Tag: art

OG Slick in the Home of the Smiley Face – Worcester, Massachusetts

OG Slick in the Home of the Smiley Face – Worcester, Massachusetts

OG Slick Smiley Face Mural Worcester Massachusetts
Have a Rice Day 2018 – OG Slick

Worcester, Massachusetts is a city which has jumped in with both feet when it comes to public murals and art. Under the stewardship of the POW! WOW! Worcester program, dozens of murals grace the walls of the city.

This mural ‘Have a Rice Day’ was painted in 2018 by artist OG Slick and tips it’s hat to the city itself which boast being the home of the smiley face since the early 1960’s. Created by Harvey Ball, the enduring smiley icon began it’s life in Worcester.

While the smiley face icon seems permanently etched into the collective consciousness, this mural may not have the same lifespan. Though they may hang around for years, POW! WOW! Worcester does not suggest that any of the art pieces are “permanent.” In other words – don’t put off seeing the cool stuff. Life, art, beauty… it’s all fleeting. Enjoy it now. Maybe grab yourself a hot dog at George’s Coney Island Lunch and go see the sights 🙂

Visit OG Slick’s Mural

261 Main St.
Worcester MA 01608

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Smiley Notes

  • https://www.worcesterhistory.org/sidebar-exhibitions/smiley-face/
  • https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/who-really-invented-the-smiley-face-2058483/
Cincinnati Toy Heritage Mural – Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati Toy Heritage Mural – Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati Toy Heritage Mural - Cincinnati, Ohio

As I stood looking at the Cincinnati Toy Heritage mural, a sing-songy flow of words stumbled drunkenly out through the creaking saloon doors of memory dedicated to the 1980’s.

“I’m the Peculiar Purple Pieman from Porcupine Peak.”

Uh, what?

“Peculiar Purple Pieman.”

Yes, I heard you. I don’t know what that is.

“Of Porcupine Peak.”

OMG. Seriously?

“Peculiar Purple Pieman.”

You’re an asshole.

Sometimes those dusty remembrances can be rather nagging, particularly about very important things. You know, like the Strawberry Shortcake? The character, not the dessert.

It’s been 40 years since I’ve contemplated the Peculiar Purple Pieman, if I ever in fact contemplated him at all. But, there he was front and center, feeding a dinosaur a pie on that mural and rat-a-tat-a-tating his way through my childhood memories. My sudden awareness of him hit me in the face like a cartoon frying pan, surprising even me.

My childhood best friend had a Strawberry Shortcake character doll and I can remember huffing the delicious plasticky fruit scent with all of the imagination and wonder of an 8 year. Scrumptious.

Cincinnati Toy Heritage Mural - Cincinnati, Ohio

Aside from simply being a beautifully painted mural tribute to toy manufacturer Kenner, this work is a walk down memory lane. Kenner and it’s toy commercials punctuated so much of my childhood. The brand was so intertwined with pop culture happenings throughout the 80’s that even saying its name brings a wave of nostalgia that is hard to qualify.

If you happen to be in the Cincinnati area, this particular artwork is not to be missed.

Cincinnati Toy Heritage Mural - Cincinnati, Ohio artworks sign

ArtWorks Cincinnati mural list

Visit the Cincinnati Toy Heritage Mural

23 W Court St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Have You Visited Any of Keith Haring’s Public Sculptures?

Have You Visited Any of Keith Haring’s Public Sculptures?

Seeing Haring’s public sculptures is always a treat for me. They hold a special place in my heart and imagination. His oft-whimsical and colorful forms tap into a place in my imagination that feels child-like.

He perfected saying so much with so little, leaving your imagination to do the rest.


Haring’s Public Sculptures Visited

Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) – San Francisco

At the tail end of a bicycle trip in Mammoth, California – we spent some time in San Francisco, before flying back home to New York. With no plan to be there, we found ourselves wandering around the city, just taking things in.

While walking outside of the de Young Museum, we were treated to this happy Haring piece:

Keith Haring – Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) – 1989

Haring in New Hyde Park, NY

Keith Haring created this piece as well as some interior murals for the then-named Schneider’s Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, NY in 1987.

