Commercial Break.

Meriem Bennani, Your Year by Fardaous Funjab, 2015, Courtesy of Jayson Wyche and Public Art Fund, New York.

Meriem Bennani, Your Year by Fardaous Funjab, 2015, Courtesy of Jayson Wyche and Public Art Fund, New York.

If you find yourself in Times Square, downtown Brooklyn, or at Westfield World Trade Center in New York City, you may be surprised to see those spaces’ ubiquitous ads for soft drinks, fast fashion, and electronics swapped for poignant and gorgeous video art. The switch, part of a citywide exhibition called Commercial Break, kicks off Public Art Fund‘s 40th anniversary season with disruptive, artful advertisements taking over the city’s largest and most technologically advanced screens. Curated by Associate Curators Emma Enderby and Daniel S. Palmer, Commercial Break features 23 artists whose work can be seen on billboards in Times Square, the 360-degree “Oculus” screen outside Barclays Center, 19 digital screens at Westfield World Trade Center, hundreds of LinkNYC kiosks all over the city, and embedded as pop-up “ads” on PublicArtFund.org.

The idea for Commercial Break sprang from Public Art Fund’s formative exhibition series Messages to the Public , which ran on an 800-square-foot animated Spectacolor screen in Times Square from 1982 to 1990. Every month, one of 70 different artists, including Jenny Holzer, Guerilla Girls, and Alfredo Jaar, presented a 30-second animation within a 20-minute loop of commercials. The intent of the project was similar to that of Commercial Break: fighting propaganda by means of propaganda. The artists this time around had to confront time limits and embrace brevity. Their challenge is cutting through a litany of information surrounding outdoor advertising by relying solely on visual language.

[…]

Commercial Break is on view through March 5. For a full rundown of Public Art Fund’s 40th anniversary programming, visit their website.

You can read much more, and see more about this fantastic art project at The Creators Project.

Conservation Lab: Glass Preservation.

Glass

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Pitcher from the Roman Empire, before and after restoration.

The small city of Corning, New York, population 11,068, counts more works of art than people. The world’s largest collection of glass art is harbored here, at the Corning Museum of Glass, which cares for over 50,000 objects spanning 3,500 years of history. Across the Chemung River, a short walk away, lie the headquarters of Corning Incorporated—the glass and ceramics manufacturing giant responsible for the creation of brands like CorningWare and Pyrex. The company founded the museum in 1951, as a “gift to the world” to mark its 100th anniversary. The museum’s facilities have grown tremendously since then: In addition to gallery spaces, they include a research library, glassmaking studios, and an amphitheater for live demonstrations.

Fragile Legacy: The Marine Invertebrate Glass Models of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka.

There’s much more to read and see at The Creators Project. For more information about conservation at the Corning Museum of Glass, go here. Videos of the conservation team at work are available here.

You Can’t Kill Light.

You Can’t Kill Light.

This is what we need! More please. And sign the letter, too.

Out of a place of darkness I began to think of all the amazing individuals, known and unknown who have risen up and created movements that change history. This is in honor of the people who truly do make America great.

We built a fire
The fire burns bright
You can blow hard
But you can’t kill light

We come together
Sometimes we fight
You can knock us down
But you can’t kill light

You Can’t Kill Light
No you can’t kill light

We built a railroad
Out of the past
We nailed down every tie
And we won’t go back

High in your tower
Of steel & glass
You can sign the order
But we won’t go back

No we won’t go back,
we won’t go back

We built this house
That we could share
Now you want it for yourself
But we’re still here

You think we’re different
It makes you scared
So you raise a wall around you
But we’re still here

We’re still here,
we’re still here

We lay the table
We shared our cup
Now you tell us we’re not welcome
But we don’t give up

We outlast hate
We rise above
You can knock us down
But you can’t kill love

You can’t kill love,
no you can’t kill love

We built a fire
The fire burns bright
You can blow hard
But you can’t kill light

We come together
We come to fight
You can knock us down
But you can’t kill light

You can’t kill light
No, you can’t kill light

Monica Pasqual

Via Plus.

White Lies Matter.

Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out.” CREDIT: Universal Pictures.

Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out.” CREDIT: Universal Pictures.


Last October, I posted about the film Get Out: Get Out: Making White People Mad. (Trailer is at the link). I still haven’t seen it, but I am looking forward to it. Think Progress has a serious look at the film, but be warned, it’s full of spoilers, so if that sort of thing upsets you, don’t click over. (I was spoiled last year, but it doesn’t diminish my desire to see the movie at all).

What Get Out encapsulates so well is that modern racism can manifest not just as straightforward hate but also as a mix of jealousy and disdain that, in many ways, can be much more sinister. Disgust, on the part of white people, that black people have the audacity to excel at anything, joined with a desire to siphon off that excellence, to restore some rightful order.

