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Art finds a way.

Controversial public art is nothing new in Colorado, the state whose largest airport welcomes you with Blucifer, the red-eyed demon mustang who tragically killed his own sculptor. But for many citizens of Durango, CO, this summer's $28,000 installation of Tom Holmes' piece "Arc of History" wasn't unsettling so much as simply aesthetically insipid. Described as "a giant stone Batman signal," "a flying piece of excrement at the intersection of Highways 160 and 550," or more succinctly, "Turd Rock," Arc of History drew little praise until last week, when an anonymous local resident placed a handmade dinosaur head atop the sculpture on Halloween. But Arc of History's new Mesozoic look was not to be. On Monday afternoon, police received a call that a group of local youth had pilfered the head, sending Durango residents in an uproar. On Wednesday evening, the Durango Herald reported that the dinosaur head had been surrendered to police custody: [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself on Nov 6, 2014 - 81 comments

Don't pee on me, bro.

"The psychology behind why (the God tiles) work is complex. It could be a combination of fearing the wrath of God (especially when one’s pants are down, or even just open) and wanting to seem RC (religiously correct)... I’ve since learned that god tiles aren’t only deployed to stop public urination. In some office buildings, for example, god tiles have been installed in stairways to keep people (OK, mostly men) from spitting on walls. They’ve also been used to prevent people from throwing garbage in certain places."
posted by miss lynnster on Nov 2, 2014 - 14 comments

#Krogisnotforsale

Atlanta's graffiti filled Krog Street tunnel erased in protest. Artists and residents of Atlanta's Cabbagetown neighborhood, angry about an upcoming ticket-holders only masquerade ball (promising a "sultry underground experience" where "taboo will be the norm" for $40 not including drinks) have, in protest, painted over all the graffiti art that made Krog street tunnel remarkable to begin with.
posted by dis_integration on Oct 23, 2014 - 79 comments

...it is impossible to know the true number of works that exist...

The Public Art Archive is a free database of publically visible and accessible works of art, primarily in the United States. It currently contains 8605 works of art, by 3578 artists. For an idea of what's there, they also produced an overview map
posted by frimble on Aug 12, 2014 - 10 comments

L.A. noir to now

A visual tour of downtown Los Angeles, now and then:
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 26, 2014 - 22 comments

A hard stare from a public bench bear

"London has become a literary playground: a project by the National Literacy Trust has scattered 50 book-shaped benches across the capital for the whole summer, each dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character." (The Guardian). The BBC report about the literary benches; the full list of benches from the Books about Town website. CNN has a slideshow that includes a nice photo of the Paddington Bear bench in use.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 25, 2014 - 11 comments

Don't hate this post, make this post hate you

Artist Leaves Cute Motivational Sticky Notes On The Train
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 15, 2014 - 14 comments

That's right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus.

Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 13, 2014 - 165 comments

Timelapse Kelpies

Watch a seven minute timelapse of Andy Scott's work, The Kelpies being erected, a pair of 30ft steel equine statues situated near Falkirk, Scotland. The BBC also has a sped up version, if you don't have the seven minutes spare. [previous, previous] [more inside]
posted by halcyonday on Apr 10, 2014 - 17 comments

“Why is art going in here? This is the ghetto”

The Best Of All Possible Worlds - "A public art contest in Evansville, Indiana becomes a debate over race, class, and good taste." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 7, 2013 - 26 comments

Ballroom Luminoso--outdoor chandeliers made of recycled bicycle parts

Ballroom Luminoso is a series of six chandeliers made of recycled bicycle parts, installed under a freeway overpass in Texas. The chandeliers were commissioned by Public Art San Antonio (PASA) and created by Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock Public Art. When the globes are lit up at night, the results are what O'Connell describes as a cross between a ballroom and shadow theatre.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on May 31, 2013 - 9 comments

The memorial that no one wanted built except the veterans

Although ranked tenth in "America's Favorite Architecture," compiled by the American Institute of Architects, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial - sometimes referred to as simply 'The Wall' - was the at the center of political and artistic controversy and opposition from the time of its announcement in 1981. The Wall, situated in Constitution Gardens adjacent to the National Mall, is "...often referred to as the veterans 3rd battle. The 1st being survival in Vietnam. The 2nd, was dealing with the rejection experienced upon returning home from war. And, the 3rd, building the Wall." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on May 24, 2013 - 59 comments

Sociology in My Neighborhood

JR pledged to “use art to turn the world inside out” but does this mural strip away historical meaning and leave only the commodification of authenticity? "In contrast to Dr. King's and the sanitation workers' demands for significant economic change, JR's demands are for vague existence."
posted by spamandkimchi on May 14, 2013 - 3 comments

All our words are written down in chalk out in the rain on the sidewalk

Each year on March 25, the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Ruth Sergel and a team of volunteers have installed "Chalk," a public art project commemorating the lives lost that day in 1911. Sergel, who also founded the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition has made a publicly available data map that records "the name, home address, likely age, country of origin, and final resting place of all known Triangle Fire victims." Says Sergel, "The chalk will wash away but the following year we return, insisting on the memory of these lost young workers." [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Mar 26, 2013 - 7 comments

Shall the artist survive?

