Friday, 20 July 2018

Flow Separation: Tauba Auerbach Transforms a New York City Fireboat With Contemporary Camouflage

New York City’s historic Fireboat John J. Harvey has been transformed into a dazzling display of red and white marbling in a new piece by artist Tauba Auerbach (previously). Flow Separation is a co-commission by the Public Art Fund and 14-18 NOW, a UK arts program created for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. For the new piece Auerbach used the visual language of early 20th-century dazzle camouflage, a technique invented by British painter Norman Wilkinson during WWI to distort a ship’s form and confuse enemies who might be tracking its direction or speed.

Auerbach was also inspired by the pattern created by a wake when an object moves through water, which is referenced in the work’s title. The ship flies a flag that diagrams “flow separation,” a phenomenon that occurs when areas of fluid in a wake move backwards and create eddies. To imitate this form for the design of the boat she floated inks on a fluid bath and transferred this process to paper.

For the last four years, 14-18 NOW has commissioned four artists to create Dazzle Ships in the UK, including Carlos Cruz-Diez, Tobias Rehberger, Ciara Phillips, and Sir Peter Blake. Auerbach’s vessel will be the last work in the series, and the first boat to appear in the U.S. The ship will be available for free trips through September 23, 2018, and on view through May 12, 2019. You can visit the boat at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6 until August 12, 2018, at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 from August 13 to September 23, 2018, and at Hudson River Park’s Pier 66a from September 24, 2018 to May 12, 2019. You can find more information about tickets and locations on the Public Art Fund’s website.

This Just In: New in The Colossal Shop

With summer in full swing, we’re celebrating the world’s natural wonders in The Colossal Shop. You’ll find shimmering beetle puzzles imported from Spain and make-a-wish dandelion pop-up cards made by MoMA. Plus, the latest poster release from Pop Chart Lab is blossoming with over 200 flowers. See what’s new in store!


Mosaic Vermin Invade New York City as Part of Jim Bachor’s Latest Pothole Interventions

Jim Bachor (previously) has been filling potholes with mosaics in Chicago and beyond for the last five years, combining his art practice with public service to create popsicles, flowers, and the Chicago city flag. The cheeky creations are one part beautification, one part nudge to city infrastructure, and are meant to exist in situ as both solution and artwork.

Bachor just returned from a trip to New York City where he installed five new mosaics as a part of his series Vermin of New York. All of the pieces—a dead rat, pigeon, cockroach, portrait of Donald Trump, and a bouquet of flowers—were installed in Brooklyn or Manhattan. “A lot of my work is pretty upbeat, so I try and be a little unpredictable to keep people of balance—hence the vermin,” Bachor tells Colossal.

Just days after installation his cockroach, portrait of Donald Trump, and bouquet were removed by the transportation department, something that has never happened to previous 67 installs. You can see the works that have managed to stay in the ground on his Instagram.

9 Reasons to Visit Thailand in 2018

Temple in Chiang Mai
Updated: 7/20/2017 | July 20th, 2018

Thailand is one of my favorite countries in the world. Going to Thailand is like going home. That sense of energy, of adventure, of hectic cities. I love it. I love the sense of wonder. The knowing that anything can happen.

I’ve been visiting for over a decade, and I’m always amazed by it. Every visit reminds me how much I love it, lets me learn more about the culture and discover new and exciting things to do. The country is so big that it would take a lifetime to really see it in depth.

I want to share with you what makes Thailand so special to me and give you a little overview of the best things to do and see there — no matter how long your visit is!

Experience Bangkok’s chaotic nature
Bangkok skyline
The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is a crazy city that moves at a lightning-fast pace. I didn’t like it when I first visited: the noise, crowds, heat, pollution, and seemingly endless number of people — it was all too much. But after living there, I saw how wonderful the city really is.

Bangkok is like an onion. There are lots of layers, and the best are far from the tourist haunts. They are the little places you only find if you live there (or read this blog!). In Bangkok, there is always some event being held; the food is incredible whether it’s from a street stall, market, or high-end restaurant; the parties…well, one night in Bangkok is like nothing else; the locals are very friendly; and, because of all the travelers and expats living here, it’s a very international city. You’ll never be bored here.

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Visit one of the many tropical beaches
gorgeous blue waters of one of the many beaches in Thailand
Thailand’s beaches and islands are some of the best, most photographed, and most beautiful in the world. A picture’s worth a thousand words, and this photo proves why you should visit Thailand better than any words I could say. There are islands for all needs: party islands, resort islands, dive islands, chill islands, empty islands filled with a few huts and not much else… islands with resorts, yoga retreats, or waterfalls, and some that mix a little bit of everything! With more than a thousand islands to choose from, you are going to find something that suits your needs.

