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Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

Mike Leavitt Appears on NY Mag’s “Approval Matrix”


Our friend and soon-to-be-collaborator Mike Leavitt just wrapped up his excellent show, “Art Army Royalty,” at New York City’s Jonathan LeVine Gallery. To say it was a success would be a mild understatement, as Leavitt sold almost all of the 20-some original pieces he created for the occasion and received tons of press from the notoriously fickle and difficult-to-impress New York media community.

One piece of noteworthy love was his placement atop New York Magazine’s infamous “Approval Matrix,” which each month designates different tangents of popular culture into four categories: despicable and highbrow, despicable and lowbrow, brilliant and highbrow and brilliant and lowbrow. (The second-to-last — top right — houses Mike and his Chuck Close action figure.)

Congrats, Mike. I’m vicariously checking off appearing on the Approval Matrix from my bucket list. Wait, is that allowed?

FriendsWithYou Take Over The High Line


The High Line in New York is quite possibly one of the coolest urban parks on earth. This summer, the already art-filled experience gets an infusion of inflatable joy from FriendsWithYou.

FriendsWithYou and AOL are excited to announce the opening of the forty piece environmental installation “Rainbow City” in New York City, in celebration of Section 2 of the High Line. This happy city is made up of intensely colored balloon pieces, encouraging visitors to be active and explore the giant 16,000 square foot playground. Built for adults and children alike, the installation allows for interaction with each art object, making the experience unforgettable.

Can’t wait!

Movie Map of Manhattan


Bernie Hou of Alien Loves Predator spent five months watching movies and three weeks drawing to create this cinematic cartography of Manhattan, complete with 91 film references.

If it seems like all the movies you’ve ever seen take place somewhere in New York City, that’s because they do. New York is where the aliens must attack, where landmarks are destroyed, where the world ends, and where good-looking people go to find other good-looking people. It’s practically a law.

Hou is giving away a free copy of the 18×24″ poster to the first person who sends him the names of all 91 movies. [Here’s a high-res version of the map with each movie numbered from 1-91.] He plans to release the full list of the films after May 11th.

If that’s keeping you on the edge of your seat, you can purchase the poster for $16 here.

[via Gothamist]


Metro Card Mosaics


Metro Cards are becoming the new canvas. Guatemalan-born, New York-based artist Juan Carlos Pinto makes Metro Card mosaic portraits of cultural icons like Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela, Baquiat, John Lennon and Louis Armstrong. If you’re in New York tonight, you can see Pinto’s Salvaged Perspectives at Phantom Audio from 7-10PM. Hopefully the MTA won’t show up to crash the party. Read the rest of this entry »

Corner Store Bags by Cast of Vices


Making art out of everyday objects isn’t everybody’s bag (groan), but I tend to find it fascinating. Los Angeles-based company, Cast of Vices, is offering a luxury remix of common (free) New York City plastic grocery bags. Cast of Vice’s lambskin leather totes are hand sewn and hand embossed in LA, where perhaps they go over as something of an upscale novelty vs. NY’s WTF? In actuality, Paris is the place to grab these bags. Colette is offering three designs in two sizes starting at ~$250 USD here.

Banksy & Tom Hanks, Together At Last


I’m overcome with amusement looking at “Hanksy,” one of the most brilliant mashups ever.

The stencil was spotted by someone in New York’s SOHO neighborhood (Kenmare & Mott) recently, and comes to us thanks to the folks over at Wooster Collective.

Where The Starving Artists Slept


When searching for inspiration, one of my favorite activities is looking at pictures of other people’s apartments (especially people of the creative persuasion). Exciting then is New York Magazine’s article “The Perpetual Garret,” which offers glimpses into the living quarters of some of New York City’s most famous starving artists — people like William S. Burroughs, Robert Rauschenberg, Patti Smith and Terence Koh.

Also worth checking out is Flavorwire’s supplementary article, which includes the dwellings of Marina Abramovic, Karl Lagerfeld, Jeff Koons (must die!), Julian Schnabel and others.

Above: Artist Keith Haring’s shared railroad apartment at 325 Broome St. in Manhattan.

Why Does the MTA Hate Artists?


The Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York has come after East Village artist Victoria McKenzie for swiping something much more expensive than a $2 train ride: their intellectual property. Last week, McKenzie received a cease and desist letter from an intern who works for the MTA’s marketing and advertising division requesting she stop selling oil paintings on Metro cards in her Etsy shop. The intern also offered McKenzie an opportunity to pay to license the MTA’s brand in her artwork.

I gotta be like Kanye for a sec and just stop this right here. Until this point, I thought meter-readers had the absolute worst job on earth. EVERYONE hates the people who drive by in their tiny self-important cars ticketing you for overstaying your parking spot by 2 minutes. Being an intern tasked by the MTA to “out” artists for using MTA ephemera ON ETSY is waaaaay worse. At least the meter-readers get paid. According to Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the MTA: “The MTA uses unpaid interns to search online for trademark infringement when they have the time”. They’re probably using the rest of their time to write apologetic suicide notes and source sturdy lengths of rope.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Donovon says the MTA spots violations on a daily basis and typically works with artists to secure licensing deals rather than pursue punitive measures. Through close to 120 licensees, the MTA generates about $500,000 a year in revenue, or about what it expected to save from cutting one express-bus line during a round of service cuts last year. Typically, artists enter into licensing deals with the authority, giving up about 10% of net revenue.

Gothamist has clarified that “displaying art isn’t something the MTA has an issue with—they only reach out when someone is selling items that use their trademark.” I guess that means the 5000 or so accomplices to Stephen Shaheen’s much-blogged Metro Card bench are safe until he puts a price tag on it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ron English Helps Celebrate 15 Years of South Park


"Last Supper in South Park" by Ron English

It’s hard to believe I was just 9 years old when “South Park” first came on the air. 15 years later I can’t think of another television show that defines my adolescence more than Matt Stone’s and Trey Parker’s crudely brilliant diorama of life in a tiny Colorado town.

To celebrate the show’s 15th anniversary, artist Ron English has hand-picked 14 of his contemporaries to join him in interpreting “South Park” for a traveling art show, which will feature works by artists Tristan Eaton, Greg Simkins, Travis Louie and others.

Quoth Comedy Central’s official press release:

“The artists are unified by their love of the hit series and the passion they bring to their work. Their interpretations feature the South Park characters and the iconic moments throughout the series history.”

The “South Park Art Gallery” will be on display at Opera Gallery in New York starting next Monday, March 28th (runs through April 10th). It will then travel to Comic-Con in San Diego for Comedy Central’s “Ultimate South Park Fan Experience.”

Click here for information about submitting your artwork for inclusion at the Comic-Con stop of the show.

The Kid from Kids Makes Art


Leo Fitzpatrick, best known for playing Telly in the 1995 film Kids, makes art. Members-only contemporary art print site Exhibition A is offering a festive appropriation by Fitzpatrick entitled “Kill Me I’m Irish”. The most interesting thing about this work is Fitzpatrick’s use of buttons to sign and number the editions.

Exhibition A has a Q&A with the actor/artist in which he says:

Art is not to be bought and sold but to be cherished and loved or at least hung.


When a friend of mine was leaving Max Fish with a tranny, Tino Razo said, ‘Dude, that’s a dude…dude.’ Poetry in motion.

Indeed. Check out the print and the buttons after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »