ArchiWEB Explorer: Art

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New Banksy Gift Shop: Souvenirs from the Walled-Off Art Hotel in Palestine

[ By WebUrbanist in Boutique & Art Hotels & Travel. ]

Located just a few hundred meters from the checkpoint to Jerusalem and a mile from the centre of Bethlehem, the Walled-Off Hotel (a play on Waldorf) project features works of art and artistically designed rooms — it serves as a habitable way to raise funds and awareness, too.

Now, the hotel has released a set of works depicting the West Bank barrier and other regional art pieces by Banksy, rendered in miniature and only available to those who visit (most are not available online).

Altered Realities: Abstract 3D Murals by Peeta Pop Off the Wall

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

A wall could look as flat as flat gets until street artist Peeta gets his hands on it with a can of spray paint, distorting its surface, confusing its perspective with three-dimensional illusions. Sometimes, the effect is so convincing, you can’t tell which windows are real and which ones are painted, or whether some elements of the composition really are popping out beyond the wall. Hint: if you think they are, like in the case of the windows on the green-roofed building below, you’re probably wrong.

Will Alsop: “That’s the Art of Architecture—Putting Everything Together in Your Own Way”

Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design, 2004. Image Courtesy of aLL Design Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design, 2004. Image Courtesy of aLL Design

During my meetings with Will Alsop—two at his London studio in 2008 and 2010, and during our four-day trip to Moscow where I organized his lecture for SPEECH Magazine in winter 2011—he impressed me as having the most genuine, artistic, and free-spirited soul of all the architects I met. Calatrava, Hadid, and Gehry may strike one as great artists, but no matter how inventive they are, they are all involved in shaping buildings. Alsop, on the other hand, would find himself engaged in working in a completely boundless and unrestricted manner as a true artist. It seems that his whimsical works—"blobs and daubs," as he called them—are imagined as pure fantasies to be transformed into architecture much later by his staff. Eventually, he would have to “sell” them to his clients as buildings that function.

Art Everywhere: 12 Projects Transform Public Spaces into Guerrilla Galleries

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Street artists turn entire cities into open-air galleries, but there are countless ways to carry out urban art interventions, and they’re at their most fun when they subvert existing structures. Virtually anything can be transformed into a surface or medium for art: billboards, phone booths, construction walls, street signs and even furniture discarded on the curb. Sometimes the motivation is political – calling attention to how much public space is dedicated to advertising, for example – but sometimes it’s just fun, like painting clown faces on busted couches.

Art in Ad Places Takes on Phone Booths

Canned Heat: 12 Folk Art Painted Residential Propane Tanks

[ By Steve in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Those popular home propane tanks that look like colossal cold capsules or dry-docked mini subs can be unusual showcases for unique folk art creations.

Ranging in capacity from 250 gallons up to 500 gallons, residential propane tanks typically sport white finishes or are left unpainted because, y’know, dark gas tanks under bright sunlight and all. Not all propane tanks are so exposed, however, and their sizes and shape invite an unlimited range of creative solutions. One of the most popular, it would seem, is turning the tank into a Beatle-esque Yellow Submarine.

Art That Breathes: 17 Living Creations Made with Plants, Bacteria & Insects

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Alternately beautiful and disgusting but nearly always fascinating, works of art that use nature in place of more traditional media raise questions about the power and responsibility of human dominance over our natural surroundings and the other species living on Earth. These living, breathing works of art might be innocently pretty, like modified flower petals or arrangements of colorful mushrooms, or they might feel a little more sinister, making controversial use of living mice, insects or bacteria swabbed from human orifices.

What’s your take on the use of living things as art? Do you believe the message justifies its potential death, even if it’s a bonsai tree or an ant?

Philodendron Xanad by Ruben Bellinkx

Building Blocks of Innovation: 11 Cutting Edge Materials Set to Shape the Future

[ By SA Rogers in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

Architecture has looked much the same since early humans first began constructing their own shelter, but that could change soon with the introduction of new materials and technologies producing almost alien-like forms. Woven carbon fiber, ultra-strong but amazingly thin concrete, transparent wood and 3D-printed sandstone are among the innovations that could break free of the traditional constraints and result in a new era of lightweight, durable, versatile forms in all sorts of organic and mathematical shapes.

Super Wood, Nano Wood & Transparent Wood

GIFs That Keep on Giving: 20+ Captivating Animated Illustrations

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

Maybe you can’t hang a poster of a GIF on your wall (yet) but these fun animated images are definitely frame-able, ranging from classic art brought alive by subtle moving elements to hypnotic abstract digital creations. You don’t need psychedelic drugs to enjoy the mesmerizing effects, but hey, it probably wouldn’t hurt.

Necessary Disorder: Gifs by Etienne Jacob

French student Etienne Jacob has an entire tumblr packed full of looping GIF images in stark black and white, made via programming with the ‘Processing’ software sketchbook.

Sketched Sculptures: Architectural Models Look Like Physical Drawings in 3D

[ By WebUrbanist in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

Looking at one of his sculptures from a single perspective, it would be easy to mistake them for 2D drawings on a flat surface. After all, architects have a tendency to layer lines as they solve design problems in realtime, resulting in a sketchy quality in their “working” drawings. They often also sketch buildings with overlapping lines, leaving structural intersections seeming fluid and unfinished.

Spanish artist David Moreno sculpts along similar lines, using thin strands to model out architectural creations that appear almost like two-dimensional art on a page.

Strung together with slim piano wire, he builds up his pieces from steel rods that form outlines of buildings as well as architectural details.

It’s All in Your Head: 17 Optical Illusions Prove You Can’t Trust Your Brain

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

If there’s one thing all these illusions can show you, it’s that you can’t trust your own brain. It’ll blot out peripheral colors right before your eyes to help you focus on a fixed point, turn static images into animations and completely fool you about the colors and shapes you’re looking at.

Troxler’s Effect: Colors Disappear When You Stare