Month: July 2011

Section Two of New York's High Line

Section Two of New York's High Line

A previously abandoned and derelict railway running between West 20th and West 30th in New York, has recently been given a makeover by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and planting designer Piet Oudolf. The 1.5 mile long elevated park winds its way from Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street, connecting the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Midtown West. This is the second phase of the work to the High Line, with the first being coined ‘architect’s row’, after attracting new buildings by the likes of Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel. The original railway, constructed in the 1930s, was used to lift dangerous freight trains off the street, but was left unused and wasted since 1980. The regeneration of the High Line has created a urban garden and skywalk with stretches of grass, art installations and seated platforms. “Inspired by the melancholic, unruly beauty of this postindustrial ruin, where nature has reclaimed a once vital piece of urban infrastructure, the new park interprets its inheritance.” The elevated park forms a green pathway, …

Footwear by Victoria Spruce

Footwear by Victoria Spruce

Royal College of Art graduate, Victoria Spruce presented the following sculptural and sky-high shoes at the graduate show at the beginning of the month. The architectural shapes are formed with plastic and feature a soft leather insole and lining, that creates a smooth support for the foot within the hard curves.

RIP Lucian Freud

RIP Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud in 1947 aged 25 ‘I paint people’, Freud has said, ‘not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be’. Lucian Freud, the foremost figurative artist in the 20th Century art world, renowned for his intense realist portraits depicting the vulnerability and humanity of his sitters, died last week at the age of 88. He was the grandson of psychoanalysist Sigmund Freud, born in Berlin in 1922 and moved to England with his Jewish Family in 1933, where he gained citizenship in 1939. Freud came to redefine British painting, with his stark portraiture showcasing what it is like to be human. Freud’s subjects were often the people in his life; friends, family, fellow painters, lovers, children. As he has said ‘The subject matter is autobiographical, it’s all to do with hope and memory and sensuality and involvement really’. His works have been increasingly sought after at recent auctions and his portrayal of an overweight nude woman, Sue Tilley, sleeping on a couch sold …

Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril- Beyond the Moulin Rouge

Today I paid a visit to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition at Somerset House, which is on until 18th September 2011. The exhibition explores the work of artist Henri de Toulouse-Latrec and his muse and dancer Jane Avril. Toulouse-Latrec gained fame with his evocative paintings and posters of Parisian nightlife featuring dancers and singers of the famous Moulin Rouge. He sought to capture their expressions, gestures, dress and movements through sketches, paintings and lithographs. Instantly recognisable by her vivid auburn hair and her alluring persona, Jane Avril propelled to instant stardom following the popularity of his striking posters. Both a close friend of the artist, and a renowned figure in his work, their partnership came to define the world of the Moulin Rouge. The exhibition at The Courtauld carefully puts together study sketches, showing a quick economic use of line and finished paintings and posters, with fluid brushstrokes. In the vibrant paintings he perfectly depicts Jane Avril’s distinctive character, with dancing, kicking legs and wild revealing dresses. She was diagnosed with the movement disorder ‘St Vitus’ dance’, …

Walking City dresses by Ying Gao

Walking City dresses by Ying Gao

This is just the sort of thing I like; pleats, folds, fashion and architecture coming together to form complex geometries and sculptural shapes. Montreal fashion designer Ying Gao has created these folded dresses, containing hidden pneumatic pumps which help the fabric move as if it is breathing, “They draw the viewer’s eye, inflating, unfolding, transforming while protecting the virtual body they cover”. The project is currently on show at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in Canada. Images: Dezeen

A’Beckett Tower by Elenberg Fraser

A’Beckett Tower by Elenberg Fraser

A’ Beckett Tower by Australian practice Elenberg Fraser is a prototype for high-density residual infill situated within the academic precinct of Melbourne CBD, “The apartments address the needs of professionals/academics with a desire to live and work in the city; while complimenting the level of eccentric design in this area of the city. The autumnal screen facade acts primarily as a shading and privacy device to the apartments; however it also maintains a level of articulation which the precinct demands”. The undulating and colourful facade marks the building out from being another generic tower; they are functional as they act as shading devices but they also have a meaning behind them; the colours of the recently drought-stricken Australian landscape. Images: Arch Daily  

Patrick Baillet paints classical figures onto abandoned buildings

French artist and design teacher Patrick Baillet creates these juxtapositions of classical painted figures layered over graffiti in decayed and abandoned buildings. Titled “Last Palimpsest”, his work reappropriates successive spaces, placing a symbolic battle between culture and instincts. In his own words, the photographs present “nostalgic wanderings and urban brutality”. His paintings create an element of beauty in a brutal and uncared-for environment with the thoughtful and haunting figures occupying the spaces, which no-one else is interested in. Images: Bloody Loud

Logan White

The haunting photographs of Logan White

Posted below are some beautifully ethereal and atmospheric images I recently discovered by female photographer Logan White. Using a Canon SLR, a Hasselblad, and a Yashica Twin Lens Reflex, she creates unusual, feminine photographs with ghostly characters. Since graduating from the Rhode Island School of Art in 2007, White has shot for Nylon Magazine, Urban Outfitters, and Vice.