Monthly Archives: May 2014

Design … The NYC Subway Map by the Late Great Massimo Vignelli, R.I.P.

A giant of the design world passed away earlier this week. The New York City-based Italian designer Massimo Vignelli died in New York Tuesday morning at age 83.

Vignelli was one of the world’s foremost designers, and in a career that started in Italy, where he was educated, and saw him immigrate to New York and start his own firm, Vignelli created an enduring vision and legacy of work that influenced several generations of leading designers, architects and creators.

The New York City subway map below is a design classic and a testament to his vision and style. Created by Vignelli in 1973, it became an iconic example of information design that would be copied the world over.

Over on Design Observer, the Pentagram founder Michael Beirut has written a personal tribute to Vignelli and shares some of his experiences and what he learned working for Vignelli Associates in the 1980s.

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Art in New York … A Crushed Fiat Painted in Pink Nail Polish

One of the highlights of Frieze NY 2014, the juggernaut art fair launched by London-based art magazine Frieze, was a crushed Fiat car coated in pink nail polish. The artwork is titled “Skin Crime 3” by Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury, and it was installed next to a giant mirror-like old-school Gilette razor blade titled “Blade” (of course). We’re a fan of Fleury’s ouevre, which explores themes of consumerism, shopping, fashion, luxury, beauty and marketing, often in striking vivid, colorful installations.

Side note: Fiat cars seem to be useful media material for European artists, as seen here in British artist Simon Starling’s “Ostalgia.”

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Street Art … Fresh Artwork by TrapArt, New York City

Street art stencil image of be-bop-era Miles Davis (?) by Trapart on Jersey Lane in SoHo, downtown New York City. Full of awesome. We love how “trapart” is an enigmatic palindrome. 🙂

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Street Art … “MR. A” by Andre, New York City

“Monsieur ‘A'” (a.k.a., “Mr. ‘A’) by the Paris-based Swedish-Portuguese street-art pioneer Andre makes a long overdue appearance in downtown New York City upon a construction hoarding covering a storefront on Lafayette Street in SoHo. Welcome back to New York, Andre!

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Street Art … Fresh Artwork by A.S.V.P., New York

New street from the always awesome A.S.V.P. at the site of the former Pulino’s restaurant on Houston Street near southwest corner of intersection with Bowery, across from the Bowery Wall, a.k.a., the Deitch Wall.

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Update … Fresh Graff at Ludlow Street Art Gallery

Literally within 24 hours of our previous post about the blank black-painted wall on Ludlow Street (“the Ludlow Street Art Gallery”) in New York’s Lower East Side, somebody took a spray-can to the wall and tagged it in a large silver-paint scrawl of graffiti in the crudest way. It would be awesome to actually see some real art instead. But the graffiti signifies the first volley returned after the wall was repainted a day earlier in the ongoing cat-and-mouse game of what the wall looks like.

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Urban Life … This Blank Wall in NYC is Begging for Street Art

This freshly-painted black brick wall pictured below on Ludlow Street just south of Grand Street (the “Ludlow Street Art Gallery”) in New York’s Lower East Side is essentially a blank canvas for street artists and graffiti writers. A mere 24 hours before this picture was taken Wednesday evening, the wall was covered with a lot of wheat-pasted street art and a smattering of mostly aimless bad graffiti that had slowly accreted in layers during the past few months. In the interim 24 hours, a crew of two middle-aged male Chinese workers were scraping the wheat-pasted posters off the wall and painting over what remained. The result is a wall that is just begging for some new, fresh artwork.

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Street Art … The Return of Magda Love in NYC

Artist Magda Love is back in New York City with some wild-posting of her illustrated-graphic street art. This retro-cassette tape wheat-pasted art piece by Magda went up Wednesday morning (Tuesday night?) on Ludlow Street, in that stretch just south of Grand Street we’ve dubbed the “Ludlow Street Art Gallery” in the Lower East Side.

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On the Scene … At the Frieze NY 2014 Art Fair

We spent part of our weekend at the third annual Frieze NY art fair on Randall’s Island, New York City. The art fair has quickly gained a foothold in New York as a leading contemporary art event in what is arguably the art capital of the world.

Frieze NY is the sister art fair of Frieze London, itself the spawn of the visionaries from Frieze magazine. The New York fair is held in one massive, snaking translucent tent that stretches the lengths of several football fields.

The sheer number of galleries present at the fair and the number of artworks these galleries show can be dizzying, but the event is a great way to sample the global stock of contemporary art and artists and the galleries representing them.

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On the Scene … At the Toms Roasting Co. Cafe Concept Store, Los Angeles

The innovative, popular and charitable shoe-making company Toms has recently opened a coffee roaster and cafe in an airy bungalow that doubles as a concept store in the fashionable Abbott-Kinney neighborhood of Venice, in Los Angeles.

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