A couple of weeks ago, I walked past Chelsea Guitars and saw this awesome sculpture of a woman sitting outside the shop with a mini guitar in hand.
It took me a while to realize this woman is Marilyn Monroe. Boy, I’m slow sometimes!
Marilyn Monoe is wearing her infamous white dress from Seven Year Itch, the top of which is covered with one of the Chelsea Guitars Coat of Arms tee shits. So clever.
I’m not a guitar player, but I would have totally went inside if I were. Chelsea Guitars seems like a really cool shop!
Check out Chelsea Guitars online!
If NYC had an underground Halloween/macabre dance party, I think it would definitely look like Ryan Peltier’s “Knickerbocker Ave”. Especially if this underground party took place at a Brooklyn subway stop.
“Knickerbocker Ave” is one of those subway art cards I can’t stop staring at. Whenever I look at it, I notice something more and more absurdly funny every time!
The characters in this piece by Peltier are based on friends and neighbors he remembered during his time living in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The birds flying above the characters are also based on real subjects (pigeon people) he would see at the Kickerbocker Avenue stop.
Awkwardly contorted dancing aside, what is going on with the snowman-like figure in black? And the woman to his left with her hair covering half of her face? Is that even safe to be dancing so close to the yellow line with only one uncovered eye?!
See more of Peltier’s work here.
And, of course, if you like it so much that you want one for yourself, you can buy “Knickerbocker Ave” here.
As a Google Maps Local Guide, I was invited to visit Agoraphobic Gallery over on 39 Spring Street in NYC earlier this month.
The gallery was quite interesting, as is the woman behind it, Jacqui Kenny, a.k.a. the Agoraphobic Traveller. Her agoraphobia makes it difficult to travel, so she peruses Google Maps street view as a way of traveling the world, taking cool screenshots along the way. She finds some really interesting hidden gems in her Google Maps travels, which made it into this gallery.
One of my favorites is the promo image used for the gallery, which I got to see IRL on a long skinny illuminated table lined with Kenny’s screenshots. Called “Camels getting out of the way of the Google car in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates,” it features two gorgeous camels in the desert. I can imagine how awesome it must have felt to come across this find. I don’t usually look at Google Maps of places outside the US, so for me this is a really cool scene to have found.
You can view more of Kenny’s agoraphobic travels on Instagram.
Last week I got invited to one of the preview dates for the new National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square and it was amazing.
I love animals, and this experience just made me appreciate marine life so much more!
My favorite parts of the experience were the kelp forest exhibits. After the maze, there’s a really cool room of CGI sea lions that move around as you walk passed them. I took a few photos of them and Google Photos made a neat little GIF of it for me!
If you haven’t already gone to see National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, I totally recommend it. It’s a really fun and interactive experience filled with 3D, CGI, and visual art elements.
Learn more about National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey.
If you’ve seen my accessories collection, you’d know that I LOVE owls. I have an owl ring, several owl necklaces, an owl phone case…
The owl obsession is real.
So you can imagine back in fall 2015 while I was visiting the Getty Museum in Los Angeles how excited I got when I saw this adorable owl, part of the In Focus: Animalia exhibit.
A dye imbibition print, called “Jeweled Toad” is by Los Angeles based artist Hiro. The toad brooch was created by David Webb. I wasn’t able to take a photo of the original piece because there was no photography allowed in that particular exhibit, so the above photo is of promo poster outside of the hall. I have my ways.
Is it just me, or is this owl extra fluffy?! I just wanna reach out and ruffle its feathers!
I’d buy that toad brooch in a heartbeat (if it were affordable, and I doubt it is lol).
I just hope that brooch isn’t attached to the owl. That would be cruel.
Learn more about In Focus: Animalia here.
Happy National Comic Book Day!
I really wanted to feature comic book art in honor of National Comic Book Day today, but then I realized I don’t have any in my camera roll.
So, the closest piece of art I could dig up that looked similar to comic book art is this ink on paper drawing by Canadian artist Beau LaBute. I saw it almost 2 years ago at Printed Matter in Chelsea, New York City.
