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Posts Tagged ‘Artist’

Artist caught using stolen photos for $20,000 Calgary art installation

09 Dec
Image by Derek Besant via Avenue Calgary

A public art installation in Calgary has been removed after it came to light that the artist behind it, Derek Michael Besant, used copyrighted photos as part of the project without permission.

Besant was commissioned by the city of Calgary a couple years ago to create the $ 20,000 CAD / $ 15,500 USD art exhibit as part of the city’s 4th Street S.W. Underpass Enhancement Project. The resulting exhibit, which was located in the 4th St. S.W. underpass, featured large Polaroid-esque images showing blurred individuals with brief quotes overlaid onto them.

The individuals in the images were allegedly travelers with whom Besant had interacted in the underpass. Local publication Avenue Calgary reported in 2015 that Besant had spent a couple days in the underpass with “a camera, notepad and recorder” to get images and quotes from people who passed through. However, that lie fell apart after a Calgary traveler noticed that one of the project’s images resembled UK comedian Bisha Ali.

He sent Ali a note about it, at which point she began deconstructing the lie publicly online, pointing out that at least a few of the other images were also portraits of comedians. Ali detailed the entire saga in a long Twitter thread accessible here.

Late last month, Canadian publication MacLean’s unraveled the rest of the story, reporting that the images were swiped from the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and that the artist had recommended to Calgary Head of Community Services Kurt Hanson that the city take down the exhibition.

In a tweet on the matter dated November 29th, Ali reported that Calgary was taking down the art installation:

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Picnic at the Border: Artist JR Hosts Bi-National Meal at a Giant Table

12 Oct

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]


At one small point on the United States-Mexico border, where two towns named Tecate are separated by a fence, residents of both countries sat down to the same picnic at a gigantic table printed with ‘The Eyes of the Dreamer.’ This new event, held on October 8th, comes just weeks after the artist rolled out a massive 65-foot-tall photographic installation of a toddler peering over the fence from the Mexico side.

“GIANT PICNIC at the border today in Tecate … people eating the same food, sharing the same water, enjoying the same music (half of the band on each side) around the eye of a dreamer … we forgot the wall for a minute …” says JR in a Facebook post.

Picnic-goers sat down to the same meal at one big table for the single-day installation, which was apparently pulled off with the help of a sympathetic border guard. A band played, with some of its members sitting on the U.S. side and others on the Mexico side.

JR is well known for these black-and-white photographic installations, which are put up all over the world, often without official permission. The subjects of his portraits are usually everyday people who live in the area. The TED Prize winner says he aims to use art to “turn the world inside out.”

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NYC Transformed: Graffiti Artist Turns Urban Objects into 3D Cartoons

29 Jul

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

No street grate, pipe, manhole cover, stack of barrels or concrete blob on the beach is too random and irregular to be transformed into a lighthearted cartoon. Street artist Tom Bob looks for the potential in every alleyway, every sidewalk – seeing all sorts of creatures and scenes and bringing them to life in his signature vivid, playful style. You’ll never see street debris the same way.

BEFORE & AFTER ? Found this street sign end post as is. #bartsimpson #after #streetart #cartoonface #bart #simpson #tombobnyc #stencilart #thesimpsons #? #beforeandafter #tombob

A post shared by Tom Bob (@tombobnyc) on

JUMP ROPE GIRL #??#bikerack #jumpropegirl #sillouette #streetart #newbedford #massachusetts #brockavenue #nbma #southend #tombobnyc #publicart #tombob #jumprope

A post shared by Tom Bob (@tombobnyc) on

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A BEE!! ? RIP #muhammadali #thegreatest #boxer #champion #ali #cassiusclay ? #floatlikeabutterfly ? #stinglikeabee ? #streetart #saltspreader #tombobnyc #bumblebee #bee #?

A post shared by Tom Bob (@tombobnyc) on

The artist posts many of his creations on Instagram, sometimes showing before-and-after shots that give us an idea of just how mundane the scenes looked before he arrived with his cans of paint. Abandoned construction equipment becomes giant insects, a squashed traffic cone is roadkill, utility boxes turn into monkeys or crabs. The pieces seem to send a message that fun is wherever you want to find it.

ROAD KILL!! #splat #trafficcone #streetart #tombobnyc #stencil #tombob #stencilart #roadkill

A post shared by Tom Bob (@tombobnyc) on

Quiney #enjoying her @oreo #cookie @buttonwoodpark #nbma #? #oreocookie #manholecover #oreo #manholecover #streeart #stencil #manholecoverart #tombob @hmimoso4 @dlupe #oreocookies

A post shared by Tom Bob (@tombobnyc) on

? If you are in #newyorkcity tonight, come check out this piece I have in a group show @theskinnybar 174 #orchardstreet #les 7-4am curated by @djpumpkin #menatwork #warning #streetsign #roadsign #catching #gator #? #alligator #croc #sewer #sewergator #streetart #tombobnyc

A post shared by Tom Bob (@tombobnyc) on

With everything going on in the world, it’s good to have some levity to balance out the bad. The artist – whose real name is Thomas Bobrowiecki – was born in Massachusetts and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design at Southeastern Massachusetts University.

