public art

No Comments

This Sculpture Is Williamsburg’s Newest Instagram Bait

Credit: Douglaston Development.

Move over, rainbow bagels.

Deborah Kass‘s iconic OY/YO sculpture made its triumphant return to Brooklyn two weeks ago, and it’s proving irresistible Insta bait.

The sculpture — which reads YO (“I am” in Spanish) or OY (as in the Yiddish “oy vey”) depending which way one faces it — was previously installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Now, a year later, it’s back — this time at the Williamsburg waterfront at the end of N. 5th Street.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

A ‘Fair’ Roger Ailes Memorial, The Secret Life of Plants, and More Art This Week

Rochelle Feinstein, The Week in Hate, 2017, oil on canvas, 40 by 38 inches (via yours mine & ours)

The Roger Ailes Memorial Show: Fair and Balanced
Opening Thursday, July 6 at yours mine & ours, 6 pm to 9 pm. On view through August 4.

When news surfaced that Roger Ailes of Fox News had departed this earthly plane, certain left-leaning pockets of the internet reacted similarly to the announcement that longtime Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia had kicked the bucket. That is, they were not mourning in the typical sense, unless your regular mourning routine includes Twitter jokes and dances of joy. Now, a little over a month since he passed, LES gallery yours mine & ours will be gathering an array of artists to memorialize the man. And remember, being memorialized may have a positive connotation, but it merely means that people are publicly remembering what you did.

A press release for the show has opted not to include a traditional exhibition description, instead reprinting in full an essay by Monica Lewinsky that ran in The New York Times on May 22, 2017. Entitled “Roger Ailes’s Dream Was My Nightmare,” Lewinsky articulates for many paragraphs how Ailes and Fox was one of the first to incessantly cover her sexual involvement with Bill Clinton in a way that she writes made her “[cease] being a three-dimensional person.” The fact that this exhibition elected to uplift a woman’s story instead of trumpet about its own prestige should give you a clue of what’s in store. Keep Reading »

No Comments

What’s Up With the Giant Spikes Outside of Cooper Union?

Jan Palach Memorial at Cooper Union (Photo: Anaka Kaundinya)

Cube, meet spikes.

The Alamo returned in November and now another piece of monumental art is being installed outside of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building. The sculpture, a nine-foot-by-nine-foot cube with spikes mounted on top, is by John Hejduk, an artist, architect and former Dean Emeritus of Cooper Union.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Notorious East Village Landlord Uses Street Art to Paint a Prettier Picture

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Earlier this year, when the East Village’s beloved Stage Restaurant closed in the wake of a dispute with its landlord Icon Realty Management, Brooklyn-based artist Gilf! plastered the diner’s former home with caution tape reading “Gentrification in Progress.” It wasn’t the first time one of the company’s properties was the site of artistic protest: Karen Platt, a resident of an Icon-owned building on East 5th Street, has been known to chalk up the sidewalk with messages like “Enough Is Enough,” and over July 4th weekend, someone spray-painted a message on the sidewalk in front of the now for-rent Stage space that advised, “DO NOT RENT HERE. DO NOT BUY HERE. BOYCOTT IN EFFECT.”

Keep Reading »

No Comments

A By-the-Public, For-the-Public Art Project Takes Shape Under the FDR

Conceptual rendering of the installation (Photo: Courtesy of NY State Senate)

Conceptual rendering of the installation (Photo: Courtesy of NY State Senate)

The Department of Transportation’s newest pet project has been the DOT Art Initiative, which partners with artists and community organizations to bring some color into this concrete jungle. You might have caught last month’s “asphalt activation” at a Citi Bike docking station in Williamsburg. Now, the DOT has partnered up with New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and the non-profit Hester Street Collaborative to set up a temporary public art installation on the South Street median, starting at Rutgers Street.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Can Luxury Chickens, Zimbabwean Mushrooms and a Williamsburg Artist Save Detroit?

Detroit-baed philanthropist Gary Wasserman speaking at Markus Linnenbrink's Williamsburg studio (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Detroit-baed philanthropist Gary Wasserman speaking at Markus Linnenbrink’s Williamsburg studio (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Everything was going rather predictably at the preview event for an upcoming arts initiative in Detroit spearheaded by Gary Wasserman, a well-known steel mogul, philanthropist, and patron of the arts in Southeast Michigan. Inside the Williamsburg studio of Markus Linnenbrink there was the requisite colorful, unprovocative artwork chosen for public display, the starchitect with an approachable design, and talk of revitalization of a bankrupt city through the arts. There were even sandwiches. But once the conversation moved into specifics about Wasserman Projects– namely, the launching of a public outreach initiative involving a modular pavilion, $250 chickens, and Zimbabwean mushrooms– that sandwich nearly fell out of my mouth.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

Billy Rohan’s Public Art Project Is About to Up the Game of LES Roll-Down Gates

(Courtesy 100 Gates)

(Courtesy 100 Gates)

While on sabbatical from the NYC winter in Puerto Rico and working on his latest “Illumignarly” video, NYC skateboarder and Samurai founder Billy Rohan received word that his 100 Gates Program had received a $30,000 grant from the Lower East Side Business Improvement District. A Chinatown resident and active neighborhood advocate, Rohan’s idea was to commission artists to decorate 100 roll-down gates connected to businesses in the LES.

