The Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York has a reputation for being a popular destination for those seeking respite from the oppressive heat and congestion of the city during the summer months. Those venturing out to parks and beaches between now and Labor Day (September 3) will have the opportunity to experience a site specific installation of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama (previously), presented by MoMA PS1 as a part of the Rockaway! 2018 free public art festival.
The installation is situated inside of an old train garage at Fort Tilden and is comprised of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres. The spheres reflect the graffiti-covered walls and rusted beams of the dilapidated building, so while the viewer is walking among the shiny garden, they are also seeing the destruction that Hurricane Sandy caused to the structure and to the region back in 2012. Rockaway! 2018 is the third iteration of a festival said to be a “celebration” of the recovery efforts that have taken place over the years, but the state of the building chosen for Kusama’s installation shows that things are still not back to normal after the devastating natural disaster.
Narcissus Garden was first presented in 1966 as a part of an unofficial performance at the 33rd Venice Biennial. The silver spheres were then made of plastic, and Kusama stood among her garden with a sign that read “Your Narcissism for Sale.” “What was most important about Narcissus Garden at Venice was my action of selling the mirror balls on the site, as if I were selling hot dogs or ice cream cones,” Kusama once said in an interview. The spheres were sold for $2 each.
The current installation is not for sale, but it is free and open to the public Friday through Sunday and on Labor Day from noon to 6pm. (via Hyperallergic)
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The Coralarium is the newest aquatic sculpture by artist Jason deCaires Taylor (previously here and here). Built in a large developed coral lagoon in the Maldives, the semi-submerged installation is positioned so both human and marine visitors can interact with sculptural elements on the skyline, inter-tidal waterline, and seabed.
To reach the Coralarium, island guests traverse about 500 feet (150 meters) of shallow water, seascaped with underwater poplars and endemic corals. About 20 feet (6 meters) tall, the open-air stainless steel cube is designed based on natural coral structures and allows tidal water and marine life to pass through. Within the structure, which provides some refuge from the ocean’s currents, are several figurative sculptures that merge human, plant, and coral shapes, based on endemic species of the island and its surrounding reefs. Additional sculptures sit and stand atop the cube’s roof to unite the interior elements with the horizon.
The aquatic destination is accessible via small group tours led by marine biologists that are on staff at the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort. You can see more of Taylor’s work on Facebook and Instagram, and the video below shows the creation of the Coralarium. (via Web Urbanist)
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Color Problems: A Republished Tome Reveals the Color Wisdom and Poetics of 19th-Century Artist Emily Noyes Vanderpoel
In 1901 artist and historian Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (1842-1939) published the painting manual Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color under the guise of flower painting and decorative arts, subjects that were appropriate for a woman of her time. The study provided an extensive look at color theory ideas of the early 20th-century. Her research-based techniques were later used and circulated by men without mention of her name, and are now commonly used in art curriculums. Many of the included studies predict design and art trends that wouldn’t occur for several decades, such as a concentric square format that predates Joseph Albers’s Homage to the Square by fifty years.
In addition to color lessons and guides, the 400-page book features an extensive collection of her original and intently poetic methods of color analysis, from detailing the color relationships in quotidian objects like a found teacup and saucer, to color swatches of wool sorted by a color-blind man. There is also a watercolor series that poignantly observes the nuanced color of her private moments, such as the bruised colors found in a shadow on white ground or the inherent tones of woods that lay on the edge of a meadow.
Vanderpoel was vice president of the New York Watercolor Club, an organization founded in response to the American Watercolor Society’s policy to not accept women as members. Despite the history and visual wisdom detailed in her color guide, the tome never received the audience it deserved. Brooklyn-based publisher The Circadian Press along with their collaborators Sacred Bones Records aim to change this with a new print of the 118-year-old guide. The project just raised funding for more than five times its initial goal on Kickstarter, and plans to go into production in the fall.
