a midpoint between two conflicting ideas. Gravity and the shape of the clothes combine to create a unique moment. Using these cultural products as ready-mades celebrates and reinterprets the intention of creativity. I think this act shows my respect toward their creativity. (Source)
Los Angeles artist Eric Yahnker opened the doors of his downtown studio to Beautiful/Decay and Visual Creatures to give our readers insight into his witty, iconic work that is layered with pop culture influences and the deconstruction of its icons. Eric discusses his career change from Journalism to art, his disdain for painting, and his love of Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Rodney Dangerfield. Watch the full video after the jump!
Ruben Plasencia settled on the idea of photographing the blind when contemplating how to approach the subject of prejudice as an artist. He felt that blind individuals are unique because they are subject to prejudice, but don’t generate prejudice against others the way people who can see do. His series, Obscure, forces viewers to look directly into the eyes of people who cannot return the stare.
Racist prejudices and stereotypes continue to dominate our societies — judgments which are made at a level that is only skin-deep. In “Obscure”, I created portraits of the blind. These faces create a mockery of our unthinking dependence on vision. A blind person seeks more reliable ways to read between the lines and understood essences, no longer able to fall back on their eyesight as the only reliable means.
I composed the portraits in a simple manner: a figure and a ground. I wanted to eliminate as many external factors as possible and leave behind only what’s most important to me: “The Look”.
Far from being a simple visual appetizer, this project ventures to convey the deepest intimacy of the look. By gazing upon eyes which cannot see, I want us feel deeply what it means to have sight. Despite having the gift of vision, we manage to blind ourselves every day. We are all given the great opportunity to observe and I hope we can appreciate its value. (via LensCulture)
Neil Krug produces images that make you wonder if you’re looking at photos that have been lost for years. Psychedelic imagery mixed with soft light tones make his work seem from a different era, but lovely imagery nonetheless. His work is very inspiring. Love his work? Krug has a book out named PULP Art and has directed a video for Ladytron.
Swedish artist Leif Holmstrand’s oeuvre is filled with crocheted and knitted sculptures, terrifying performances, washing line installations and dangling babies. He also writes excellent poetry- an artist and writer who puts Malmo on the Sweden Maps and in the very near future on the world map!