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Archive for the ‘Photo of the day’ Category

Fish in love at 5 Pointz

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

I can’t imagine that depicting fish in love is a very popular artistic theme, but that’s the theme of this graffiti mural at the former 5 Pointz graffiti mecca in Long Island City. I say “former,” because the buildings there were torn down in November 2014 in advance of building new apartment buildings. If anyone knows who this artist is, let us know.

graffiti mural at 5 Pointz in Long Island City

The issue of scale in art

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

I saw this sticker art graffiti piece (below at top) somewhere in NYC, and it kind of reminded me of an abstract expressionist piece, and Robert Motherwell in particular. But whereas Motherwell’s paintings were often quite big, as you can see from the 2nd image (below at bottom), this sticker art piece was probably only around 2 by 4 inches in size … but don’t you think it would be cool to see this graffiti piece scaled up on canvas like a Motherwell? I think it would work quite well as a large-scale painting.

abstract expressionist graffiti

Sticker art graffiti at top; painting by Robert Motherwell below.

Hank Aaron, Football Helmets, and Jean-Michel Basquiat

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

I’ve been a big fan of the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat for at least 20 years, and had never seen this football helmet piece before today. Looking at it, one can take it at face value and say that it’s pretty straightforward, he simply took a crusty old football helmet and wrote the name “Aaron” on the front, and then drew a picture of his iconic crown above it. But there’s more going on here: it’s suggested that “Aaron” refers to Hank Aaron, so why did he write a baseball player’s name on a football helmet? And if you look at the side of the helmet, you can see it’s an old St. Louis Rams helmet, but he painted it silver with a black stripe down the middle, referencing the look of the Oakland Raiders’ helmets. And considering the Raiders are often stereotyped as “outlaw” characters (think Al Davis, Kenny Stabler, Lester Hayes, etc.), did Basquiat consider Hank Aaron as some type of outlaw figure? A visually-simple piece like this actually triggers quite a few topics to consider …

Jean Michel Basquiat makes a Hank Aaron Oakland Raiders football helmet

Identifying a street art skull

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

I like the trio of characters in this photograph of sticker art graffiti seen in Bushwick (Brooklyn) … we’ve got the matriarch overlooking her ballcap-wearing human skull and animal skull … but then I wondered, what type of animal skull is that? Scroll down for more …

street art with stickers seen in Brooklyn

My first thought was that maybe I could ID the animal skull by looking at some of Irving Penn’s photographs from his “Cranium Architecture” series. My guess was that this sticker art piece was based on a tiger skull, but in looking at some of Penn’s images, of which you can see two examples below, reveals that the presence of large front fangs extends to a number of different animals, as this hyena and lion show. So then I did a search specifically for “tiger skulls,” and found several pictures which almost look like they could have been used as direct inspiration for our sticker art piece … scroll down to see the matches that I found. Mystery of the animal skull solved.

Hyena and lion skull photographs by Irving Penn

sticker art graffiti matched up with images of tiger skulls

Turning a found object into a visual story

Monday, April 27th, 2015

If you saw my last post, I found a crushed Hot Wheels car outside that for some reason grabbed my interest. After I took a picture of it, it seemed to beg for a back story to be created for it … so after a little Photoshop fun, here’s what I came up with to explain the crushed car.

Photoshopped reality

Hot Wheels Still Life

Monday, April 27th, 2015

I just happened upon this crushed Hot Wheels car on the edge of my driveway upon my return from my daily dog walk. I’m not sure where it came from, since there are no kids of Hot Wheels-enthusiast age on our end of the street. But there was something about the state of it being crushed that seemed visually interesting, so I picked it up and brought it in, thinking I’d photograph it and see what came of it. I kind of like how the sense of scale gets a bit vague when photographed against a white surface and with no context. But it also seems to be begging for a story, so check back soon for our next idea of creating a story to accompany the image.

found hot wheels car which is crushed

Sharing the sentiments of artist Doug Aitken

Friday, April 24th, 2015

These two mixed-media art works are by Doug Aitken, and are from a past exhibition at the 303 Gallery in New York (which took place about 2 years ago). It’s still a sentiment that often rings true, the feeling that there’s not enough time in the day to make and/or appreciate art! For more on Doug Aitken and his art, check out our Gallery Insider feature about his “Sonic Fountain” here.

Doug Aitken exhibition at 303 Gallery

Finding mystery with street view

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

I’ve had some fun looking for unusual images via Google’s street view in the past, and thought I’d do a little snooping around again this morning. Today I went looking around in my hometown of Minneapolis, choosing to venture around Dupont Avenue on the north side of town. I happened upon this view, below, which I found interesting for a number of reasons. Please scroll down for more …

street view of Dupont Avenue North in Minneapolis

I like the fact that it seems like there’s not much sign of activity anywhere in this picture, except for the kid on his bike who was caught staring straight at the camera. But it’s some of the architectural elements that really add some mystery to the picture, such as the two car garage which was built underground, with no logical connection or easy access to the house. Plus, there’s no apparent handles on the garage doors, adding to the bunker mentality. And then there’s the odd little house back behind the garage on the right side – it doesn’t really look like a garden shed, so what is it? The shape of that little house also brought to mind some better-known images by the photographers William Christenberry and Walker Evans, pictured below. It’s amazing how a simple street view photograph can spark the imagination to create one’s own little mystery story about what’s going on here in North Minneapolis.

photographs of churches by William Christenberry and Walker Evans

Pets + Graffiti + Procrastination = a new collage

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Sometimes my procrastination really gets the best of me … I’m in my office, easily distracted from the work at hand, when I notice that all three of my pets – two dogs and a cat – are sprawled out together on the floor. The creative urge hits, I dig through some old graffiti photos from 5 Pointz, and came up with this image. Maybe this should be a new art movement … Procrastinism, anyone?

2 dogs, a cat, and graffiti from 5 Pointz

Geometric art on the exterior of the Baltimore Aquarium

Friday, April 10th, 2015

The Baltimore Aquarium has a lot of cool things to see on the inside, one of which is the 3-story, 225,000-gallon shark tank called “Shark Alley.” But the outside of the Aquarium has some nice features as well, including this geometric art on the exterior of the building. The colorful shapes really make the building jump out on the waterfront … even with all of the great art to be seen in Baltimore, the Aquarium was still one of our favorite destinations on this recent trip.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore with geometric art on the exterior

Vincent Van Gogh at Artsology Artsology offers free online games about the arts, and delivers investigations into topics in the visual arts, music, and literature. Artsology is a good resource for fun learning about the arts for people of all ages and is enjoyed by students, homeschoolers, and adults. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page. Pablo Picasso paintings at Artsology

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