My favorite islands in Thailand are Ko Lipe, Ko Lanta, Ko Samet, Ko Phangan (where you’ll find the famous Full Moon Party), Ko Jam, and Ko Maak.

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Trek the tropical jungles
Jungle in Thailand
Trekking in northern Thailand offers wildlife, hill tribes, great views of the lush tropical jungles, and an appreciation for the landscape. Thailand is awash with tropical jungles filled with wildlife; these make for great day trip or multi-day trekking opportunity that will give you a sense of the rich biodiversity of Thailand! There’s nothing like trekking through a tropical jungle to nurture your inner explorer. Some of the best trekking can be found way up north near Chiang Rai, in Khao Yai Park (where you can see wild elephants), and in Khao Sok, which is famous for its caves and limestone.

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Volunteer with elephants
Nomadic Matt Kepnes playing with a Thai elephant at the Elephant Nature Park
From fish in the sea to elephants on the ground to birds in the air, Thailand has a wide variety of animals. Most people come here to go diving and see tropical fish, but there are plenty of great creatures to see on land and in the air, too, especially if you like birds. Exploring the jungles in parks like Khao Yai or by diving in Ko Tao is a great way to see all the main species. Another thing you can do is help save elephants from abuse by working at the conservation camp near Chiang Mai. Elephant riding has led to a lot of abuse, and now there are a number of animal-friendly sanctuaries where you can see the elephants up close, feed them, and take care of them in a manner that’s a win for everyone involved.

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Eat delicious food
yummy fresh Thai Food
Thai food is known around the world to be delicious, and you can bet it’s even more delicious in Thailand. The best food comes from the street vendors, who serve up the tastiest, spiciest food in the country. Just find the stalls where the locals are crowding around to get the best of the best.

Thailand without the food would be like France without the wine. I highly recommend the pork noodle soup. It’s one of the few Thai dishes you won’t find elsewhere in the world. Other awesome dishes to try: khao soi, pad kra pao, som tam, laab, and endless amounts of mango sticky rice.

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Explore the historical capitals
Temple ruins in Korat
The massive archaeological sites of Sukothai, Lopburi, and Ayutthaya are windows into Thailand’s historic past, with ruins dating back centuries. These ancients cities were Thailand’s capitals during Khmer, Burmese, and local Thai kingdoms. These cities dot the center of Thailand, so they’re a perfect way to hop, skip, and jump your way to Chiang Mai and see the rural countryside. Additionally, you can find smaller ruins in Isaan on the way to Cambodia, also built in Khmer style.

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Enjoy the great diving
Diving with fish in the dark blue waters
Thailand has some of the best dive sites in the world, and it’s also one of the cheapest places in the world to learn to dive. The diving near Phuket, Ko Tao, the Similan Islands, and the Surin Islands is famous for brightly colored fish and coral. I find the diving near Ko Lanta and the Similan Islands to be the best as the reefs are better preserved.

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Explore Isaan
a temple in Isaan, Thailand
If you really want to see what Thai life is like outside the big cities, visit Isaan, the northeastern part of Thailand. It is extremely rural and contains small villages, parks, and ruins that hardly see any tourists. There were entire days I never saw another foreigner. I think it’s one of the most interesting areas in the country and gives you a true sense of Thailand away from the crowds. Isaan food is also a regional version of Thai food that is probably the best (and spiciest).

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Take a cooking class
cooking up some Thai food
You’ll find cooking classes all over Thailand, though Chiang Mai is the most popular place for them. Typically, you begin your class by going to the market and learning about Thai produce before heading to the kitchen. These hands-on classes teach you how to make your favorite Thai dishes; at the end, you’ll be able to eat your creations, so come hungry! (Just don’t try to eat my food. My curry never came out right.) Any guesthouse or tour agency can help you arrange a class.

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And this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Thailand has a lot to offer travelers. There are plenty of good reasons to visit Thailand now and tons of things to do here.

NEW UPDATED EDITION!! Get all my best Thailand tips!

Recently, I just released a massive update for this guidebook. You’ll find NEW suggested itineraries, budget tips, ways to save money, on- and off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, and non-touristy restaurants, markets, and bars. In this edition, we also urevamped and expanded our information on the islands, added a section on Kanchaburi, and added TONS of maps to help you get around the country, plan your itinerary, and find your way around cities.

Just click here to learn more about the book and get it today!

Photo credits: 10

The post 9 Reasons to Visit Thailand in 2018 appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.

