Footprints in the Snow: Art by Snowshoes

footprints in the snow art

Simon Beck takes playing in the snow to an extreme.  “It just seemed like a natural thing to do,” Beck says. “Right outside the building where I live in the winter, there’s a frozen lake about two-thirds the area of a soccer field. So you’ve got this great big area of completely untracked snow, which people don’t usually go on because of warnings about walking on the ice. I just thought, let’s draw something on it.” … With snowshoes.

Though Beck created the first designs in his head, as they got more complex, he started planning them out in detail on paper. He studies crop circles and other geometric patterns as inspiration. Out on the lake, he might count his steps or use string to measure angles, or, if a previous design is still peeking through the snow, he’ll use that as a template. The whole process usually takes about ten hours.

Beck likes to work on Lac Marlou, near his apartment in the French Alps, in part because a nearby mountain gives him a good place to take photos when he’s done. But the mountain also casts shadows on the snow, making it hard to get exactly the shot he wants. His next plan: Buy a drone, so he can fly a camera above a different lake. The local ski resort likes the snow art. “At first they thought I was a bit mad, but now they see it as good promotion.”

Check the link for additional pictures.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3023512/these-giant-snow-painting-are-made-by-one-mans-footprints

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Gagosian Gallery NYC: Shoes as Canvas

Museums Galleries Stepping up for Art

A 16-year-old art world progeny with well-placed parents spearheaded “Stepping Up for Art” a fund-raising exhibition for arts programs in NYC schools.

India Wolf collaborated with Gagosian Gallery, on Madison Avenue, and Charlotte Olympia, a non-profit organization, to enlist twenty contemporary artists to customize Olympia’s iconic “Dolly” platform heel shoes.  Each artist put their own stylish stamp on the shoes.

Studio in a School, which brings visual arts to under-funded New York City public schools, also invited children from their partnering schools to put their own spin on the shoes.

To see ten examples from the exhibit, go to:

http://www.vogue.com/866298/charlotte-olympia-and-india-wolfs-custom-shoes/

http://www.wmagazine.com/fashion/accessories/2014/05/charlotte-olympia-shoes-artists/photos/

Photo Source:

http://www.buro247.com/me/fashion/news/charlotte-olympia-art-gagosian.html

Art and Artisans: African-American Shoemakers

Shoemaker African American By Jacob Lawrence

1.  “The Shoemaker”, Watercolor Painting by Jacob Lawrence (1945)

While the work of Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) was never oriented to overt political polemics, his painting explored—and called attention to—the most significant social issues in his community. “The Shoemaker” marks the beginning of what would become a potent subject in his work throughout the rest of his life: the representation of manual labor by African Americans.

The shoemaker’s heroic scale dwarfs the tiny shoes aligned on the workbench and hung on the walls, and overwhelms the miniature-sized room in which he works. The whole scene is organized in a flat pattern of angular elements, all in saturated color. The cobbler’s geometric, exaggerated shoulder line signals both strength and concentration of purpose. His gigantic hands—oversized even in relation to his huge frame—are central to conveying the story of his power and single-mindedness.

2.  Shoe-Makers in Lexington Kentucky, Pre-1900

The making of shoes was one of the skilled labors performed by slaves throughout the South. Once slavery ended, former slaves used the skill in their businesses that were often operated out of their homes. Later, the industrial manufacturing and mass production of shoes would greatly reduce the number of individual shoemakers.

Here the names of some African American shoemakers in Lexington, KY, pre-1900:

  • Sally A. Jackson was a shoe binder who lived on E. Short Street between N. Mulberry and Walnut. She was a free person and is listed in the Directory of the City of Lexington and County of Fayette for 1838 & ’39.
  • Micajah M. Mason was a shoemaker who lived on W. Water Street between N. Mill and Broadway. He is listed as a free man in the 1838-39 directory, and in the 1859-60 directory when he lived on E. S. Mulberry between Short and Barr Streets.
  • Edward Oliver was a boot and shoe maker. He lived at 4 E. Water Street and is listed as free in the 1838-39 directory.
  • William Tanner, a shoe maker, lived on E. Short Street between Walnut and Bank Streets. He is listed as free in the 1838-39 directory.

