Poster Boy

Poster Boy is an anonymous NYC artist who uses existing subway ads to create instant collages that comment on consumerism, politics, the media, celebrity and are sometimes just juvenile gross-out jokes or clever plays on words.  I like his work best when it’s smart, funny and cutting:

Gentrification

My NYPD

Also a recent collage he made for a magazine cover commenting on the assault on Gaza using a current news photo and Goya paintings:

Gaza

Of course, he brings to mind Banksy, who I also enjoy, but whose visual style doesn’t always appeal to me.  And I love that Poster Boy is taking these commercial posters that corporations have paid for and turning them into commentary.

Call Cutta in a Box

Here’s a video from the NY Times via You Tube about an experimental theater project at the Goethe-Institut in NYC, “Call Cutta in a Box.”

Most basically, the piece addresses globalization, the technology that enables it, and how human interactions are shaped by these new, and usually short-lived, proximities.  But from there, I spiral off, thinking about race, the American Empire, theatre where audience becomes writer/performer, experience as art . . .

Public Art

Just listened online to Tish Pearlman’s interview with Patty Phillips, Chair of the Cornell Art Department.  What struck me most in their half-hour discussion was the exchange about public art.  Patty speaks about the questions that make for good public art and the way that avoiding these questions can result in “disappointing public art.”    Phillips feels that engaging public art is all about the content: does the work address the site (historically, physically, socially) or “what it means to be a public citizen” or how we as individuals relate to public space?  She mentions Creative Time and The Public Art Fund as examples of organizations supporting/creating strong public art.

Work chosen to offend no one also inspires no one.  The most interesting public work poses questions, opens dialog and need not make stark, polarizing declarations in order to do so.  We have nothing to fear from the public examination of the issues we struggle with as a community.  How is Ithaca’s public art serving our community?  Some people may enjoy being photographed with the metal horse on the Commons, but are they talking about it?

Here are some (non-controversial) recent public works that I found charming/whimsical/thought-provoking:

Pulse Park by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer - Madison Square Park, NYC

Pulse Park by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer - Madison Square Park, NYC

More info on this project

More videos of this work