While on a walk with a friend, we discovered this little grouping of flats off the main street in South Kensington. The street is Reeces Mew. As we walked down the street we were not prepared for what we saw. Right in front of us was a monumental mural of a ski resort. There was snow, skiers and even a chair lift. If that was not enough, the adjacent building had its own wall art, a man watching you. As you look at the snowy mural, you are being watched by the painted figure a few feet away.
The London Taxi // Benedict Radcliffe // Terminal 2 // 2014
London is known for their iconic black taxi cabs. However, in Heathrow International Airport, there is a bright orange taxi. The taxi is an installation in terminal 2 by Benedict Radcliffe. The orange color of the taxi is a far cry from its traditional black yet provides for an interesting interpretation of travel in a space where people are flying from one place to another.
My friends and I were on the lookout for interesting street art when we were exploring the borough of Hackney. Looking around corners, above doors and on sides of buildings, these were our three favorite.
Pucker up! This street artist has been leaving its mark on walls and boards throughout the city of London. With black and white geometric portraits, this bold red lip adds a pop of color to anyone who passes by. These are two I found near Holborn Station and Brick Lane. Have you seen any?
Social Sculpture // Annie Ratti // Bent plywood, metal, fabric // Tête à Tête (You and Me) //1999/2014
In an age where most people spend their time in front of a computer screen or smart phone, in-person, social interaction seems to be a luxury. In Social Sculpture, Annie Ratti has created an intimate seating space. Two small red cushions are surrounded by a tall oval made of wood. When two people sit in the space their knees are supposed to touch. You and the other person share the cozy space, allowing the work to act as a social sculpture.
Vending Machine // Ellie Harrison // 2009 // Vending machine, Arduino board, PC, custom software, crisps
Wow a vending machine in an exhibition! I could definitely go for a bag of crisps right now! Thats what my friend and I were thinking as we saw the vending machine in Somerset House’s exhibition Big Bang Data. But of course it was a work of art. We should have known better. This piece by Ellie Harrison does not accept money in exchange for a bag of chips. The machine is linked to the BBC News RSS feed. Every time the stream mentions a word relating to the recession, a free bag of crisps will drop. Next to the machine is a plaque with a list of “key words” that trigger the free food. Some of the words include: savings, globalization, downturn, credit, chancellor and banks. If you are lucky, you might be there when one of they key words is recognized by the vending machine and you can win a free bag of crisps! I, on the other hand, was not that lucky.
Steps // Alfredi Pirri // 2011
As I entered the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome I was unsure if I should continue. The main entrance was covered with broken mirrors. There were statues on the glass but no one was walking near this cracked floor. Was this a work on display? I searched around trying to find a wall didactic and initially couldn’t find one. So, cautiously I decided to walk over the glass. As I made my journey over the fractured mirrors I looked down, watching myself walk over the work of art. I became part of the work.
Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell // John Baldessari // Acyrlic on canvas // 1966 – 1968
In a work that he did not paint, conceptual artist John Baldessari provides three important tips for artists who want to sell their work. Witty yet surprisingly convincing, Baldessari commentates on the art market and what society deems important qualities for art works in order to be sold. Do you think these tips are accurate?
The Healer // René Magritte // 1967 // bronze // photograph by Erin Fong
Known for his witty and unusual juxtapositions, René Magritte was a famed sculptor and painter in the Surrealist movement. In his bronze sculpture of The Healer [which is currently on view at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC], you can see a man sitting with a cloak, cane and top hat. But where is his head? Instead of a face Magritte placed a bird cage with two birds. What do the birds symbolize? I am not sure. Do you have any ideas?
The Vexed Man // Franz Xaver Messerschmidt // Alabaster // After 1770
Poor man! Every time I look at him I can’t help but chuckle at his scrunched face. Each wrinkle and crease of his face is exquisitely defined in this sculpture. Known as The Vexed Man, the work captures the true emotion of this man. It was sculpted out of alabaster by artist Franz Xaver Messerschmidt.