The artwork of Australian-Iraqi artist Toba Khedoori leaves a distinct impression. Her works are primarily finely detailed, photo-realistic pencil drawings in monochromatic lead or color on massive sheets of waxed paper. The drawings tend to be focused on discrete, single objects set in a vast emptiness — a chair, a fence, a door — or a piece removed from its larger architectural context — rows and rows of seats from a theater or, as in the example pictured here, a fireplace. It’s one of a series of drawings of fireplaces currently on view as part of her solo show at LACMA in Los Angeles. The drawing has a trompe l’oeil quality but has none of the cheap gimmickry of that anachronistic decorative conceit. Looking at the drawing from afar, it appears as if there’s an actual fireplace recessed into the gallery wall.
On a recent visit to the Arcana bookstore in Culver City, in Los Angeles, we checked out some beautiful coffee-table books on surfing and surf photography. Among these was a book titled “Surfing San Onofre to Point Dume: 1936-1942.” It’s a collection of sepia-toned photos by Don James documenting his surfing experience and his surfer friends and their lifestyle in Southern California during the pre-World War II era and early war years. The photos reveal what the surfing life was like in its first idyllic golden age when the Hawaiian “sport of kings” was still novel and taking root in California.
Time magazine recently published the “100 Most Influential Images of All Time.” It’s a stunning mixed collection of iconic, powerful and beautiful images. Among these images is the first photograph ever taken, a picture from 1826 titled simply “View from the Window at Le Gras.” The image shown above is a 1968 photo titled “The Invasion of Prague.” It’s one of our favorites.
Photographer Mike Kelley photographed airplanes taking off from airports around the world and then composited the images to provide a visualization of all the various airlines and takeoffs. Kelley calls these “Airportraits.” You can view more of these images on his website. The image of LAX above was used for the front cover photo of Nicholas Felton’s recent data-visualization book “PhotoViz.”
Kevin Wisbith runs a YouTube series called “A Quick Perspective” and has posted a series of images on Imgur that show the relative size of very large objects, including, as shown in the image above, the fictional Death Star from the Star Wars films compared to a very real planet earth. TIL: The Death Star would fit in Florida. 😉
In light of the recent brouhaha about the merits of pop-star Taylor Swift and her song “Welcome to New York” (and the heated debates about the authenticity of her New York-living experience and her new role as “Ambassador” for the city) comes this freshly painted mural by the long-time New York graffiti artist Chico. The street artwork is painted on the roller-shutter of La Petite Mort, vintage boutique on an artsy-fashionable stretch of Orchard St. near Chinatown on New York’s Lower East Side. “R.I.P Taylor Swift” is scrawled above a skyline of NYC suggesting that the Taylor Swift we once knew is gone forever. Or that she should be? The first impression is this is a bit of Taylor-Swift-hating on the part of the artist,. But maybe the mural is capturing a more nuanced sentiment about Swift?
This king of spades street art on Great Jones Street in NoHo, in downtown New York, is by the incredibly prolific artist Cost, and it’s one of the few pieces by him that rely on graphic images rather than on text alone. The King if spades is much less cryptic, but visually way more compelling and arresting than his usual works.
We recently started seeing a random few of these wheat-paste street art images of a young, Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson appearing on walls around downtown Manhattan. But then this past weekend, these seemed to multiply exponentially and appear everywhere, from the Lower East Side to Brooklyn’s Greenpoint. In the LES, we counted dozens of the “Young MJs” on Ludlow Street alone. These Young MJ wheat-pastes are the work of a mysterious New York-based “celebrity stylist” and artist who goes by the moniker “UnCasso” (a.k.a., “UnCuttArt”). The “Young MJs” come in a variety of colors . In some cases, as pictured below, a single, larger image is composited with several pieces in different colors. Needless to say, we love ’em. This isn’t the first time the “King of Pop” has inspired street art.
New York artist Bradley Theodore strikes again with a new piece of street art in New York’s Lower East Side. Continuing with his series of images depicting fashion-world celebrities as impressionistic, colorful skeletons, Bradley has painted this full-body portrait of style icon Nick Wooster on a door to the popular downtown bar-club-restaurant Hotel Chantelle on Ludlow Street.