In 1934, the Public Works of Art Project was born. It served to offer employment to many artists, and produced thousands of works of art, including 2000 posters and 1100 murals, primarily in post offices, across the United States. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Feb 7, 2013 - 15 comments

the impossible vocabulary of sorrow

Richard Blanco, a poet, teacher, and engineer, was chosen to be the nation's fifth inaugural poet. He is the author of the collections of poetry "City of a Hundred Fires," "Directions to the Beach of the Dead," "Place of Mind," and "Looking for the Gulf Motel." He is the first immigrant, first Latino, the first openly gay person and the youngest to be the U.S. inaugural poet. The poem he read was "One Today" (full text/analysis)
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 22, 2013 - 28 comments

A Victory for the Caretaker of Dreams

The Caretaker of Dreams Wins The first time the rainbow mysteriously appeared on a tunnel visible from the Don Valley Parkway, the North York parks department painted over it. But the guerrilla mural artist — known as “the Caretaker of Dreams” — persevered, eventually winning them over. Now, 40 years later, the city has officially restored the psychedelic mural that has brought smiles to countless grim commutes — just as the artist intended.
posted by modernnomad on Nov 3, 2012 - 25 comments

The Parasols of Portugal

The Umbrellas of Águenda
posted by IvoShandor on Jul 31, 2012 - 3 comments

Installing concrete type on the grounds of the Blackpool Comedy Carpet

The Comedy Carpet is an enormous public typographic artwork in Blackpool, England, for decades a waystation for every stand-up comedian and comedy troupe in the country. This giant expanse of typography – like a football field of flat concrete you can read and walk on – displays every punchline and catchphrase of 20th-century British comedy, up to and including the entire Monty Python “Parrot Sketch.” Designer Andy Altmann gives a talk (direct Vimeo version) describing the immense design, computation, and construction work that went into fitting all those letters together. [more inside]
posted by joeclark on Jun 18, 2012 - 11 comments

Defenestration

In November, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency accepted a bid from Kennerly Architecture and Planning for an affordable housing complex at Sixth Street and Howard. The plans for the new building (PDF) are striking, but fans of public art will notice that a few things are missing. [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Feb 12, 2011 - 17 comments

The World's Opposing Forces, Plus Giraffes

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]
posted by davidjmcgee on Jul 21, 2010 - 50 comments

Serenading the Streets, or Because New York Isn't Noisy Enough

At 9am on Monday the 21st June, 60 pianos will be distributed and then unveiled across New York City by Sing for Hope. Located in public parks, streets and plazas the pianos will be available until 5th July for any member of the public to play and engage with.

Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. [Previously] You can get piano locations as well as upload videos, photos and stories of you and your friends tickling the public ivories on the official site. The project will be concurrently mounted in London.
posted by Lutoslawski on Jun 17, 2010 - 25 comments

Light Rail + Art

A Six Mile Inquiry Light rail is coming to Saint Paul and will change a significant stretch of a major urban street. An artist is using six miles of the street to showcase photography of local subjects. [more inside]
posted by ShadePlant on May 17, 2010 - 13 comments

The Worst Of Perth

The Worst Of Perth showcases the worst in public art, architecture, design, fashion, car culture, graffiti and suburban landscape in and around Perth in Western Australia, with the occasional public victory over bad art. Substantially NSFW.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Apr 29, 2010 - 16 comments

Event Horizon: Sculpture Installation by Antony Gormley

"Event Horizon1 is meant to encourage viewers to 'reassess their environment and their position in it,' as [Antony] Gormley puts it, due to the sculptures' interruption of their usual surroundings—London,2 in its first installation in 2007, and now New York.3 'There's very little art in these things,' said Gormley of his figures, which he also refers to as 'three-dimensional shadows' and 'indexes.' The sculptures are but copies of his body at a particular time,4 in various poses. Where the 'art' is, then, is in what happens when viewers engage with the figures. 'When you then insert these still industrial fossils into the stream of daily life and real context5 they can begin to be active in the same way that a chemical catalyst ... causes a transformation,' Gormley said. 'I would like to think that's what happening here.'6 [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Apr 13, 2010 - 20 comments

Times Square > Art Square

Times Square > Art Square: "a very complex project with a simple goal: to turn all advertising on Times Square into art."
posted by divabat on Dec 29, 2009 - 39 comments

FOREVER begins when you say yes

A LOVE LETTER FOR YOU is a series of 29 murals visible along the westbound El in Philadelphia. [more inside]
posted by deafmute on Nov 10, 2009 - 21 comments

I left this here for you to read

I left this here for you to read: You can't buy this magazine in bookstores, and you can't subscribe to it. If you do find an issue, it's purely by chance: each month, 50 issues are printed and left in public places across the US and Canada. Each free, collaboratively produced, handmade issue contains short articles, small greyscale images, and sometimes tiny flat objects attached to the pages. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on Apr 27, 2009 - 36 comments

Public Art

Nine Breathtaking and Inspiring Pieces of Public Art.
posted by homunculus on Mar 8, 2009 - 61 comments

Woking Walker

"Once the tripods start to move, no more news comes out of that area..." Fortunately Michael Condron's tribute to The War of the Worlds, put up on its centenary, will continue to remain in place.... [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Aug 9, 2008 - 21 comments

10-foot sea level rise in NYC marked out on pavement

HighWater Line is a public art installation in New York City that will be a 70-mile chalk line marking the boundary of a 10-foot sea level rise. More pictures under Timeline.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 4, 2007 - 13 comments

Y'all mind hanging back? You're jamming my frequency.

