"The thing I find very exciting is waiting for the subway train and sometimes you'll get a glorious one that arrives decorated like a birthday cake!" Watching My Name Go By is a short 1976 BBC documentary about graffiti, artists, and graffiti artists in New York City. The film is based on Norman Mailer's 1974 essay for Esquire magazine, "The Faith of Grafitti." [via]
In light of Dries Verhoeven's public art of his Grindr interactions (since cancelled), Arne Svenson's show, "The Neighbors" (previously) and Future Femme's piece, Show Me More: A collection of DickPix, and amid questions of legality and ethics, the Guardian examines art, consent and privacy.
All the Buildings in New York. James Gulliver Hancock, an Australian illustrator living in Astoria, draws buildings in New York City. Lots and lots of buildings. (NYTimes interview -- more press) (via) [more inside]
The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page and downloaded through their Map Warper. (Via) [more inside]
From The Atlantic, a series of photography that documents America in the 1970s: the Pacific Northwest | New York City | the Southwest | Chicago's African-American community | Texas [more inside]
Urban miniaturist Alan Wolfson (previously) unveils his latest masterpiece: Katz's Delicatessen (related) [more inside]
Street Tucker: leftovers from the streets of New York City
On May 15, 1981, at The Ritz in New York City, Public Image Ltd. performed as a last-minute replacement for Bow Wow Wow. It didn't end well. (previously) [more inside]
In December 1974, there was a memorial service at St. James Episcopal Church on Madison Avenue for Louise Fitzhugh, author and illustrator of Harriet the Spy, the groundbreaking children's novel that has sold 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1964. [more inside]
For decades Dawn Powell was always just on the verge of ceasing to be a cult and becoming a major religion. But despite the work of such dedicated cultists as Edmund Wilson and Matthew Josephson, John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway, Dawn Powell never became the popular writer that she ought to have been. In those days, with a bit of luck, a good writer eventually attracted voluntary readers and became popular. Today, of course, "popular" means bad writing that is widely read while good writing is that which is taught to involuntary readers. Powell failed on both counts. She needs no interpretation and in her lifetime she should have been as widely read as, say, Hemingway or the early Fitzgerald or the mid O'Hara or even the late, far too late, Katherine Anne Porter. But Powell was that unthinkable monster, a witty woman who felt no obligation to make a single, much less a final, down payment on Love or The Family; she saw life with a bright Petronian neutrality, and every host at life's feast was a potential Trimalchio to be sent up. - Gore Vidal
The Coolest Locksmith Shop in New York City "From a distance, it looks like a bunch of golden squiggles and spirals have been added, snaking whimsically across the facade. But get a little closer and you’ll find the real magic… The new design is made up entirely of keys, literally thousands, and thousands, and thousands of keys, twisting into wonderful assortment of swoops and twirls."
Where can you find the Sun, the Moon, nine giraffes, a lion and lamb lying together, the Archangel Michael holding a sword in one hand and the severed head of Satan in the other, all atop a giant crab which is itself standing on a double helix? Well, there is this one statue. [more inside]
American artist Kiki Smith, a life long Catholic, has taken on an unlikely project: a stained glass window for the Eldridge Street Synagogue Museum on New York City's Lower East Side.
Rock band reunions normally involve, at minimum, a little live music. But as The Velvet Underground are not your typical rock band, maybe none of us should have been surprised that the reunion of The Velvets at LIVE from the NYPL on Tuesday December 8th had none.
Christoph Niemann illustrates: his sons' obsession with the NYC subway (previously), bathroom tile art, New York cheat sheets, and his experiences with coffee (illustrated with coffee on napkins). Check out his excellent portfolio of illustrations and don't miss the ones on illustrating. You can see Niemann talk a bit about his work here.
Hugh Ferriss: Delineator of Gotham. Through his charcoal renderings of dramatic, imaginary skyscrapers in early 1900s New York City, Ferriss influenced the aesthetics of numerous architects with his bold compositions.
"New York City 1968-1972" Some very compelling black and white street photography by Paul McDonough. via
DieKus. Haikus made out of pictures of gravestones, being plastered around New York City by a mysterious artist named Nick Beef. (whose name has some mysterious origins of its own)
Downtown Lives On Are the New Yorkers who lament the passing of cool, outre downtown (victim of high rents and a safer city) just not looking hard enough? Or are Ryan McGinley, Dan Colen, and Dash Snow just punks making bad art? Threat or menace?
Canstruction is a very cool exhibit at the New York Design Center. Take a look at some of these very well done sculptures made using just cans.
Thomas Shine, a former Yale student, is suing David Childs for copyright infringement Mr. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for copyright infringement over the design of the Freedom Tower located at Ground Zero. Shine alleges in his lawsuit that the proposed Freedom Tower was "strikingly similar" to his "Olympic Tower" design for the proposed 2012 Olympic Games in New York.
World of Awe -- Through a portal on 419 East 6th street in Manhattan, a traveler passes into the Sunset/Sunrise--a desert terrain locked into the mindframe between night and day, in search of a lost treasure. The voyage is documented in a journal found on a laptop evidently built by the traveler in Silicon Canyon, which is a graveyard for old computer components. The journal contains letters to an absent lover, travel logs and descriptions of the unique navigation tools. Following a hi-tech/lo tech, double-sided map (Eep & Moo), the traveler describes a search for a treasure that keeps relocating. The only remains found are crumbs fallen from the body of the treasure that surprisingly resemble candy sprinkles.