Today you’ll still be able to spot the sculpture it the courtyard of the newly-renamed Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.

My Visitation Note

This photo was taken while doing a bit of a snap and go. Because I was on my motorcycle and look really tough (I don’t), I parked at the valet parking curb and walked over to take some photos.

Sometimes if I break the rules and do something like stick my teeny motorcycle somewhere it shouldn’t be – if I flip my helmet up, smile and act like everything is perfectly normal, no one says anything.

I’m not so sure I would have the same result in my car.

Google Maps Location


Haring on Astor Place, NYC

Haring’s Self Portrait at 51 Astor Place in NYC, sits in the shadow of IBM’s Watson. It also has a big Koon’s bunny as a neighbor.

Both the Koons and the Haring are controversial pieces with many on both sides of the love/hate divide.

Put me firmly in the love column. They’re both my kind of not-so-serious.

Keith Haring – Self Portrait – 1989

Google Maps Location


Hometown Haring – Kutztown, PA

On my way home from sleeping in a caboose, I stopped to visit Haring’s Figure Balancing On Dog at Kutztown Park in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

This piece pays tribute to the late artist in his hometown.

Visiting this one felt a little melancholy. This place where he began was a strange reminder that he is no longer here. What would his work have evolved into if he lived? Sadly, we’ll never know.

But, we can celebrate what is.

Keith Haring – Figure Balancing on Dog – 1989

Google Maps Location


My Take-Home Thoughts

These simple shapes can prove difficult to photograph, for me. If you catch them on certain angles, some of the figures all but disappear. Is that his way of making us walk around the piece? Or is he directing us to the “correct” viewing position? I wish I knew.

After years of reading about his life, viewing his work, walking by Pop Shop when it was still open in New York, it seems like he’s always been a part of my consciousness.

How is it you can miss someone you never knew?

Interested in Art?

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2017 in Review Round-Ups

2016 Kenny Scharf Bronx, NY Public Art Mural

2016 Kenny Scharf Bronx, NY Public Art Mural

On my way out to Pennsylvania on Sunday, I made a pitstop to finally see the Kenny Scharf Bronx, NY art wall that decorates the Third Avenue side of Krinos Foods.

kenny scharf mural in the brox on Krinos food with triumph bonneville

I’d seen glimpses of the artwork in passing on dozens of trips across the Cross Bronx Expressway. And during each of them I said to myself I have to get down there and check it out!

Scharf’s iconography is unmistakable. Full of color, movement, and always an air of joyfulness – his pieces exude a good time.

My first awareness of Scharf’s artwork came from a cassette tape I bought in the late 80’s – The B-52’s Bouncing Off the Satellites, which featured his artwork on the cover.

B-52s Cover - Bouncing off the Satellites - Kenny Scharf Artwork

Once you become aware of an artists signature-style, their visual language becomes burned into your memory.

As was the case when I saw the 1996 Fiz N’ Zip Swatch collaboration when I was collecting Swatch watches the mid-2000’s. I had to have this watch. It was a direct link to that cassette cover I looked at a million times when I was a kid. This visual language was one I understood.

And here I am in my mid-40’s now, still following threads that tie me back to that cassette tape. It is a testament to the longevity of Kenny Scharf’s career and his ability to make images that stay with people.

Visit the Krinos Food Mural

Public art seems to be a fickle beast. You never know how long something will remain on display. And as a sad fact of city-life, how long a piece will remain unmarred by tagging. So, time can be of the essence if you want to check something out in its intended form.

Early on Sunday morning was a great time to stop in. With few people around, I was able to park and walk around freely without having to wait for cars or foot traffic to snap some pictures.

If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s worth a stop. Here are a few snaps:

kenny scharf mural in the bronx on the side of Krinos food
kenny scharf mural in the bronx on the side of Krinos food
kenny scharf mural in the bronx on the side of Krinos food
kenny scharf mural in the bronx on the side of Krinos food - tree and flowers
kenny scharf mural on the side of Krinos food - dinosaur
kenny scharf mural on the side of Krinos food - fish

Kenny Scharf Bronx, NY Mural

Krinos Foods
1750 Bathgate Ave
Bronx, NY 10457