Inversion [more pics] [text] "This house has many hearts."
posted by moonbird on Jun 30, 2007 - 31 comments

Porcelain Shrine.

A Mountain of Broken Toilets (1250kb jpg). Brought to you by the relentless Recycle Guy (home of undiscovered literary gem The Brown Sheet. Previously
posted by squalor on Mar 20, 2007 - 21 comments

More interesting looking than the sum of its parts

STEAM. Australian artist Donna Marcus uses kitchenware to make geodesic spheres to be placed in conspicuous locations.
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 1, 2007 - 16 comments

Forget the Tate...

"Primetime Public Art". In 1995, Mel Chin's GALA Committee started using Melrose Place as an art gallery.
posted by goo on Jan 3, 2007 - 6 comments

DIY fireflies

LED Throwies (QT) A simple combination of lithium battery, diffused LED, strong magnet and a little tape. Developed by the Graffiti Research Lab division of the Eyebeam R&D OpenLab, full instructions are posted and take only a few minutes to follow.
posted by cali on Feb 16, 2006 - 53 comments

Ladybird

Ladybird (aka Helen Nodding). You might have already heard about her moss graffiti project, but she has other projects worth checking out. Interview here.
posted by cali on Aug 26, 2005 - 15 comments

Yellow is the new black.

No logos project. Delete!, fettered capitalism in Vienna.
posted by fatllama on Aug 10, 2005 - 23 comments

Patrick Mimran

The Patrick Mimran Billboard Project, an eyesore to New York City inhabitants for the past few years, has imposed the French "artist's" lame, clichéd grievances about the art industry onto anyone driving or walking down W24th, 25th, or 26th Street in Chelsea. It's an infestation. Now, happily, some New Yorkers who have tired of M. Mimran's pretentious sloganeering have decided to fight back. Hurrah!
posted by jeremy b on Dec 17, 2004 - 43 comments

Sculptor Tom Otterness

Selected sculptures from Free Money and Other Fairy Tales and Tom Otterness on Broadway, from the artist best known for his New York public art. Crying Giant was originally designed for the Trade Center Memorial Competition. Other exhibitions as well, including Fairy Tale Sculptures by the Sea. His work is rarely mentioned without the word "whimsical." (WTC mentioned on MeFi here, and Otterness also mentioned here).
posted by Shane on Sep 2, 2004 - 11 comments

Southeast Asian Monuments: A Selection of 100 Slides

Southeast Asian Monuments: A Selection of 100 Slides. ''100 slides of monuments in Mainland Southeast Asia ( Burma, Thailand,Cambodia, Vietnam, selected from the collection of Marijke J. Klokke, are presented here ... '
posted by plep on Feb 7, 2004 - 2 comments

Astor Place Rubik's Cube

Astor Place Rubik's Cube.....for those that have been to Cooper Square in NYC you've surely seen the mysterious cube (scroll down). well, these guys turned that mysterious cube into a Rubik's cube in a prank much like something we've seen on cockeyed.
posted by oliver_crunk on Sep 13, 2003 - 10 comments

Philadelphia Freedom: The Art of Murals

From the website: "Since its inception in 1984, the Mural Arts Program has completed more murals than any other public art program in the nation - more than 2,300 indoor and outdoor murals throughout Philadelphia." To find a specific Philly mural by artist or location, try this.
posted by moonbird on Aug 20, 2003 - 8 comments

Murals

Public Art in Los Angeles, including murals. The Mural Conservancy of LA. Murals in Tucson. Loyalist and republican murals in Northern Ireland. The murals of Diego Rivera (at the Diego Rivera Web Museum). the Diego Rivera Mural Project.
posted by plep on Jul 23, 2003 - 8 comments

Fountains of the World

Aqueduct Magazine has a feature highlighting the finest examples of public artworks that celebrate water. These range from grand to kind of freaky and they even offer a screensaver tribute to same.
posted by BigPicnic on Jun 24, 2003 - 6 comments

High Tec Shadow Play

High Tec Shadow Play 'In Rotterdam, Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer used two 7000 watt lamps to create 1200 square metres of projected images which were overlayed by the shadows of passer-by's. A computer based tracking system monitored the shadows. Once the shadows matched the projected image, a new image (or "scene") was triggered. ' An impressive (if extravagant) bit of public art (QuickTime)
posted by rolo on Jan 31, 2003 - 15 comments

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