Oh hello Hudson River #goinghome (at Amtrak Northeast Corridor)
Roman Mars is the best guy ever. I ride for Roman Mars.
The violent and tumultuous chain of recent events on Ukraine’s Independence Square in Kiev, shown above, underscores the continuing debates over urban design and public space. While grand squares often serve as cradles of democracy, we should remember that authoritarian forces can also redesign such public spaces to crush grassroots social movements.
Matt Ford’s recent article in The Atlantic on “A Dictator’s Guide to Urban Design” points to the enduring tension between the square as democratic symbol and authoritarian tool: ”the public square [serves] as an epicenter of democratic expression and protest, and the lack of one—or the deliberate manipulation of such a space—as a way for autocrats to squash dissent through urban design.”
Public space matters, not just for everyday urbanism, but for the very heart and soul of democratic societies.
Kehinde Wiley’s paintings often blur the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation. Rendered in a realistic mode–while making references to specific Old Master paintings–Wiley creates a fusion of period styles, ranging from French Rococo, Islamic architecture and West African textile design to urban hip hop and the “Sea Foam Green” of a Martha Stewart Interiors color swatch. Wiley’s slightly larger than life size figures are depicted in a heroic manner, as their poses connote power and spiritual awakening. Wiley’s portrayal of masculinity is filtered through these poses of power and spirituality.
One of my favorite artists working today. His work is fucking amazing and beautiful.
One of my favorite current artists - love checking out his stuff at the Brooklyn Museum (and unfortunately I missed his solo exhibit at the Jewish Museum a few years ago).