Keep Reading »

No Comments

The Closing Ceremony of The Portals Involved Gypsy Centries, Tallbikes and the Goddesses of Death

Portal 13, The Genesis of Life.  (All photos by Scott Lynch)

Portal 13, The Genesis of Life. (All photos by Scott Lynch)

A gypsy-sentry.

A gypsy-sentry.

Susannah Pryce and her fingernails.

Susannah Pryce and her fingernails.

Kiss Slash Crooked Smile performing upstairs.

Kiss Slash Crooked Smile performing upstairs.

Light show.

Light show.

Angel Eyedealism before her performance.

Angel Eyedealism before her performance.

Portal 4, The Manifestation of the Material World.

Portal 4, The Manifestation of the Material World.

Nap.

Nap.

Justin Riley's sculpture-bike.

Justin Riley's sculpture-bike.

Mbira instruments.

Mbira instruments.

Behind the portal.

Behind the portal.

A Goddess of Death inside the portal.

A Goddess of Death inside the portal.

The chamber of rebirth.

The chamber of rebirth.

There's a person in there.

There's a person in there.

Waiting for a chance at the portal.

Waiting for a chance at the portal.

“I’m a fire dancer,” said Susannah Pryce, who was lurking about the front stairs of the Sixth Street Community Center on Saturday night, dressed as the Goddess of Death. For her role as a macabre guide to the finale of the 13 Portals, she wore glowing face paint, a black cloak, and six-inch fingernails made of curling brown beans. After explaining how she regularly performs at bars with an on-fire instrument that looks like “the bones of a giant geisha fan,” Pryce told us: “Tonight’s portal is about rebirth. And that’s why I’m here. Because everybody has to die to be reborn.”
Keep Reading »

No Comments

Here It Is, the Mystical Interactive Public Art Game You’ve Been Waiting For

Detail of Portal 2, which will be unveiled on July 13th.

Detail of Portal 2, which will be unveiled on July 13th.

The East Village sure is feeling mystical these days.

Artists Nicolina Johnson and Pérola M. Bonfanti will soon unveil their “13 Portals” — murals based on various forms of astrology and ancient spirituality — on abandoned doorways around the neighborhood, with a kooky communal game to tie them all together.
Keep Reading »

No Comments

Olek Swaddled a Car in Yarn, and That Was Really Just the Beginning of Open Canvas

"Forgotten Barrier"

Olek's response to the prompt "Transform Today" was this crocheted mural, which read "All we need is love and money."

"Olek Bike"

Brooklyn-based street artist Olek displayed three pieces on North 6th, including her recognizable crocheted bike.

"Auto Install"

Maybe the most incredible piece of the Open Canvas event was Olek's completely crocheted van.

"Auto Install"

A view from the front.

Posters

Posters

Both sides of North 6th were plastered with posters from artists such as Justin Beal, Michael Zahn and tattoo artist JK5.

Posters

Posters

A finished section of posters on the south side of North 6th Street

"Magnus Salo (The Big Surge)"

Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist ROSTARR is known for his signature calligraphic lines, which he painted in acrylic above Music Hall of Williamsburg.

"Magnus Salo (The Big Surge)"

ROSTARR's mural was undoubtedly the highest public art piece of the Open Canvas Initiative.

"Consider Yourself Warned"

Craig Damrauer's work featured barely legible stenciled phrases warning viewers about fireworks, scams and other dangers, which he was covered with layers of paint.

Passersby

Passersby

Williamsburg passersby look at Danish photographer Asger Carlsen's surreal vinyl photographs that he pasted on a construction fence.

"Air Current(s)"

Mark Nystrom used data collected about wind speed and direction to create his seemingly abstract circles. Each ring corresponds to one hour of wind data.

"Mirror, Peephole"

Andrew Kuo's "Mirror, Peephole" featured many appropriated Internet cat photographs.

"Mirror, Peephole."

New York artist Andrew Kuo and team installed his selection of random images from the Internet on glass storefront windows.

By Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe

By Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe

Freeman and Lowe, known for their immersive installations, based their work off of the cult 1970s sci-fi film "The Star Chamber."

"Memories, Landscapes and Other Lies."

New York-based artist Ara Dymond scraped the paint off the wall that was primed for the Open Canvas event, creating this textural mural.

This past weekend, North 6th Street exploded with energy as more than 20 artists chosen by Absolut’s Open Canvas Initiative transformed a Williamsburg block of storefronts, construction fences and bare walls into colorful, stunning murals. Prompted to “Transform Today,” the artists, who were mostly from the Brooklyn area, worked with a wide variety of materials and mediums — starting with yarn.

Click through our slideshow to see how the event unspooled.