“The Wuppertal Northern Railway in Germany retired from its original function in the late 1990s and the ‘Nordtrasse’ was officially reopened as a cycle and pedestrian path in June 2010. The ten mile route is maintained by the Wuppertal Bewegung Association e.V., an Eingetrangener Verein or registered charity, that continues to look for exciting ways to use the space (which is sensible considering the success of New York’s High Line). Enter street artist MEGX.
As part of the redevelopment, Martin Heowold (MEGX) transformed 250 square meters of grey concrete into several giant toy bricks. MEGX is a street artist with a real interest in projects that can help people to perceive their surroundings more positively. In this case, paint has proved to be a relatively cheap way to transform a dull bridge into a talking point…..”
AN : do look up the reference article and see the before and after pictures. Public Art can be constructive and transformational !
via Street Artist MEGX creates LEGO Bridge on Abandoned Railway | Urban Ghosts |.
“If you’re given an empty canvas and asked to paint your inner thoughts, the brush is likely to slither across it with abandon, giving form to your whims and fancies. Art is freedom and a conduit to express individualism. But, if the canvas turns into a priceless gold dial, the brush morphs into a scientific engraver, and your job is to carve microscopic details on it, being an artist takes on a new meaning. The fear of faltering on a tiny piece of metal, that a team of engineers and artists have already spent years labouring on, is at once unnerving and challenging.
Like a good timekeeper Vacheron Constantin rules out any uncertainty by using the past and the future to its advantage. So, while the age-old know how is passed on to the apprentices, they are also encouraged to invent. The young watchmakers undergo a four year training programme under the aegis of old-timers and pick up rare skills like assembling astronomic and navigational complications and understanding the metrical placement of the watch’s gear-train and escapement.
The 250-year-old tradition might be weighty enough to eclipse any effort at innovation and change, but it doesn’t. Just as watchmakers in the 18th century were referred to as ‘cabinotiers’, or craftsmen, today’s generation too treasures its association with art and innovates order to keep creativity at the fore. What’s more, the brand seats them in a little heaven near Geneva where they look out into grassy stretches, enjoy the cool breeze and hear chimes of cow-bells while they ideate. With pictures of their family and quotes on horology pinned around them, they are hunched over in a relentless passion for their product, and for life in general.
In 1994, the brand observed the 400th death anniversary of Gerardus Mercator, the architect of the world’s first flat geographic maps, by enamelling his creations on the dials. More scientific than creative though, but its success served as a yardstick for future interpretations. Ten years later, the Metiers d’ Art was born to preserve traditional arts like enamelling and engraving.
The first series recreated the historic journeys of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. For this, the dial was diagrammed with the geographic locations of their adventures, in their latitudinal exactness. The art at play here is ‘Grand Feu’ which involves placing the visual composition on the dial, dot by dot with a fine tipped brush. The movement too blends with the theme, as the hour glides across 120 degrees like a ship in sea-tide and the minutes inscribed on the lower enamel dial resemble markings of a nautical compass.
The Metiers d’ Art Les Dragons Collection embodies the Chinese sacred symbol through a Guilloche motif which results from an alternating use of two machines, one to engine-turn straight lines and the other to rotate the work- piece on its axis for engraving curves. For the first time, this created non-geometric lines that ran erratically over the colourfully metallic dials, leaving a dramatic visual effect.
The Metiers d’Art La Symbolique des Laques roped in artisans from Kyoto’s oldest lacquer house, Zohikoto, to unleash on its watch-faces, the art of ‘maki-e’. This involves sprinkling gold and silver dust on moist black lacquer to define the delicate motifs of flora and fauna. To complement its delicate patterns, the 1003 calibre movements were done in 14-carat white gold and skeletonised exquisitely in its nucleus. But, the most unusual Metiers is Les Masques that replicates extinct tribal masks from Geneva’s Barbier Mueller Museum. As if afloat, the masks sit on translucent glass as the calibre 2460 movement stands concealed underneath.
To boost such ancient crafts, the brand has set up the Cercle 250 project that generates awareness with corporate sponsors. To cut a long story short, Vacheron has committed itself to preserving what’s good and creating what’s better, and has succeeded each and every time.”
AN : totally inspiring ! The art of anyone who creates and is a craftman / woman at their chosen passion , indeed sets them and their work apart in this era of repetition and exact reproductions. What a strong credo : “ preserve what is good and create what is better ” !
via World’s oldest watchmaker in operation: Vacheron Constantin – Business Today.
“Korean artist Lee Kyu-Hak creates beautiful mixed-media paintings (mosaics?) by wrapping small wooden wedges with colored newsprint that mimic the brushstrokes of famous artists. Lee’s artworks appear mostly to be reinterpretations of pieces by Vincent van Gogh, but I think I see a few original compositions as well. See much more over at Yesong gallery.”
AN : a plethora of imagination. Re-creation of some well known art pieces in a very innovative fashion…for that matter, the entire blog that this comes from has a vast canvas of artistic creativity….
via Colossal | A blog about art and visual ingenuity..
“…the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The festival, a one-time icon of artistic rebellion, is now the largest arts gathering in the world. It is also an entertaining case study in the power of grassroots innovation and open-source creativity, a positive symbol of how unchecked human energy, shaped by a few simple rules, can unleash truly amazing results.”So what makes the Fringe function? A carefully designed “architecture of participation” that blends wild-eyed creativity with the spirit of unblinking competition. The organizers curate the largest and one of the most influential arts gatherings in the world by making the festival as compelling as possible to as many participants as possible — and then letting the participants themselves decide what happens….
“The analogy with [open-source] software is interesting,” Gudgin says. “In the arts, everyone wants to be the curator or the creative director. At the Fringe, we have to be the exact opposite. Our job is to get the circumstances absolutely right, to sell the whole experience, to make it as inviting as possible to anybody who could possibly contribute. We can’t curate new ideas into existence.”
Essentially, the Fringe is a self-organizing system governed by the self-interested calculations of four key constituencies: the performers, the venues, the audience, and the press. Any troupe or individual artist is eligible to perform; the challenge is to persuade one of the 250-plus venues to host your show. There is a well-understood hierarchy of venues in Edinburgh — certain theaters have more status than others — and different venues use different criteria to evaluate performers. Once you’re in, the challenge is to persuade visitors to attend your show as opposed to one of the hundreds of others taking place at the same time, and to persuade the critics that yours is a show worth reviewing.”
via The Fringe Beats the Mainstream – Bill Taylor – Harvard Business Review.