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Eyebombing Bulgaria: Artist Adds Googly Eyes to Bollards, Bins & Pipes

09 Jun

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

As public art interventions go, googly-eye additions to urban objects and surfaces are pretty simple to implement, effectively animating their surroundings without too much work (or risk of being caught).

Humans are naturally wired to read faces into ordinary things, but an extra cue or too by someone like Vanyu Krastev solidifies the effect, often with hilarious results.

Cracked bollards become crooked Pac Man-esque creatures and gaping water pipes seem to scream while doors and garbage cans gain strange sentience. The emotive range of these inanimate objects is quite impressive, considering it’s entirely in the eye of the viewer (and the two eyes placed on a given thing).

Eyebombing is nothing new (at least as old as the internet and probably as old as ‘googly eyes’ themselves), but always a fun way to lighten someone’s day as they pass by on the street. It’s also a form of expression anyone can engage in — very little skill or cash required.

It is “different from traditional types of street art like tagging, sticking, stencils” according to Eyebombing.com because “the above forms are largely driven by egocentric behaviour, like getting seen, respect and maybe a hope to get famous, often using vandalism as modus operandi.”

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Film artist explains what’s wrong with new ‘Spiderman: Homecoming’ poster

27 May

There’s a new Spiderman movie coming out (yes, really – another one) and the most recent poster been generating a lot of comments. Mostly they’re comments about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.

While the film itself looks like it might not be terrible, the poster is a technicolor mishmash of disparate elements from the movie, thrown together with gleeful disregard for scaling or uniform lighting:

In an interview with The Verge, veteran illustrator Tommy Lee Edwards explains what probably went through the designer’s mind: “Here’s a bunch of references I got from the movie. Let’s put it all together and see how it looks.’ From there, you might be inspired to do a real poster. Instead, they just stopped at that point”.

Well, to be fair, nobody ever said graphic design was easy.

Read more at The Verge

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Trippy Transformations: Makeup Artist Creates Unreal 3D Illusions

26 May

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

Makeup artist Mimi Choy slices, disjoints, stretches, blurs and otherwise radically transforms her own face in stunningly realistic optical illusions using nothing but makeup. No templates, prosthetics or Photoshop go into the creation of her surreal photos – she freehand them all, often using standard cosmetics from brands like MakeupForever and Kryolan theater makeup. The Vancouver, Canada-based artist shows off her trippy looks on Instagram alongside her more standard everyday makeup looks.

Mostly using herself as a canvas for her optical illusions, Mimi says, “To be honest, I never thought anybody would be interested in following my bizarre late-night creations a few years ago because it wasn’t ‘on trend.’ But I continued because illusion art is challenging and I like having to push limits each time. Later on, I realized it’s not about creating looks that are ‘popular’ or would guarantee likes/follows, it’s about creating our own trend and breaking barriers.”

Mimi says she rarely even has a specific plan in mind when she starts painting – she just goes for it, and allows the result to come about spontaneously. Check out her Instagram @mimles for lots more wild and intricate makeup creations.

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Dirty Car & Truck Art: Moscow Street Artist Adds Critters to Filthy Vehicles

14 May

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Massive deep sea monsters, jungle predators and swamp creatures lurk in the grimey shadows on the backs of trucks, thanks to interventions by illustrator Nikita Golubev. Most of the featured critters are of the potentially creepy variety, including a deep-sea angler fish, octopus, shark, alligator, lion, owl and orangutan.

Based in Russia, the artist works on cars sometimes as well, but finds the broad doors and long sides on larger vehicles particularly inviting as blank canvasses for light-on-dark works of art.

As a subtractive strategy, there is less risk associated with these impermanent pieces as well — at worst, some truck driver may be less than amused to find their dirty vehicle highlighted in such a way.

Reverse graffiti is nothing new, but most artists who work in that vein operate at smaller scales, cleaning up sections of door and rear windows rather than tall trucks. Naturally, these pieces are all temporary, destined to come off in the wash or rinse out in the rain (but live on in photographs).

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Still Life with Smoke Bombs: Artist Live-Paints Berkeley Protest Violence

19 Apr

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

This past Saturday, Trump supporters and counter-protesters from the left clashed violently in liberal Berkeley, all while one intrepid street painter captured the scene live on canvas. As reporters filmed and photographed the chaos, John Paul Marcelo biked his mobile painting station into place.

