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).
that’s heyjenray's teacher!!
so neat. the trident is my favourite. i love the three basic shapes in use. i love minimal design.
Travelers - Surrealist Sculptures Bruno Catalano
"Travelers", a series of surrealist sculptures by French artist Bruno Catalano, a dozen were installed during the month of September in the streets of Marseilles in the framework of the European Capital of Culture 2013. The amazing sculptures pictured here look like they’re missing vital organs. B Catalano who says the invisible bodies represent a world citizen. This beautiful series of sculptures queries as its meaning from its implementation, and evokes memories and things that every traveler inevitably leaves behind …