Saturday, October 21, 2017

In New York, You Have to be Camera-Ready, Even When You're Homeless (Midtwon Manhattan)

Living the dream? On first impression I was upset, thinking a bunch of tourists were being ironic by filming this homeless guy and then I saw the massive camera and realized this wasn’t a casual endeavor but a major investment and they must be making a film. The so-called homeless dude must have been an actor or maybe even the director, because he was discussing the filming with the crew in a relaxed, collegial way. And, as I walked away, I was still upset.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How Much is that Performance Art in the Window? (Garment District, Manhattan)

Grazia Capri takes the stage in the storefront art gallery known as ChaShaMa on 37th Street in the Garment District. About five us stood in the rain to watch her performance through the window. She retained sharp focus, staring toward us but through us, as she moved through the precise steps of a solo performance she calls "Corpi in Vertigine#2".

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Brick City is Full of Murals (Newark, NJ

I spent a day recently in Newark, NJ, and was surprised--and pleased--to see murals wherever I went. Not only were the images and the stories they told captivating, it was wonderful to see that they hadn't been defaced with graffiti. To me, this speaks to the respect people have for public art. When politicians oppose money for the arts, they should consider the power of public murals to bring beauty and instill community pride. And while pols may think that funding art is a lower priority than, say, funding police departments, they should consider that the lack of graffiti reflects the public's appreciation of the form. Or they can look at research, which has shown "the great power of public art to influence how we move, think and feel in city environments."

Monday, August 7, 2017

The New York Skyline Keeps Changing (Midtown Manhattan)

I had a chance to visit the roof of my office building and was reminded that nearby the construction of skyscrapers in Hudson Yards continues apace. Buildings--especially large ones--always seem so permanent, and yet the massive project, which is taking place over 28 acres in Manhattan, reminds me that buildings come and go. If people are so good at creating cities that reach the sky, why can't we solve world hunger, end poverty, bring everlasting peace? Is it really a defect in human nature or is it just misdirected resources--i.e., if the $20 billion being invested in the Hudson Yards were spent on public health we might be able to, say, end malaria. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

There are Surprises on Every Corner Thanks to Montreal's Embrace of Street Art (Montreal, Quebec)

Montreal is full of street art, and much of it is sanctioned by the city and celebrated each year with a festival. Here's just a tiny sample of what I saw as I wandered around the past week. (Ufunk has more photos of murals from this year's festival and even some images of the artists at work).

The mural on the left took on a very different feel as I walked down the street and saw what was behind the tree.

(This one is signed by Jason Wasserman)