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collaboration

Maptastic! NYPL Labs Partners with Electric Objects on Net Artist Residency


An 1870 map of Long Island and the southern part of Connecticut. (Photo: NYPL)

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of: unfettered access to a collection of more than 20,000 historical maps and atlases, oodles of urban data dating from the 19th century (think old NYC building footprints and the equivalent of ye olde white and yellow pages), and your own dedicated patch of the New York Public Library to make sense—and art—out of it all. Such is the premise and promise of the Net Artist Residency program dreamed up by NYPL Labs, the New York Public Library’s in-house digital innovation team, and Electric Objects, emerging maker of nifty computers-cum-digital canvases to display digital images on your walls. The residency, created to “explore the creative possibilities of historical collections and the potential of the EO platform,” is open for applications through August 20. Start thinking in 1080 x 1920 pixels (the slightly goofy extruded-portrait orientation that is the native resolution of the EO1 prototype frame) and browsing NYPL maps for inspiration.

Katz Marks the Spot: New Art Billboard to Welcome Whitney Downtown

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Alex Katz’s 2012 painting Katherine and Elizabeth (Photo courtesy Gavin Brown’s Enterprise)

Worried that the spindly and shape-shifting “W” of the Whitney Museum’s fledgling graphic identity will be insufficient to guide visitors to the door of its new downtown home? Alex Katz to the rescue. The artist (and erstwhile J. Crew model)’s 2012 canvas, Katherine and Elizabeth, will welcome the museum to the Meatpacking District in the form of a 17-by-29-foot billboard on the facade of 95 Horatio Street, located directly across Gansevoort Street from the southern end of the High Line and the Renzo Piano-designed Whitney. Announced today, the public art installation will be the first in a planned five-year series organized in collaboration with real estate developer TF Cornerstone and High Line Art.

Put a Balloon Dog on It! H&M ‘Collaborates’ with Jeff Koons

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lisa perry koons“I have a little bit of the heebie-jeebies by ‘art inspired by fashion’—or art printed on fashion,” said designer Zac Posen during a recent on-stage conversation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Look no further than H&M’s new “fashion loves art collaboration” for an example of what Posen meant.

Last night the Swedish fast fashion juggernaut, the lead sponsor of the Whitney’s Jeff Koons-o-rama, inaugurated its new 57,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue flagship by plastering the place with images of the artist’s monumental Balloon Dog (Yellow) (1994-2000). H&M has also printed an image of the celebrated Celebration series sculpture on a black leather handbag that it touts as “the ultimate art-meets-fashion statement from the ultimate post-pop artist.”
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Favorite Thing: MZ Wallace’s Artists for Haiti Tote Returns

mz wallaceArtist Raymond Pettibon‘s enchanting scrawl, a very good cause, and sequins: a more appealing trio of reasons to purchase a new tote bag we have not encountered. The accessories wizards over at MZ Wallace have gone into their capacious bag vault (which we imagine to be a milky white, high-ceilinged affair that smacks of Richard Gluckman) to reissue their Artists for Haiti tote, created in 2011 to raise funds for the nonprofit that supports education and health charities in Haiti. All proceeds from sales of the $175 nylon bag—originally in black and now in a creamy khaki dusted with bronze sequins and featuring Pettibon’s lettering on the leather handles—will benefit programs endowed by Artists for Haiti.

Have a suggestion for our next Favorite Thing? E-mail unbeige@mediabistro.com.

Watch: Marina Abramovic Teams with Adidas on New Film

Opposing bunches of talented young people shuttle purposefully from one side of a rectangular surface to another. Sound familiar? No, it’s not the World Cup—sorry, the 2014 FIFA World Cup™—but Marina Abramovic‘s restaging of her 1978 performance Work Relation. And hold on to your Sambas, because the film (below), which was shot in Brooklyn by Dustin Lynn and debuted today on Nick Knight‘s Showstudio, was made in collaboration with Adidas. And so the eleven performers, wearing not only white lab coats bearing the monogram of the Marina Abramovic Institute but also Adidas kicks as they go about their competitive task, evoke a team of clinically precise athletes, with Abramovic in the role of wise—and presumably very well-compensated—referee.

Hennessy and Pratt Reunite for ‘Wild Rabbit’ Competition

Writer Nancy Lazarus hops over to Pratt Manhattan Gallery for a creative collaboration between Pratt Institute and Hennessy V.S.

Eduardo Palma
Pratt MFA student Eduardo Palma’s winning project, an interactive poster. (All photos: Pratt Institute/Peter Tannenbaum)

Pratt Institute once again teamed with Hennessy for the “Wild Rabbit” contest. The third annual competition challenged nine Pratt students from six creative disciplines to create works of art based on Hennessy’s M.O., “never stop, never settle,” symbolized by the constantly striving bunny brand icon. A panel of seven industry judges recently viewed the works at Pratt’s Manhattan Gallery and selected the top three winners, who will fly to Los Angeles next week for an event where their works will be on display in conjunction with the launch of a Shepard Fairey-designed bottle of Hennessy V.S. Multi-layered approaches marked the common themes for the winners, though they hailed from different geographic areas and interpreted the assignment differently. Here’s a look at the winning projects.