Peele’s comedy and horror bonafides are well established from his run on Key and Peele, as is his ability to be deft and analytical about race without sacrificing the joke or the story at hand. Get Out, which Peele wrote and directed, marks his feature debut. He started making the movie when Trayvon Martin was killed; as he told the New York Times, “What originally started as a movie to combat the lie that America had become post-racial became a movie where the cat is out of bag, and now we’re having this conversation.”

Though he expected the movie to premiere in a different kind of America — namely, one with a different president — Peele said this 2017 context made the movie “more relevant. The liberal elite who communicates that we’re not racist in any way is as much of the problem as anything else. This movie is about the lack of acknowledgment that racism exists.”

Spoilery article here.

Pebbles.

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These are depictions of the war in Syria – but they have been delicately composed with stones. They are the work of 52-year-old Syria-based artist and sculptor Nizar Ali Badr, who publishes pictures of his creations on Facebook.

[…]

When the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, Nizar saw tragedies unfolding – homes destroyed, families displaced, children killed. He began to re-create the things he saw in stone.

“I didn’t have a camera to record any of my work,” he said, in a phone interview from Latakia, Syria. “As soon as I finished, I looked at it for some time and then destroyed it to make a new one.”

His stone art became a way to express his emotions and the worries that kept him awake at night, and to share those feelings with the world.

[…]

In the past, Nizar glued the stones on to cards, but now glue is too expensive. Nearly as soon as he has created a piece of art he dismantles it and begins piecing together a new image.

“I take photos of the artwork. This is the only way to preserve them and make sure people will see them,” he said.

[…]

Nizar has created more than 25,000 scenes from daily life in Syria since 2011, he said. He doesn’t sell any of his pieces; he never intended to make a living out of it.

“I am a human before anything else. The conflict has caused me a lot of pain and I sometimes can’t sleep at night,” he said.

“My only consolation is the work I do and therefore I don’t see it as a source of revenue. It is pure passion for stone art. I want to communicate human emotions that people everywhere in the world share, such as love, hope, and sadness.”

[…]

“When I saw all these families being forced to leave their homes, I felt pain. Why should anyone be forced to leave their home?”

Through his art, he tries to showcase the sacrifices people make and the risks they take to escape war and persecution, he said.

Many of his images depict families and children. He attempts to convey the suffering of the most vulnerable and the burden of being on the move.

Nizar Ali Badr’s works are searing in their poignancy, go and have a look at them all. Share them. Remind everyone you know that war is not desirable. It’s a reminder we Americans need right now.

See and read more here.

Elene Usdin.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

© Elene Usdin — Les photographies et illustrations ne sont pas libres de droits.

Oh, go explore the world of Elene Usdin, a world of wonders and evocative stories! A grand place to get lost and wander. Elene Usdin.

Archiatric.

This is truly stunning work, deeply affecting, and cuts right to the core. Click over to see much more, and in detail!

Italian illustrator Federico Babina has turned his attention from movies stars and fairy tale characters to the deep emotions felt by those experiencing mental illness. In his new series Archiatric, Babina’s architectural illustrations demonstrate a deep understanding and empathy for sufferers of psychological disorders.

Through 16 drawings, Babina gives visual representation to some of the mental illnesses that affect millions daily. “I don’t want to put a romantic aura around the discomfort and suffering of mental illness,” Babina explains, “but rather to make a reflection on the prejudices and negative stigmas with which the pathologies of the mind are often observed.”

With simple lines and a clear message, the artist quietly and elegantly explores different disorders. Each, placed in a solitary house that could symbolize our mental environments, is delivered with dignity and understanding.

To accompany the work, Babina created a short video with music by composer Elisabet Raspall. As the melody moves, so does each image, animating into its chosen illness. The result is a touching, and sobering, look at mental illness.

Federico Babina: Website | Instagram | Society6

Via My Modern Met.

Swirls.

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Partners Stephen Stum and Jason Hallman, collectively known as Stallman, marry their individual talent and vision to create mesmerizing three dimensional sculptures out of canvas and paint. Their newest collection of work, titled Canvas on the Edge, aims to highlight the nature of the materials by giving the impression of movement through the use of elevated structures. Different angles reveal varying perspectives that play with a range of color spectrums reflecting off the ridged canvas.

The Pacific Northwest-based duo create each sculpture in tandem, merging as one to produce something unique. Where one acts as the left side of the brain, the other becomes the right, attempting to dissolve boundaries and form a piece that is completely balanced. The two draw inspiration from the natural world, mimicking biological gradients and cellular patterns within each work.

Each multi-faceted sculpture permeates a hypnotic sense of calm, as the pair successfully modify the traditional medium of paint and canvas by adding a new, creative edge.

You can read more, and see much more of this beautiful and intensive work here.