Friday, October 31, 2014

Boo York!

The fall sunset sky. Taken from City Island in the Bronx, 2014. Happy Halloween!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

World Trade Center Mural

This mural known as "Forever Tall" was painted on the side of a restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the days following September 11, 2001. Upon seeing it, the twinkling flowers in the outline of the Twin Towers amidst the other city lights evoked an emotional response in me. I felt the vibrancy of the souls lost as something separate from all of that sameness. This work of art was my favorite out of all the memorials and dedications from that period around Manhattan. I'm relieved to have found it documented as I missed getting to the area with my own camera. Thirteen years later, yes, we remember.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Balancing Beach Art

Last week, I took a mini-vacation to San Francisco then a friend graciously drove me to Monterey for a family wedding. We stayed in Cannery Row for the night, and stumbled across these sculptural balancing rock formations (known as rock cairns) on the beach just in front of our seaside lodging. Are they art? Or are they some form of meditations? The guy who made them was out there day and night hoping to catch some tips from enamored tourists like us.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Brooklyn Visit

graff street art mural
Earlier this summer, I went back to my old neighborhood in Brooklyn to check out the enormously popular exhibit by Kara Walker at the soon-to-be-demolished Domino Sugar Factory (new photo-filled post about that coming soon). I saw how much the area has changed in the last couple of years. Even when I lived there, the development was rapid, and hot spots were popping up where an empty lot had been just a week ago. On my way to the art show by the Brooklyn Waterfront, I discovered these two colorful murals by Phetus (top) and R. Robots (bottom).

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer Weekend in the Chesapeake

Last weekend, I took a break with the family and went on a summer road trip to Virginia. We did some crabbing and fishing on their beautiful, green private inlet. We later enjoyed a big clambake with oysters grown on their property and the crabs we caught along with homegrown tomatoes and corn. This is a summer tradition a city girl could get used to!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

NYC's Big (Faberge') Egg Hunt

Over two hundred sixty large egg sculptures designed by notables in art and fashion have been scattered across the five boroughs of New York City. This interactive egg hunt allows egg seekers to use their smart phones and social media to "collect" the eggs and incorporate social media. The big egg hunt is modeled after a similar one held in the UK in 2012. The eggs will be auctioned and the proceeds will benefit art charity, Studio in a School, and Elephant Family, a conservation program. Egg collectors can also win a real FabergĂ© egg jewelry.
An egg designed by Diane von Furstenberg (above left) and graffiti artist, Retna (below).
Artist, Jeff Koons, designed the kid-friendly walrus/seal combo egg in the same style as his recent work from the inflatables from the Easy Fun Series (below) - and no egg hunt of this size and scale would be complete without Humpty Dumpty representing the event as he sits front and center in Rockefeller Center (last picture).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Looking Back at the Art of Swoon

Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2004)

I moved to Greenpoint in 2000 when it still very much a Polish neighborhood and in many places, an industrial wasteland; not the fancy, hip and cool place it has now become. Often feeling uninspired in my own painting and in need of some air and a long walk, I would head out from within the confines of my apartment with my camera to explore. In the adjacent neighborhood of Williamsburg, I had a few favorite spots that I knew would keep changing when it came to street art. They would get "hit" all the time by many artists, and I could always get some good shots. I liked to see what had changed since the last time I ventured beyond the four walls. This activity of walking and taking pictures and interacting with the art of the streets inspired me. In many ways, it saved me from the boredom of my new surroundings. I felt like I was visiting a museum and returned to my new home renewed with vigor and ready to paint.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2002)

Amidst the simple bubble letter graffiti "throw ups", I started to recognize the work of Swoon (Caledonia Curry) around the neighborhood. Immensely talented, her pieces consisted of intricately cut paper of life-sized figures depicting regular neighborhood folk. With a feminine touch, they were launched onto abandoned walls with wheatpaste. Sometimes the pieces were rendered with sketchy lines. Other times, they were simple paper silhouettes; the negative space giving the work its stark contrast with whatever background was chosen. The paper would eventually discolor, transform, peel, and fade away which is always part of the game. Art of this ilk is temporary.  
Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2005)

I always kept an eye out for the immediately recognizable pieces by Swoon, and have followed her work over the years. I later learned that she was a fairly recent graduate from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn (like myself). I still wonder what her professors had to say then about her work during those dreadful class critiques, and what they would think of her doing her paste-up work on the street in the dead of night. After all, the practice of street art is still very much a man's game. 
Williamsburg Brooklyn, (2006)

In 2010, I headed to Braddock, PA for a road trip. I heard a lot about this once-thriving rust-belt town becoming an area that was being revitalized by artists, galleries, new business, and urban farming. It was a haven for artists and entrepreneurial types fed-up with big-city prices who were starting over in this industrial steel town that was now virtually forgotten. When I arrived, I was delighted to see that lots of recognizable street artists had altered the urban decay of Braddock's streets with murals. Swoon was among them, and she continues to be involved with the area's transformation.
 Braddock, PA (2010)
Braddock, PA (2010)
Braddock, PA (2010)
Braddock, PA (2010)
Braddock, PA (2010)
Braddock, PA (2010)
Braddock, PA (2010)

Today, a major show by Swoon, Submerged Motherlands, opens at the Brooklyn Museum. I bet those professors from Pratt would be impressed. Jealous even. You can bet that I'll be checking out that show soon. More photos of Swoon's work will surely be here. Stay tuned.
Ice Queen, Scope Art Fair 2014
Slate Gallery, Brooklyn (2010)
Slate Gallery, Brooklyn (2010)
Brooklyn Waterfront Shelter Sculpture, East River State Park Installation (2010)
Larger-than-life Ice Queen, Downtown Brooklyn Flatbush area (2013)
Small Print, Scope Art Fair (2010)
Bushwick, Brooklyn (with Stikman) (2009)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2005)
Braddock, PA (2010)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Online Look

I've incorporated some tile design behind my own designs. In an effort to spruce up my online Etsy store, my artwork is now backed by some bold geometric pattern. Stop by and have a look!