Boy, is it difficult to find anything about this piece, “Crazy from the Heat #2” on the internet! I’m still amazed that I was able to find anything on the artist!
There’s a lot going on in this ink on paper drawing, but two things stand out to me the most. The first is the man, cat, sheep combination going on in the top right corner of the piece. The second is actually more than one thing located in the top left section of the square sitting in the middle portion of the piece.
Yes, I’m talking about the four wine bottles. Does that make me a wino?
Although I couldn’t find much online about this piece, I did notice that LaBute created some similar artwork with artist Peter Thompson, as seen here, here, here, and here.
I wonder what “Crazy From the Heat #1” looks like, if it exists.
Maybe if I post about fall-related things all week the weather will cool down in time for the first day of autumn on Friday.
A few months ago, I came across this really fun apple sculpture while walking through the Meatpacking District in NYC. Called “A Night Out” this ginormous acrylic apple by artist Billy sits right outside of the Dos Caminos location on Hudson Street.
After doing some research, I found that this is not the only apple sculpture that fell from the tree (I’m trying to be funny, bear with me).
Back in 2004, the Meatpacking District held a Big Apple Fest where artists decorated dozens of apple sculptures like the one pictured above to be scattered around NYC from August-October as public art and then auctioned to benefit charities.
Sadly, the Big Apple Fest didn’t catch on as an annual event. Help me refrain from wishing it wasn’t so.
Back to “A Night Out.” This sculpture is such a cool mix of cubism and pop art, which is the case for most of Billy’s work. The characters on it kind of remind me of the ones in the TV show Futurama. What I didn’t notice when I saw it in person was the writing in white wrapped around the top portion of the apple. From the photo I took, I can make out “Dos Caminos” and “Blue Fin.”
I wonder if this apple sculpture was originally set up in Times Square where another Dos Caminos is located right next to Blue Fin?!
See more of Billy’s work here.
It’s been 16 years since the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. I almost remember it like it was only a few years ago.
I was seven years old sitting in my second grade classroom in Queens, NY when it happened. I couldn’t really understand what was going on but everyone was sent home early and the footage of the Twin Towers, also known as the World Trade Center buildings, falling down kept replaying on every channel on the TV.
My parents tried to explain it to me. Seven-year-old Dana only wanted to know one thing: “What happens now?”
Back in 2015 I visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum where I saw this photograph of a Lower East Side mural by graffiti artist Chico. In it, Big Bird sits in a boat on the Hudson River, the Twin Towers and the rest of the skyline in the background as he holds U.S. flag with a bent stick. A heart with a crack down the middle appears in the foreground to the right of Big Bird.
The juxtaposition of a lighthearted children’s show character and the tragedy of 9/11 in this mural really hit home for me, as I was young when it all happened. Big Bird wasn’t the only one with a broken heart after those events.
See more of Chico’s art here.
During my trip to Puerto Rico, my friends and I visited Casa Blanca, the ancestral home of Juan Ponce de Leon, in Old San Juan.
In one of the rooms, there were a few colorful murals on the wall that really stood out to me. This one by Taller Coco de Oro in collaboration with Edgardo Larregui, native of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, was my fave.
I’m pretty sure the black and white portion of the portrait is an old photo of Juan Ponce de Leon and the rest is a top hat and blazer paired with a colorful beard of plantain. Also, peep the watermelon grin.
It’s basically a party in a portrait.
If you’re ever in Puerto Rico, I’d definitely recommend visiting Casa Blanca!
Over the weekend I came across this beautiful mural in Washington Heights on the iron gate of Marina Dental Center.
Painted by Belarusian artist Yu-baba as part of the Audubon Mural Project, the mural features a gorgeous western tanager, an American songbird, surrounded by leaves and berries.
In collaboration with Gitler &_____ Gallery, the National Audubon Society’s Audubon Mural Project brings awareness to the climate-threatened birds of our environment.
Needless to say, I’m going on a hunt for all the rest of these murals! There are 67 murals currently complete, with 247 left to be painted.
Learn more about the Audubon Mural Project.