Bring me your Ladders! Charlie Brouwer makes Art

Charlie Brouwer "Rise up", Atlanta, GA

Since he turned 60 in 2006, America artist Charlie Brouwer has become popular in the Carolinas and Virginia for "Rise Up".  He asks for donations from the garage, basement or truck.  The old ladders of the handy man, the working man and grandpa touch my heart.  The ladders are spotted with paint, chipped, dented and a slightly broken - but "darn good" for cleaning the gutters.  Thanks … [Read more...]

Design-Build Weekends: Vermont, Germany, UK and Arizona

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Looking for a little hands-on, artistic rejuvenation.  Try Studio in the Woods in the British countryside for only £165 in July.  Or the 72-Hour Urban Action in Germany's Ruhr Valley in July.   Other collaborative Design-Build workshop options include Yestermorrow in Vermont, USA and Arcosanti north of Phoenix, USA.  Both year round.  Yestermorrow is $350 for a weekend and $875 for week. … [Read more...]

Public Artists earn $37,000 annually in England

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IXIA Public Art Online in Britain has just completed its third annual survey of public art.  A few interesting facts. Number of Projects in England: 900 England averaged 20 public art projects per million people. Popular Art Forms: Social engaged practice and festivals with public art are growing fast with local agencies, and art in architecture remains strong.  Large permanent and … [Read more...]

Studio Weave: Thank you for your Work and Words

Studio Weave, Longest Beach

I must have been a sleep to not notice Studio Weave and its directors Je Ahn and Maria Smith.  Read this...  The statement could be crap.  But the work proves it is not. At Studio Weave, we are fascinated by the powerful role that stories play in creating a sense of place, both as a design tool and a way to engage with everyone surrounding a project including clients, consultants and users, both … [Read more...]

Improve “Memory Wound” for the Norwegian massacre

Jonas Dahlberg

Norwegians select "Memory Wound" by artist Jonas Dahlberg. The 43-year-old artist has sliced a three-and-a-half-metre-wide slit into the Sørbråten peninsula, which faces the island of Utøya where Anders Behring Breivik killed 69 people in 2011. It marks a "symbolic wound" in the landscape. I like the memorial as a sculptural reminder.  Simple metaphor of damage landscaped and damaged nation. … [Read more...]

Dallas Memorials: Kennedy and Police

JFK Memorial in Dallas, 1970, by Phillip Johnson

Never been to Dallas, Texas.  Two memorials to learn from:  JFK Memorial , 1970, by Philip Johnson and the Dallas Police Memorial by Ed Baum.  Both are under-successful works of architects caught in transition.  Johnson has several quirks such as tiny, tiny experiments with decoration showing a crack in his modernist faith.  He raises the walls to show the feet and calves of visitors inside the … [Read more...]

Funny Pavilions in Shanghai

Bailianjing Park, Shanghai, by Taranta Creations

A certain ugliness of architectural work has emerged in China.  Ugliness is normally made by long-term neglect or the original laziness by the designer.  But many architects of all nationalities in working in China seem to be working on a style based on a quasi-organic "flow" and plastic injection toy manufacturing.  Perhaps I am just out-of-date.    Glenn Weiss "Living in urban surroundings … [Read more...]

Does Parody Strengthen the Original Work: Carl Andre vs Jordan McKenzie

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  When the silly artist makes childish fun of a great artist, does it strengthen the memories and thoughts regarding the great artist?    In summer 2013, Jordan McKenzie’s performance Carl An(t)dre introduced 20 young people dressed as ants, accompanied by a marching band, promenading through Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s historic landscape creating structures inspired by Carl Andre’s infamous brick … [Read more...]

Is Sculpture Boring? Winners of 4th Plinth

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Public sculpture has been replaced with graphic design at the Fourth Plinth in the UK.  Following the blue rooster, we will now have an elongated "thumbs up" and  the skeleton of a horse.  None of this works require traditional sculpture making skills.  And the conceptual art thinking is just as minimal.  Just scan a found image into the computer, make modest photoshop modifications and send to … [Read more...]

Bruce High Quality Rat at Lever House 2012

BHQF at Lever House, 2012

[contextly_auto_sidebar id="kZZwFmYWvCuQ05uebLC9ixSL8Zz52Jr0"] I missed the bronze rat at Lever House as part of Bruce High Quality Foundation's "Art History with Labor" exhibition in 2012.  When I as working in Times Square, many building and theater owners feared the inflatable rat that would be installed when employers tried to go around the unions.  According to the website. The Foundation … [Read more...]