Month: May 2016

Teenagers’ prank sparks debate over the question, “What is art?”

posted by – 05/31/16 @ 1:50pm


During a recent exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, two California teenagers pulled a prank that drew attention to the question of what is really art. After viewing the majority of the exhibits, most of which were extremely simplistic, including two stuffed animals on a blanket, the teens were perplexed at the simplicity of the works, and they wondered if they too could create art with a mere object.

To test this theory, the teens – Kevin Nguyen, 16, and TJ Khayatan, 17 –  placed a pair of eyeglasses on the floor beneath a placard that describes the theme of the gallery. Though they had experimented with placing both a jacket and a baseball cap on the floor, neither drew any attention. However, once the glasses were placed on the floor, they stood back and observed while, within minutes, visitors began to crowd around and even snap pictures of the fake installation.

Kevin claims that neither he nor TJ did anything to influence museum visitors, such as standing around and looking at the glasses, yet visitors quickly crowded around and inspected the object.

After TJ posted photos on Twitter of the event, a lively debate ensued about what should be defined and counted as art. Several news sites, such as The Huffington Post and NBC Bay Area, covered the episode and propelled the discussion.

Click here to read more!

Street Artist Spotlight: Above

posted by – 05/31/16 @ 1:00pm


Who: Californian born, Berlin-based international street artist

Where:  Throughout the past 17 years, Above has painted in over 100 cities in 60 different countries around the world

What: Above has three different well-known styles of street art – abstract arrow compositions, multilayer social and political stencils and larger text-based murals. Above uses text to convey strong messages and awareness about social and political international current events. Above’s signature symbol is his colorful arrow icon labeled ‘above’.

Street Artist Spotlight: Logan Hicks

posted by – 05/31/16 @ 12:40pm

nightcrawler yellow

Who: New York-based street and stencil artist

Where: CA, MI, London, Norway, Canda and New York

What: Hicks was originally a screen printer, but he also applies these stenciling techniques to his murals and street art. Many of his hand-painted stencils have between 5-8 layers, and their central subject is the dynamics of the urban environment in a city such as New York. Hicks is known for his ability to capture the mundanity of city life, along with its haunting beauty. Hicks has developed his own style of screenprinting where he spray paints his detailed stencils. The grit of the spray paint mimics the decay of the city, while the metallic paint represents hope within the hopelessness of the city. This dual relationship with the city is what inspires Hicks’ work.

Street Artist Spotlight: Faith47

posted by – 05/26/16 @ 12:21pm

faith47 1

Who: internationally-acclaimed, studio-based street artist from Cape Town, South Africa

Where: Faith47’s artwork has been displayed in Sweden, UK, France, Tunisia, USA, Australia, Italy, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and more, and her street creations can now be found in major cities around the world

What: Faith47 is acknowledged as one of the most politically engaged contemporary artists, and she displays a great social awareness throughout her pieces. Many of Faith47’s works are inspired by the political and social issues in post-apartheid South Africa. One particular focus of Faith47’s work is the feminine existence: the woman as a strong and also struggling figure. Through her art and the wielding of these themes, Faith47 attempts to condemn the injustices in our society and spread a more positive message.

Street Art Spotlight: Swoon

posted by – 05/26/16 @ 12:03pm


Who: contemporary, American street artist, commissioned to paint a mural in downtown Nashville as Part II of the Nashville Walls Project

Where: Asia, Europe and the USA

What: Swoon is best known for her illustrative portraiture. She works in a wide-ranging practice including installation and performance, and her work has recurring activist themes. Swoon often works with recycled newspaper and glues her work to the sides of architecture in urban settings using wheat paste. Swoon currently lives in New York City.