Eduardo Palma_1First place ($10,000): Eduardo Palma (at right), from Bogota, Colombia, MFA in communications design
His wild rabbit: Impacting culture through language
Es Mejor ser Rich que Poor (“It’s better to be rich than poor”) is the statement on Palma’s wall-size poster, set in Friz Quadrata. The surface layer shows a Latin American map in the tones of American currency, divided into cutouts of heavy cardstock.

Palma invited viewers and judges to remove the postcards, uncovering another saying, Plata or Plomo (“Money or Lead”). The quote is from Colombian drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, who enforced a bribes-or-bullets program. The bottom newsprint layer shows images in red, yellow, and blue—the colors of the Colombian flag—and depicts Escobar becoming Donald Trump.
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SEN One Creates Cover for Time Out New York

Time Out New York - Uptown coverYou’ve still got more than two months to catch the Museum of the City of New York’s “City as Canvas” exhibition of graffiti from the Martin Wong collection. For a bite-sized dose, pick up a copy of the latest issue of Time Out New York, on newsstands today, which features an original cover by George “SEN One” Morillo. The graffiti artist, a lifelong Upper West Sider, was an ideal fit for TONY‘s uptown-themed issue. “Being born and raised uptown, and seeing the gentrification process all my life and seeing everybody coming up, it fits who I am,” he tells the magazine. “That story connects to my story.”

As for how that story connects with the street art of today, Morillo points to the humble origins of slick tools with names like Krink and Grog. “We made markers by popping the balls out of roll-on deodorant, putting in the soft stuff from school erasers, and filling the containers with ink. Those techniques, as primitive as they might seem, led to the markers they sell now,” he says. “Vandals created an industry, and it all comes out of the Upper West Side.”

Biennale Bling: Rem Koolhaas and Swarovski Sparkle in Venice

(Gilbert McCarragher)
(Photo: Gilbert McCarragher)

The long-awaited Rem Koolhaas-curated Venice Architecture Biennale is upon us. Along with a newly cohesive approach to the national pavilions, in which the 65 participating nations each address a “key moment from a century of modernization,” and the central “Elements of Architecture” exhibition (spoiler alert: “It is nothing to do with design,” Koolhaas explained yesterday), there is “Monditalia,” a multidisciplinary portrait of Italy in the form of 82 films, 41 architectural projects, and a merger of architecture with the Biennale’s dance, music, theater, and film sections. Mamma mia!

Visitors enter Monditalia through a dramatic illuminated archway, which is saved from smacking of Vegas or Disney by its setting in the augustly industrial Arsenale. Dubbed Luminaire, the sparkling facade—spanning nearly 66 feet in length—was created in collaboration with Swarovski using thousands of colored light bulbs and a generous dusting (read: 33 pounds worth) of Swarovski crystals, all encrusting an elaborate wooden frame. Koolhaas describes what lies beyond the gate as dealing with “the current state of Italy, between treasure and crisis, knowledge and controversies, history and politics.”

MZ Wallace Teams with Food52 to Build a Better Market Tote

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New York City-based MZ Wallace is our go-to source for smartly designed, beautifully made bags in materials ranging from seasonless leather and sturdy canvas to quilted nylon and metallic Kevlar—in weights and colors that change with the seasons (we’re partial to a full-bodied shade of gray they call “seagull” and keep the UnBeige fleet of iPads sheathed in MZW printed haircalf pouches, but this summer is all about the Pollock-style Metro Tote). Now the company has joined forces with online culinary commmity Food52 to design a better market tote: ideally used to whisk just-picked produce from farmstand to kitchen, we suspect it will work just as well hauling more conventional groceries. But what color should it be? They’ve narrowed the field of chromatic contenders to forest green and navy blue, and the winning hue will be decided by an online vote. Make your preference known by Monday at 11:59 p.m. and be entered to win a tote before it’s released this fall.

Smithsonian Joins Forces with Great Courses in Decade-Long Deal

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In a bit of news that is in keeping this week’s fun-yet-educational theme, the Smithsonian Institution has inked a deal with The Great Courses (née The Teaching Company) to produce new courses devoted to history, science, culture, travel, music, and the arts. The ten-year licensing agreement calls for the purveyor of recorded lectures to draw upon the Smithsonian’s museums and collections for a staring-line up of twelve courses that will include “Experiencing America: A Smithsonian Tour through American History,” “A Visual Guide to the Universe,” and “The Great Tours and Smithsonian Journeys: Essential Sites of Rome, Venice, and Tuscany.” We suggest a “Museum Masterpieces: Cooper-Hewitt” edition to accompany the existing Great Courses that offer virtual tours of the Met, the Louvre, and London’s National Gallery.

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