Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dynamite Museum

Stanley Marsh's Dynamite Museum has a Tesla "Do this, don't do that" je ne sais quoi. In an effort to launch a public art initiative in Amarillo, thousands of random signs were parked throughout neighborhood corridors. Each sign broadcasts unique, gauche statements and equally odd images.
The concept doesn't stun me. The signs sully the landscape and no Girl Scout needs to be muddled by "hush money conveniences" and "no curfew concepts" while trafficking her Thin Mints.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hot House


Winnipeg is an inhospitable icebox throughout it's winter cycle. Block heaters, fanny friers and miles of underground pedestrian tunnels do their best to bolster sun-starved spirits but, how long can folks keep warm inside by line dancing and munching on flaming prairie oysters? At some point humans need to engage the elements beyond "Rock and Rolling" their neighbors out of slick tire ruts.

So, I was tickled when I learned of an initiative geared to enrich the hinterland experience. Yearly, the Assiniboine River becomes an iced bonspiel of activity that attracts kamikaze skaters during a 6 week blitz. To keep the wannabe Gretzky's from hypothermia, an architecture competition has been launched calling on "warming hut" entries to be considered for rinkside hospitality. This year, starchitect Frank Gehry submitted his abstract igloo concept to the Ice Capades of yurtdom. During the day, it blends into it's surroundings and at sunset, it becomes a beacon of warmth to those freezing their butts off. Genius.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spot On


The Gagosian Gallery on West 21st Street is riding the hyperbolic curves of a color wavelength with a well-curated collection of Damien Hirst's Spot Paintings. A polished concrete stage, simply punctuated with 11 of his iconic canvases, shocks the senses with a chickenpox cadence. One part Seurat and two parts candy buttons, it's a fascinating case study in scale and repetition. Stand at the back of the open space and allow each canvas to deliciously infuse enough color theory to caffeinate the landscape of your lazy eye.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Spring Break....


...enjoy.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Days?


While inhaling the sensory grit of the Meatpacking District, I revelled in it's gentrified industrialism and beamed under a ceiling of steel girders shouldering the High Line's central spur. My architectural stars were aligned until my gaze suddenly caught a shonda of shopping disparity. Dripping like a Dali, but Brut-strong in suggestion, a mirage of orange and gold reflected Tory Burch's new outpost within the cleavage of Little West 12th and Washington Street. Starving artists, Hogs and Heifers, drag queens, panhandlers....and Marion Cunningham approved "Reva" Ballerina Flats?
Has the Meatpacking District jumped the shark?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spliced Street Life


Bill Cunningham has been an influential fixture on the streets of New York throughout the ebb and flow of yearly hem lengths. Posing behind his camera, he snaps up fashionable photos of random pedestrians for his thoughtful editorial in the Sunday Styles Section of the New York Times. Peddling the streets on his 29th Schwinn (his previous bikes have been stolen), I love how he labels runway trends from the open spokes of city life.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Butchered


Recently, Architectural Digest featured Diane von Furstenberg's lair within the urban fabric of the Meatpacking District. Snout to tail was designed by WORKac. Personally, after seeing the plan of the rooftop landscape architecture, I'd sooner be vegan.
The glass pod in the corner was slightly intriguing from a "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory glass elevator design" meets I.M. Pei's truncated glass pyramid at the Louvre. Both signal rebirth, true to the neighborhood's dogma. However, the rest of the rooftop was all euthanasia. While the plant palette set to mimic the nearby native chic of the High Line, the thicket of plantings looked like a tick's Junkanoo. And what a waste of space. Diane loves her gentle skirted lines, but the deck severed the possibility of fluid entertainment and infringed on any interaction with the impressive skyline. After the glass pod, the design seemed like a bum wrap.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Burning Down The House


A client of mine has recently purchased a tear down on a poetic waterfront parcel of land. In a circuitous route to raze the structure, they have enlisted the help from the local fire department to assuage the wrecking ball process. With a Talking Heads slant and tax kickback in hand, the brigade has volunteered to preform routine combustion drills on the house. Reminiscent of stubble burning, a process farmers ritualize to enrich their future crops; this approach seemed almost baptismal of future good fortune. As a family, they watched the landscape of future domestic bliss being set a flame with fertile smiles, an inferno of anointed architectural promise.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Takin' It To The Streets


Parkour is an extreme sport that focuses on increasing athlete's speed and agility while they vault, roll and jump through any "concrete adverse" environment. Enthusiasts to this method of conditioning are referred to as "traceurs". Now popular in the Palestinian Authority, traceurs are navigating the ruins within the controversially charged Gaza Strip. In a bid to up their game, they straddle real and perceived inherent dangers to hone their craft. Totally mind-blowing.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Elizabeth Street Gallery


The Elizabeth Street Gallery carries a fabulously flush collection of garden ornament. Tucked within Lower Manhattan's quintessential aisle's of gritty style, it breaks up the rigamortise of building stock as it lazes on an expansive, grassed lot.
Lit with an eclectic mess of garden intrigue, I love how it denies commercial redundancy from the invasive stockists of Restoration Hardware. Simmer your Kardashian calender and stall out within it's gates- you may just find your garden-inspired chupacabra.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gori Delights


Through a fabulous twist, I Birkenstalked* into Signori Gori's Celle Estate to linger in the lashes of his landscaped bliss. A patron of the arts, he invites mind-blowing artists to take residency at his Italian outpost in return for their landscape installations on the property. Beverly Pepper, Cy Twombly, Sol Le Wit, Richard Serra and Robert Morris are but a few that fill his guest book and local permit rap sheet. Hiking through his back 40 leaves your chin brushing your shin in awe.

*Birkenstalked: To visit a foreign, national treasure with obsessive delight while backpacking through Europe. A personal portmanteau fav- new word, don't look it up.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Paradise Found


Architect, Renzo Piano moored this greened oasis in Genoa's sparred port. It is such a fantastic display of the unexpected, a lovely disruption to the traditions of piers, pilings and way finders. "Red, Right, Returning" or "Biosphere of Bliss" off starboard...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beautility


Jean Nouvel's Arab Institute in Paris is at the absolute heap of my utmost favorite buildings. He completely pushed the "envelope". The facade is a calculated grid of perforated steel panes. Perhaps pedestrian, but each small opening works like a camera aperture, dictating light into the indoor space depending on the intensity of the outside light source. The ongoing dialogue the interior and exterior environments share is stunning.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sheer Bliss


While wandering the streets of NYC, I saw this most marvellous display of agrarian ingenuity. Parked in a legitimate stall, was a John Deere chassis of metered bliss. The dichotomy was delicious.