The alt-right rally organizers and their opponents arrived ready for a brawl, variously equipped with shields, helmets, wooden poles, pepper spray and other weapons. “By mid-afternoon,” reports Blake Montgomery, “the dueling protesters were screaming insults at each other over a flaming pile of trash and using a dumpster as a battering ram.” In the end, dozens were arrested on both sides.

But in the midst of the mayhem (or at least: slightly off to one side) was perhaps the most unexpected sight of all — Bay Area street artist John Paul Marcelo standing his ground and calmly painting the chaotic scene as it unfolded before him.

Marcelo is a fixtures of the San Francisco community, a fifteen-year resident who can be found painting ordinary street scenes as well as timely and tragic still lifes, like: a building just after a fire, burnt out and abandoned.

His artistic gear collapses on demand, folding neatly for transportation by bike to events unfolding in around the Bay or calmer, more everyday still-life subjects (below: Morning on Broadway and Telegraph in Oakland as seen in Cafe 817).

John Paul Marcelo studied graphic design and advertising, then started painting the urban decay of Chicago streets and decided to “reject modern technological mediums” and “paint exclusively en plein air, and migrate to the majestic California coastline.” And although he reports being “very content with painting existing idyllic scenes like Big Sur and Marin, past expeditions have brought him to places like post Katrina New Orleans and Cabrini Green housing projects.” His influences “include Claude Monet, James Nachtwey, and Ai Wei Wei.” (Images via AP, SfGate & KQED)

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Raining Pitchforks: Artist Lures Visitors Under 300 Spikey Forks of Doom

12 Apr

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

When someone exclaims “It’s raining pitchforks and hammer handles out there” they rarely mean it quite so literally. Dubbed The Crusher, this installation sounds as much like a pro wrestler or horror movie as a piece of art. And as the ominous name suggests: it is something to be awed … and perhaps at least a little bit feared.

British artist Simon Birch works in a variety of mediums, but this installation in a Los Angeles is a bit of a departure from his safely-on-the-canvass oil paintings. The 300 suspended forks feature three to five prongs for a total of over a thousand points on which one could be impaled.

Visitors to this site-specific work are invited to view it now just from the side but also from beneath. The rundown appearance of the surrounding structure and variety of aged potential death traps above do little to assuage one’s anxiety while going below (or watching others do so).

So far, the work has been hugely popular, but one has to wonder: what if there were an earthquake, or one of the forks slipped loose somehow?

Simon Birch “has also ventured into film and installation work … These large multimedia projects integrated paintings with film, installation, sculpture, and performance housed in specifically configured spaces” (via MMM).

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Autonomous Trap: Artist Uses Ritual Magic to Capture Driverless Cars

28 Mar

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

car trap

Somewhere between pagan magic, modern science and quirky satire, this installation project uses salt circles but also the logic of traffic lines to lure in and ensnare unsuspecting autonomous vehicles.

salt trap car

James Bridle‘s Autonomous Trap 001 employs familiar street markings found on divided highways – per the rules of the road, cars can cross over the dotted line but not back over the solid line. It sounds a bit absurd, but consider: driverless cars with various degrees of autonomy are already hitting the streets, and these do rely on external signals to determine their course. As these technologies gain traction, it is entirely likely that serious attempts will be made to spoof and deceive their machine vision algorithms.

“What you’re looking at is a salt circle, a traditional form of protection—from within or without—in magical practice,” explains Bridle. “In this case it’s being used to arrest an autonomous vehicle—a self-driving car, which relies on machine vision and processing to guide it. By quickly deploying the expected form of road markings—in this case, a No Entry glyph—we can confuse the car’s vision system into believing it’s surrounded by no entry points, and entrap it.”

autonomous vehicle trap magic

“The scene evokes a world of narratives involving the much-hyped technology of self-driving cars,” writes Beckett Mufson of Vice. “It could be mischievous hackers disrupting a friend’s self-driving ride home; the police seizing a dissident’s getaway vehicle; highway robbers trapping their prey; witches exorcizing a demon from their hatchback.” It has elements of cultural commentary that stem from acute awareness of real conditions, bordering on the absurd but also quite sobering.

mountain pass

In fact, Bridle made his trap while training his own DIY self-driving car software near Mount Parnassus in Central Greece. “Parnassus feels like an appropriate location,” he says, because “as well as [having] quite spectacular scenery and [being] wonderful to drive and hike around, it’s the home of the Muses in mythology, as well as the site of the Delphic Oracle. The ascent of Mount Parnassus is, in esoteric terms, the journey towards knowledge and art.” Meanwhile, Bridle continues to work on other pieces related to contemporary technology, tackling subjects from machine vision and artificial intelligence to militarized tech and big data.

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