Street Art Spotlight: Hush

posted by – 05/26/16 @ 11:46am

hush 3

Who: UK-based street artist, commissioned to paint a mural in downtown Nashville as part of the Nashville Walls Project

Where: Asia, Europe and the USA

What: Hush draws his inspiration from graphic novels, animation and other street art. He is particularly inspired by the evanescence of street art, as well as how street artists add to and adapt each other’s work over time. The central image in Hush’s work is the female form, particularly as portrayed in Anime and manga. His style, which combines characters and pop-infused imagery has come to be described as Urban Abstract Pop.


10,000 pieces of wood create 1 hollow sanctuary

posted by – 05/24/16 @ 2:41pm


Katie Paterson’s latest installation at Royal Fort Gardens in Bristol, England, titled “Hollow”, was created using samples from over 10,000 different types of wood. She describes her creation as “a microcosmos of all the world’s trees”. The wood samples that comprise this work were collected from around the world, and they are the result of three years of dedicated work and travels. Paterson uses many common tree species, such as redwoods, ginkgos, cedars and palms. In addition, she managed to obtain a piece of a 5,000-year-old Methuselah tree, one of the oldest living organisms in the world, as well as a piece of railroad from the Panama Canal Railway and wood from the Atlantic City Boardwalk that was destroyed in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy.

Paterson’s sculpture encompasses almost the entire arboreal history, containing a sample of petrified wood thought to be 390 million years old, along with pieces of the oldest and youngest trees in the world. Many of the trees are closely linked with important stories of humanity, such as the Indian Banyan Tree, the tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment, and the Japanese Ginkgo tree in Hiroshima, the tree which survived World War II. The sculpture also represents almost every country on the planet.  Though it more closely resembles a native american wigwam or a pile of wooden blocks from the exterior, the interior of the sculpture holds thousands of wooden rods of varying sizes that extend downward from the ceiling and upwards from the floor, creating the appearance of stalactites and stalagmites. Two people can fit inside the sculpture, which serves as an enclosed, meditative space where one is literally surrounded by the history of the world. Sunlight enters the sculpture through openings in the roof. This filtered light resembles the dappled effect of sunlight through a forest ceiling.


Several of Paterson’s past projects have also experimented with fusing the natural world and its sciences with artistic sculpture and installation. “Hollow” was commissioned by the University of Bristol and made in collaboration with Zeller & Moye architects. The installation will be permanently located in the Royal Fort Gardens in Bristol, England. To read more, see the article here.

Louis Vuitton Foundation transformed into “The Observatory of Light”

posted by – 05/19/16 @ 11:12am


Daniel Buren, a French conceptual artist, has been working for five decades with stripes. Using various colors, sizes and materials, Buren applies the stripes to different objects and environments. His chosen environments have ranged from esteemed museums to grungy bus stops. Buren’s latest target, however, was the Louis Vuitton Foundation building. Above the building are 12 glass-paneled “sails” that tower and seem to float above the museum; these Buren carefully glossed over with several translucent colored gels, converting the sails into checkerboards of color. The installation, called “The Observatory of Light”, opened this month and will run through the end of the year.

Buren describes his stripes as a tool to draw attention to a specified space. For example, inside the museum, Buren’s stripes provide verticality by always pointing toward the ground, unlike much of the architecture in the building. Seen from the outside of the building, the stripes provide more of a color-oriented experience for the viewer. As the sun moves across the sky, the colors in the painted panels stretch across the buildings and ground, picking up shades and hues of their surroundings such as green from trees and grass and red of nearby brick buildings and then reflecting those colors back onto whatever space or object the colored light hits.

Buren also has entertainment plans for the Louis Vuitton Foundation. From June 2nd – 4th, Buren has planned a series of performances, titled the “BurenCirque”, that will be performed in tents on the building’s lawn. The actors in each tent are to be asked to simply react to the space and the primary colors displayed. All three tents will perform shows simultaneously, with colliding noises issuing from each, so that the audience receives a multisensory experience. These works by Buren are an interesting and original way to create art that has a strong relationship with its setting, as well as a prime example of how the natural world can manipulate our perception of a created object.