Not one but two Little Free Libraries have cropped up this year less than a block from where I live, and I took an old SOFA catalog from one. SOFA, the show for Sculpture, Objects & Functional Art, puts out a massive catalog of the gallerists’ wares. Here are my twelve favorite items to inspire you.
This would be great to hold all my arts and crafts supplies. I love the descending sizes of drawers. I would have flipped the hinges on the right cabinet door 180 degrees to be on the outside though. Maybe some day I will be able to build one!
This is amazing! Also, ThisIsColossal.com is an amazing blog to follow; they have blogged a free-form 3D printing pen that uses a single plastic filament like robotic 3D printers.
Forget those pesky 3D printers that require software and the knowledge of 3D modeling and behold the 3Doodler, the world’s first pen that draws in three dimensions in real time. Imagine holding a pen and waving it through the air, only the line your pen creates stays frozen, suspended and permanent in 3D space. Sound like magic? Well it certainly looks like it, watch the video above to see the thing in action. The 3Doodler was designed by Boston-based company WobbleWorks who recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to sell the miraculous little devices that utilizes a special plastic which is heated and instantly cooled to form solid structures as you draw.
At this time there are 25 days left on the Kickstarter fundraiser for this invention. They placed a goal of $30,000 and are holding at $1,936,802. This is the best Kickstarter I’ve seen since Ze Frank went to re-start A Show. If the MIT grad is carrying any student loans these days, those are history.
If only the Romans had carved the names of everyone into everything like the Egyptians did, we might know whose portrait this is. Perhaps they put to much faith into the portraits being carefully handed down throughout their family lineage. They never saw those Visigoths coming. This piece has been returned to display at the Museum of the Art Institute Chicago and photographing it at night came out particularly good. I photographed both sides and the front to show all the detail in the hair.
Portrait Bust of a Woman, Roman, A.D. 140-50, marble.
A Yakshi Grasping a Tree, Gandharan sculpture [modern day Pakistan], 2nd/3rd Century, gray schist, 96.5 x 24.5 x 10.8 cm (38 x 9 5/8 x 4 1/4 in.)
Here are some photos I took of another beautiful Gandaran sculpture in the collection at AIC. A quick online check reveals that a Yakshi is a mythical being similar to a fairy and from ancient Hinduism. (Yakshinis is plural.) They can grant wishes and often guard treasure.
I visited another State Street art installation downtown which has been up for a while. Color Jam by Jessica Stockholder went up June 5th and will be in place until September 30th. It brings colors together at the intersection of State & Adams from several storeys up on the buildings to underfoot on the ground level. I liked EYE by Tony Tasset  and loathed GO DO GOOD by Kay Rosen . Color Jam falls somewhere in the middle for me; it is an installation art work but heavily informed by design / graphic design. People assume it is some kind of advertising campaign and filter it out or are confused by it. With Color Jam there are not enough of the signifiers of “fine art” to alert the public to what they are standing on and walking through.
EYE was a self-portrait Pop art sculpture and clearly a statue or sculpture in the round. people got it right away. GO DO GOOD just imitated advertising obnoxiously. Forever Marilyn by Seward Johnson was obnoxious sentimental Pop art schlock that taggers eventually defaced. Color Jam jams together colors, but does that automatically make it art when the public needs to be told it is art?
What sums up the piece for me best is the two women shown above walking next to me that started looking around bewildered and exclaimed in surprise at the intersection. They were obviously local and familiar with the area, they just didn’t understand what was going on and were very confused. Red and orange is usually used to signal danger, construction hazards and the like; they were starting to get worried. I told them they were standing in an art installation. They looked around again and decided they liked it. One woman said “I wish it was permanent! It’s fun!”
In the other photos I took, you can see people ignoring the installation or looking around in confusion. Leave it to a lot of Contemporary art to provide confusion. This is why so many people want their art left on a canvas, preferably with a nice frame. Again, that is why doing work like this is taking a risk: the loss of the signifiers of fine art that alert the general public they have encountered “art”.
Here pictures of the other corners. I noticed Bank of America did not allow any covering or interference with its sign. Sarcasm time: I bet they were real cooperative with this art installation. This may have also helped people read the art installation as a form of large scale advertising. There is a huge bank sign jutting out in the work, interrupting the green color field.
The colors on the crosswalks of the streets already have a substantial amount of wear and tear. It was a bit disappointing to see how worn away the colors were but that is a high traffic area of downtown. I don’t know if there is a schedule to refresh the colors on the streets and sidewalks or if it will continue to be worn down on through September. That seemed to be a key part of the installation, tying the colos together on the ground, and the material is in poor condition. The photo below shows how the color fields connect along with more information on the piece and the artist:
Photo by Kevin Shelton / Chicago Loop Alliance
The Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) is at it again. The organization behind Tony Tasset’s memorable EYE and CARDINAL (2010) and Kay Rosen’s interactive GO DO GOOD (2011) is bringing a whole lot of color to Chicago this summer. Chicagoans have been watching the initial phases of Jessica Stockholder’s Color Jam installation slowly start to transform the loop during the install process for the past few weeks, and tomorrow, June 5 is the official opening date for the third installment in the CLA’s award-winning Art Loopseries.
Visitors will be immersed in the bright, new installation at State and Adams as they walk on, in, and through the canvas of renowned multi-media artist Jessica Stockholder. Commissioned by CLA, Color Jam saturates building façades, sidewalks, and crosswalks in bold colors in Chicago’s largest art installation. Color Jam is also the largest contiguous vinyl project in the U.S., composed of over 76,000 square feet of colored vinyl – think the equivalent of 50,000 vinyl records, or enough material to wrap 130+ city buses or cover 1.5 football fields! [source]
Pete Fecteau works in many media and his pixel art using Rubik’s Cubes just recently became widespread. I definitely classify this as Pop Art because of the materials. The pixel has been around for almost five decades but people have really gotten into using pixels and optical blending for art. This makes sense because pixel art is an overlap of digital technology, traditional representational art and manufactured color.
See the video below; the time lapse of the installation being built is great. Pete Fecteau is planning a new work as a portrait of Albert Einstein and has a link to a Kickstarter fundraising page on his webpage here.
One of the nice things I found wandering around Manifest earlier this month was a new mosaic wall hanging on campus. I would guess is was about six feet tall and the support was probably cut from heavy MDF or plywood. If you have real glass smalti to work with, any mosaic looks incredible. I really loved the organic shapes and the bright colors. It was made by a collaboration of Columbia College students working with the Chicago Mosaic School.
Click the drop down for more information about this mosaic.