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Australian artist Daniel Agdag (previously) produces invented contraptions and antiquated flying machines from cardboard, timber, and trace paper, turning his whimsical fantasies into highly detailed sculptures. The works seek to connect his audience with the mechanics located beneath the exterior of modern machines, while emphasizing the complexity present in our everyday experiences.
New sculptural works include a flying caboose the combines the visual language of locomotives and hot air balloons, and a turbine-assisted car that moves horizontally along a raised track. In addition to these new pieces, Agdag has also released a short film with producer Liz Kearney titled Lost Property Office. The stop motion animation follows a custodian named Ed through his solitary work in a large city’s Lost Property Office, exploring the whimsical creations he builds from discarded objects and machines. Over 2,500 sheets of recycled cardboard were utilized over the course of film’s 18-month production, which translated into 1,258 hand-crafted and Art Deco-style set pieces and props.
Agdag and Kearney’s film is currently being screened at film festivals all over the world. Next month Lost Property Office will travel to the New Zealand International Film Festival for Animation Now! on August 2 and 6, 2018 and the Palm Springs International Animation Festival from August 22-26, 2018. You can watch the trailer for the short in the video below, and see more of Agdag’s sculptural objects on his website and Instagram.
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Glass artist Kim KototamaLune creates ethereal sculptures that resemble abstracted organic shapes and faces. She builds delicate glass grids without molds, which she then works into sculptural form and displays in darkened rooms. This presentation allows light to permeate, which both illuminates the sculptures from within and casts dramatic shadows on the surrounding walls.
The artist was born in Vietnam and now lives and works in France, and has studied multiple languages. Cultural identity, the origins of life, and in-between spaces play into her inspirations. KototamaLune shares with Colossal that she seeks to create an “uncharted territory in order to engage in a silent dialogue with the ‘strangers’ living in us. Those sculptures arise from the will to recover within each of us what is common in our fetal origins.'”
KototamaLune is represented by Da-End Galerie, with whom she’ll be showing work at the ASIA NOW art fair in Paris from October 17 – 21, 2018. You can also see her work through September 15, 2018 at Villa Tamaris Art Center in southern France. Discover more sculptures in KototamaLune’s portfolio on her website.
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Los Angeles-based illustrator and storyboard artist Victo Ngai produces layered illustrations that reveal elaborate worlds filled with unexpected details. A beautiful expanse of unencumbered nature stands guarded inside a wide-mouthed bullfrog, while a seaside city burns with brilliant flames in the fabric of a heroine’s dress. Each scene inspires the viewer to pause, making sure they haven’t missed a key character that might unlock the work’s tangled narrative. Ngai is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and provides illustrations for clients such as The New York Times and The New Yorker. You can view more of her colorful artwork on Instagram and Behance. (via Booooooom)
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Last week Boston-based astrophotographer Abdul Dremali captured a glowing Mars as it rose above a Rhode Island beach. In the image it rests just beneath the overhead Milky Way as its powerful reflection forges a golden streak in the water below. Currently the red planet is its brightest since 2003 when it was closer to Earth than it had been in 60,000 years.
“I drove down to Rhode Island for the new moon since that’s the best time to catch the Milky Way,” Dremali tells Colossal. “I knew Mars was near opposition, so I timed to be out there by 10pm when Mars was rising. I’ve captured Mars many times throughout this Milky Way season, but due to a severe Martian storm, and it being so close, it’s brighter than ever.”
Two months ago Dremali photographed Mars from Monument Valley, and then in Joshua Tree National Park just a few days later. If you want to try your own astrophotography make sure to look for what appears to be a bright red star from now until September 7. Mars will temporarily shine brighter than Jupiter, securing a place as the fourth-brightest object in the sky. You can view more of Dremali’s star-spotted images on his Instagram and Twitter, and browse prints for sale in his online shop. (via PetaPixel)
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Editor's Picks: Street Art
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.