Take a Walk Through Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Narcissus Garden’ Inside an Abandoned Factory in the Rockaways

All images: Rockaway! 2018 featuring a site-specific installation of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama. Artwork ©YAYOI KUSAMA. Artwork courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice; and David Zwirner, New York. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Pablo Enriquez.

All images: Rockaway! 2018 featuring a site-specific installation of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama. Artwork ©YAYOI KUSAMA. Artwork courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice; and David Zwirner, New York. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Pablo Enriquez.

The Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York has a reputation for being a popular destination for those seeking respite from the oppressive heat and congestion of the city during the summer months. Those venturing out to parks and beaches between now and Labor Day (September 3) will have the opportunity to experience a site specific installation of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama (previously), presented by MoMA PS1 as a part of the Rockaway! 2018 free public art festival.

The installation is situated inside of an old train garage at Fort Tilden and is comprised of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres. The spheres reflect the graffiti-covered walls and rusted beams of the dilapidated building, so while the viewer is walking among the shiny garden, they are also seeing the destruction that Hurricane Sandy caused to the structure and to the region back in 2012. Rockaway! 2018 is the third iteration of a festival said to be a “celebration” of the recovery efforts that have taken place over the years, but the state of the building chosen for Kusama’s installation shows that things are still not back to normal after the devastating natural disaster.

Narcissus Garden was first presented in 1966 as a part of an unofficial performance at the 33rd Venice Biennial. The silver spheres were then made of plastic, and Kusama stood among her garden with a sign that read “Your Narcissism for Sale.” “What was most important about Narcissus Garden at Venice was my action of selling the mirror balls on the site, as if I were selling hot dogs or ice cream cones,” Kusama once said in an interview. The spheres were sold for $2 each.

The current installation is not for sale, but it is free and open to the public Friday through Sunday and on Labor Day from noon to 6pm. (via Hyperallergic)

Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Coralarium: An Immersive Sculptural Installation Semi-Submerged in the Indian Ocean

All photographs shared with permission of the artist Jason deCaires Taylor

The Coralarium is the newest aquatic sculpture by artist Jason deCaires Taylor (previously here and here). Built in a large developed coral lagoon in the Maldives, the semi-submerged installation is positioned so both human and marine visitors can interact with sculptural elements on the skyline, inter-tidal waterline, and seabed.

To reach the Coralarium, island guests traverse about 500 feet (150 meters) of shallow water, seascaped with underwater poplars and endemic corals. About 20 feet (6 meters) tall, the open-air stainless steel cube is designed based on natural coral structures and allows tidal water and marine life to pass through. Within the structure, which provides some refuge from the ocean’s currents, are several figurative sculptures that merge human, plant, and coral shapes, based on endemic species of the island and its surrounding reefs. Additional sculptures sit and stand atop the cube’s roof to unite the interior elements with the horizon.

The aquatic destination is accessible via small group tours led by marine biologists that are on staff at the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort. You can see more of Taylor’s work on Facebook and Instagram, and the video below shows the creation of the Coralarium. (via Web Urbanist)

Color Problems: A Republished Tome Reveals the Color Wisdom and Poetics of 19th-Century Artist Emily Noyes Vanderpoel

In 1901 artist and historian Emily Noyes Vanderpoel (1842-1939) published the painting manual Color Problems: A Practical Manual for the Lay Student of Color under the guise of flower painting and decorative arts, subjects that were appropriate for a woman of her time. The study provided an extensive look at color theory ideas of the early 20th-century. Her research-based techniques were later used and circulated by men without mention of her name, and are now commonly used in art curriculums. Many of the included studies predict design and art trends that wouldn’t occur for several decades, such as a concentric square format that predates Joseph Albers’s Homage to the Square by fifty years.

In addition to color lessons and guides, the 400-page book features an extensive collection of her original and intently poetic methods of color analysis, from detailing the color relationships in quotidian objects like a found teacup and saucer, to color swatches of wool sorted by a color-blind man. There is also a watercolor series that poignantly observes the nuanced color of her private moments, such as the bruised colors found in a shadow on white ground or the inherent tones of woods that lay on the edge of a meadow.

Vanderpoel was vice president of the New York Watercolor Club, an organization founded in response to the American Watercolor Society’s policy to not accept women as members. Despite the history and visual wisdom detailed in her color guide, the tome never received the audience it deserved. Brooklyn-based publisher The Circadian Press along with their collaborators Sacred Bones Records aim to change this with a new print of the 118-year-old guide. The project just received funding for more than five times its initial goal on Kickstarter, and plans to go into production in the fall.