I’ve had friends and my mother, who’s a city-convenience person, travel to Africa and always say it was the most remarkable place they’ve ever visited.
With all the bad and scary news about the Ebola virus coming out of Africa and DC already being threatened with a first but misrepresented case, I thought it would be nice to post a beautiful photo seeing another side to Africa.
Namibia landscape. Photo by Ken Geiger via The Washington Post
This very surreal landscape of puffy clouds and zebras by Ken Geiger in Etosha National Park in Namibia is as the caption in the post reads,
I came across several news stories recently that indicate that there is pushing the boundaries of public art in various cities. I thought I’d piece a few together and let you decide because it is ultimately up to the viewer to determine if they like or dislike the artwork they are viewing.
The controversy exists when the artist pushes their artwork on the people. If the artwork was a private commission or for private viewing, in a museum or a gallery where pieces can be purchased, it would be different because the artist is more free to push the boundaries with their personal expression.
Public murals have always been controversial. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like a lot of generic graffiti art, but I appreciate where talent is noticeable.
If you’re creating public art that ‘lives’ in others’ spaces then I think you have to be respectful of the community since its very definition is based on a shared living space. Definition: is a “unified body of individuals.”
: a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood)
: a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.
These two public art murals are causing an uproar in Atlanta. I posted about one of them already. There was a documentary on PBS that features the controversy and “the balance between art and community.” Here’s the trailer. The film can be watched this week.
This debate is not isolated to Atlanta. Other cities have seen their fair share with Bansky and Shepard Fairey and other street artists.
I’m not sure how Brusk, a French street artist, deals with where and when he paints or with permission but I like his work.
Brusk images via Cuded
His illustration style and art education at the Ecole des Beaux – Arts de Saint Etienne clearly displays his talent. Sometimes his subjects are a little jarring but his style is pretty mesmerizing with its interplay between 3D painting and sometimes sculpture.
Perhaps interactive art, where the community is abiding and has been consulted in the dialogue before and / or even after, is a better approach.
Getting the community involved for a worthwhile project becomes a beneficial reason for public murals, such as this “Home Safe” mural that comprise 2 walls and is sponsored by the well-known Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. It is painted in West Philadelphia to pictorially show potentially circuitous paths homeless youth take n the city just to get home — to a safe place. The mural painted by the “Journey to Home” team gives the homeless teens who painted it a path for work, expression and community pride.
Like other typical graffiti murals it uses many spray painted words but the composition, color and overall execution is cohesive, just like the painters and the neighborhood on board with this public mural.
“…designing and building the “flexible and modular” system [in Baton Rouge, LA, the "red stick"]. The rotating exhibit is intended to serve as shifting, interactive space that will showcase a visual display of the unique identity of a city and its residents…“It’s the idea of taking a mural and pushing the boundaries, not being permanent,” Doran, [Professional in Residence, at the LSU school of Architecture], said. “A mural is just sort of a static image and we want to make it become more interactive and engaging and something for the community to enjoy.”
They are taking the right approach where all parties collaborate, as quoted here:
” LSU students, enrolled in the 2014 Mid City studio class, are creating the architectural mural with the help of several businesses in Baton Rouge as well as The Walls Project. Friday’s (10.10) soiree will be focusing on receiving input from the community on the project as well as raising support for the project.”
moving murals via Nola Defender
It will be interesting to see how this comes out. Maybe it can ‘move’ to Nola next where I can actually see it when I’m back ‘home.’
When it comes to interactive murals, I can’t think of a better one that gets you moving, as the Berkley Beacon describes, with a Red Rock Wall and inspirational quotes by “Marshall McLuhan, [a Canadian philosopher], as “a way to share relevant literature without being annoying.”
Julia Cseko Rock Wall mural via Berkley Beacon
The mural is called, “A Coney Island of the Mind—Marshall McLuhan, and painted by Julia Cseko on Berkley’s student campus. There are 2 other murals to be painted as part of the project:
Blazejack said she was paid $3,000 to paint the mural on the fifth floor of Paramount, Rock Wall for Sedimentary Drawing, and said the rock featured in the painting was a metaphor.
“These layers of sedimentary rock, compressed over millions of years, were made with layers of paint set down quickly,” Blazejack explained. “It represents the history of the school, and all these students moving through and graduating.”
Blazejack purposefully left square blank spaces throughout the mural for students to leave their own legacies.
Note: Sorry, for some reason, this post missed it’s schedule from last week.
I’m not sure I can make it to this one, but maybe when I’m in the Shenandoah while wine tasting next weekend if nearby. There are some wonderful pieces like this one by Discovery by New Jersey artist Robert Beck.
The museum website link has the full artist roster and descriptions. Well worth the download.
Sad to say, West Hollywood’s famous Palm Restaurant is closing and with it goes its murals of hundreds of celebrities.
This is a classic tourist stop, if you ever go to Hollywood. I’ve never been but I’m interested in seeing these murals.
Celebrity caricatures cover the walls and ceilings. See how many you recognize?
Fortunately they exist on the Los Angeles Eater blog — at least for a while, so get your visual feast while you can.