Sources:© 2011 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/46.73.2

http://nkaa.uky.edu/subject.php?sub_id=21

A Mirage of Stairs

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For just over $300, you can create the illusion of a second story in a small living space. This mural may delight onlookers, but it defies any advance by would-be climbers.

The collaborative design team of a Paris-based fashion house, Maison Martin Margiela and another French company, L’Atelier d’Exercices, have produced objects for the home that mix irony, mystery and humor.

The latest, an atmospheric staircase, would add wit and misdirection to any room and would bring a new dimension to a cramped studio apartment. The mural measures 7.4 feet by 3.9 feet.

 

Information and photo from:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/garden/look-before-you-climb.html?_r=0

Green Pedestrian Crossings in Shanghai

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Pedestrians walk into a crosswalk and plant green leaves with every footstep.  A campaign by DDB China Group uses street art to promote walking.  While there is no guarantee that awareness will shift in a country that now boasts 500 million cars; it is an advocacy movement taking one step at a time. 

“We decided to leverage a busy pedestrian crossing; a place where both pedestrians and drivers meet. We lay a giant canvas of 12.6 meters long by 7 meters wide on the ground, covering the pedestrian crossing with a large leafless tree. Placed on either side of the road beneath the traffic lights, were sponge cushions soaked in green environmentally friendly washable and quick dry paint. As pedestrians walked towards the crossing, they would step onto the green sponge and as they walked, the soles of their feet would make foot imprints onto the tree on the ground. Each green footprint added to the canvas like leaves growing on a bare tree, which made people feel that by walking they could create a greener environment.”

After an initial deployment on seven Shanghai streets, the award-winning Crossing was later expanded to 132 roads in 15 Chinese cities. DDB estimates that 3.9 million people participated. Predictably, it blew up across Chinese media channels, and was even featured in the Shanghai Zheng Da Art Museum.

 

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680511/amazing-interactive-street-art-turns-pedestrian-footsteps-into-the-leaves-of-trees

One of the Last Ancient Tribes

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(above) The Himba are an ancient tribe of semi-nomadic herders, living since the 16th century in scattered settlements throughout the region of the Kunene River in northwest Namibia and southwest Angola.

Over a three year period, photographer Jimmy Nelson visited 35 remote tribes on five continents. He published his collected photos in the book “Before They Pass Away” (www.teneues.com)  Gaining the acceptance of people was the key to Jimmy’s work. His book stands as both a piece of art and an historical document.

“The world is changing and we’re not going to stop it, but I hope in my own way, to encourage them not to abandon everything that makes them so individual.”

While all the tribes he encountered were completely different in terms of appearance, the similarities were obvious.  “From a social perspective they were the same,” Jimmy says. “The further you get away from civilization, the more people work as a family unit, the greater respect they have for the older generations and for each other. The further away you get, the kinder people are.”

http://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/photographer-jimmy-nelson-finds-the-last-tribes-on-earth/story-e6frfqai-1226752048849

 

 

 

Having an Eye for Feet

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1)  Drawing human feet is difficult.  Their complex anatomy and rarely ceasing movement make them difficult to capture on paper.  Even if there are only two of them. 

http://www.google.ca/imgres?sa=X&biw=1366&bih=566&tbm=isch&tbnid=gXF0wWQ1Z633KM:&imgrefurl=http://everydayadrawing.com/category/dailydrawing/theory/&docid=cb2DwewauFCnNM&imgurl=http://everydayadrawing.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/how-to-draw-feet.jpg&w=800&h=600&ei=pz9EUtbiKZCoqQHhmoDYDw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=484&page=1&tbnh=150&tbnw=205&start=0&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:0,i:109&tx=104&ty=67

1)  So what if the creature is four footed? Drawing animal feet must be twice the challenge.  Not for some, it would seem…

Paleolithic people living more than 10,000 years ago had a better artistic eye than modern painters and sculptures — at least when it came to watching how horses and other four-legged animals move.

A new analysis of 1,000 pieces of prehistoric and modern artwork finds that “cavemen,” or people living during the upper Paleolithic period between 10,000 and 50,000 years ago, were more accurate in their depictions of four-legged animals walking than artists are today. While modern artists portray these animals walking incorrectly 57.9 percent of the time, prehistoric cave painters only made mistakes 46.2 percent of the time. (Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Senior Writer, NBC News)

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50093113/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/cavemen-trump-modern-artists-drawing-animals/