Mexican artist Jorge Méndez Blake makes a brilliant statement about the impact a single act can have with his 2007 installation of a 75 x 13 brick wall, set subtly yet strikingly askew due to a single copy of the novel The Castle by Franz Kafka planted at its base. What initially appears intimidating, even impenetrable, is revealed to be mortarless, and ultimately precarious, as the effects of the small disruption can be traced all the way to the top. See more images of “The Castle” below.
Trevor Wheatley and Cosmo Dean work together to create large installations based around phrases and logos that are part of the common lexicon. Casually used terms like “all good” and the shrug emoji take on larger-than-life dimensions in the duo’s three dimensional versions, which are suspended from cables, integrated into chain link fences, toted in truck beds, and painted alongside graffiti. Wheatley and Dean have partnered with music festivals, fashion brands, and the creative house Justkids to install their work. Up next, the artists will be embarking on a trip to Mexico to create new paintings in rural areas. You can see more installations on their website.
Frustrated by the daily bombardment of advertising on the streets of New York City, artist Caroline Caldwell and writer RJ Rushmore decided to produce a project that would dampen the sheer volume of visual marketing strewn throughout their environment. The pair didn’t have the budget to prompt an entire overhaul, but they did have the incentive to construct an intervention that would offer an alternative glimpse to the city’s high volume of print-based advertisements.
For their 2017 project, Art in Ad Places, the pair recruited 55 artists and collectives from across the country to produce 52 works to be temporarily displayed on pay phone booths across New York City. The installations were each presented for a week, and documented by their collaborator, street art photographer Luna Park.
“Pay phones were a perfect choice because they’re disappearing from the streets,” Rushmore told Colossal. “So I’d like to say that our ad takeovers were intended as a swan song for pay phones. Plus, contemporary pay phones serve no real function except to serve advertising, and that feels wrong. Nobody’s using pay phones to make calls, so why do we put up with their ads?”
The 52-week campaign ended in December of last year, however it has recently been compiled into a new book that documents the year-long installation. Art in Ad Places: 52 Week of Public Art Across New York City is available through Rushmore’s street art blog Vandalog and features statements from each artist alongside essays written by the project’s three collaborators. You can see the entire range of poster-sized artworks produced for Art in Ad Places on the project’s website or Instagram.
Multidisciplinary artist Miguel Rothschild works across a wide variety of mediums from modified photography to glass sculpture and textiles. In several recent works the Argentine artist has captured the slow roll of ocean waves in suspended fabric installations titled Elegy and De Profundis. Both artworks seem to play with the viewer’s perception, appearing both as waves or perhaps a slice of the sky. Even the filament that holds the artwork airborne seems to glisten like rays of sun or rain. You can see more of the Berlin-based artists work on his website.
The Castle is a 2007 project by Mexican artist Jorge Méndez Blake that subtly examines the impact of a single outside force. For the installation, he constructed a 75 x 13 foot brick wall that balances on top of a single copy of Franz Kafka’s The Castle. The mortarless wall bulges at the site of the inserted text, creating an arch that extends to the top of the precarious structure.
Although a larger metaphor could be applied to the installation no matter what piece of literature was chosen, Méndez Blake specifically selected The Castle to pay tribute to Kafka’s lifestyle and work. The novelist was an introverted figure who wrote privately throughout his life, and was only published posthumously by his friend Max Brod. This minimal, yet poignant presence is reflected in the brick work—Kafka’s novel showcasing how a small idea can have a monumental presence.
British sculptor Alex Chinneck knots seemingly un-knottable things as part of his latest mind-bending project. Currently on display at the German Museum of Kirchheim Unter Teck in Stuttgart, “Birth, death and a midlife crisis” features an architectural intervention involving a vast knot placed in a 450-year-old column. Click here for previous posts of Chinneck’s work and check out more images from his latest exhibition below.
British sculptor Alex Chinneck (previously) upends the steady, reliable nature of banal structures that we interact with every day through his architectural interventions. Overturned swaths of car parking lots, twisted broomstick handles, and inverted building facades are executed with such precise detail that it is difficult to determine where reality ends and surreality begins. Chinneck describes one particular piece to It’s Nice That as “sculpturally bold but contextually sensitive,” which seems an apt description of his entire body of work. You can see more on his website and Instagram. (via It’s Nice That)
A selection of experimental work by Dublin-born, New York City-based artist Norman Mooney. At once physical and metaphysical, Mooney’s work ranges from sculpture, installation and drawing and involves materials like smoke, glass, steel and resin.