Palm Restaurant celebrity murals via Eater
Speaking of celebrities, I am not an avid daily TV watcher but I confess I indulge in the Kelly & Michael show while I check my morning email. I’m not a football fan either, except for the New Orleans Saints, even though I live in Redskins territory. So it was no surprise that I wasn’t paying too much attention when Terry Crews appeared as one of the guests last week. Actually, I didn’t know who Terry Crews was, even though, upon seeing him, I recognized that I had seen him in various movies as well as old Old Spice commercials. I looked up his profile on Wikipedia and was surprised to learn his football career started with the Rams as a defensive end/ linebacker, and then the San Diego Chargers, moving to the Washington Redskins and ending with the Philadelphia Eagles. No surprise though that these guys get moved around a lot. Tough world to be in football and then to age. He retired in 1997 and started his acting career. He was on this morning show to promote his role as the new host for Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Coincidentally, Regis, Kelly’s former co-host and founder of her show, also hosted this game show.
Terry Crews – Early Days via SiKids.com
What I was really surprised to learn and the whole reason I’m mentioning this, is that Terry Crews was a fine arts major. This is how he got his start and always fell back on drawing and art when things were tough. For instance, when he was cut from a team, he used to draw his fellow football members’ mugs in the locker room and sell them the more refined, painted-portraits when he was out of work for a while for about $5,000 a painting. Very smart! Here is some of his artwork and some real talent too!
It took him about 2 months do complete a painting of this realistic caliber.
This is just another example of finding Art is Everywhere and sometimes in the least expected places.
Doing a little more research, I discovered that Terry Crews’ art background was revealed on the Jimmy Kimmel show earlier in the month. Here’s the clip that also shows his exuberant personality. What a fascinating career and how he came up the ranks through art as Flint Michigan’s sketch artist. Gosh, he was doing this work when I was graduating from college! Quite an ‘animated’ and likeable character!
All things considered, I’m happy to be able to write this post, for September 11th, after an intense few weeks, before a much-needed vacation and a very tough first week back from the beach.
I’m getting back in the work groove, slowly.
But I just cannot think of this day without reflection on family & friends, as they hold so much significance in our lives and how this anniversary affects all those who were lost.
Just now seeing my son’s pictures from his honeymoon, which were lovely, made me think this process of getting back into the groove is like jellyfish moving in the water; even with water (and so many things) swirling around, they eventually get to where they need to be and do so beautifully.
Jellyfish at Aquarium in Monterey, CA
It certainly is a satisfying feeling to complete nearly 50+ hours of work with very little sleep or nourishment in order to get my new decorative painting website done. This was a scramble to complete before my current and old one just disappears. I’ll no longer be using my current hosting and moving to a WordPress site, which will be like writing blog posts.
I’ve essentially written 162 blog posts and reviewed 260 in the last 72 hours with about 600 images to still address!! That’s somewhat insurmountable feat.
I’m glad it’s done — until fully complete with domain name transfer I’m trying to schedule this week.
In the meantime, enjoy these few pics from Monterey, California and a place I hope to someday visit.
This picture is a slow build-up of work that eventually become a collective, artistic phenomena.
Man-made cairns on Monterey beach in CA – a stone mine-field worth walking through
This is a followup to my last post, Art for the Shark.
What good timing. I just saw this video below that profiles the artists involved in the Seawalls – Murals for Oceans project.
I’m getting ready to go on a much-needed, sanity-break vacation next week, after my oldest son’s wedding this past Saturday, which was beautiful but I’m still processing. I’m also trying to get all the back-log of work done before taking my youngest son back to college. Visiting with family, friends and meeting guests and new extended family over the last 5 day weekend was both fun and exhausting. There will be a later post regarding, when I can reflect.
Just viewing this video gives me a sense of calm in the chaos. Seeing how much fun they had reminds me of my upcoming vacation, where I will be doing much of the same — except maybe not swimming with sharks (I hope). I just wish I also had time to draw, paint and absorb myself fully with art in the process. I will have to bring some work with me but I will, as I always, be thinking about art and will try to meet a goal of doing a sketch a day.
Although this is an appropriate post during the Discovery Channel’s famous Shark Week, my thoughts are with family as my son gets married in 2 days, but that will be a future post.
After seeing this video and reviewing some of the art, I have a new appreciation for sharks; even though, I’m one of those still affected by the movie Jaws and cannot easily swim in the ocean or any body of water that is not visibly clear.
PangeaSeed has done a good job to promote the positive PR for sharks. They create awareness through art of their plight in being overly fished just for their fins to make a popular, luxury soup in main Asian cities.
Some of the artwork has more of a political perspective than I would prefer but below are some of the many colorfully patterned pieces that first grabbed my attention from PangeaSeed’s Sea Walls Murals for Oceans event in Mexico and which lead me to their effort.
Photos source: Highsnobiety
This one and the next are truly beautiful
When you click this Highsnobiety link to the article source, hovering over the feature image will lead you to view many more murals.
I am mesmerized by the ocean’s sea and wildlife. It’s a whole other world that I hope to explore one day, possibly through learning how to dive. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. In the meantime, having fish are some of my favorite pets just so I can watch how they swim.
I’m both fearful and in awe of great white sharks and the majesty they intrinsically hold. Here’s my rendition in a mural I painted some time ago for a client on her son’s bedroom wall. It’s part of a two panel piece framing the window with more sea life represented.
I’m rushing to get my new website updated and completed before this current one expires. Check back, it will have a new look soon.
Regarding Images used: I do not claim ownership of any of the images posted on this blog (unless stated otherwise). I try my utmost best to give credit from original sources. If you have ownership rights of a photo and wish for me to remove it, please don’t hesitate to contact me.