Tag: art

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?

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Wantagh, NY

Kenny Scharf  | Krino’s Foods – Bronx, NY | Original Post

Troy, NY | Original Post

Barstow, CA

Beacon, NY

Grafton, WV

Wilton, PA | Original Post

Coudersport, PA | Original Post

Buckhannon, West Virginia

Hamptons Gas Station | Original Post

Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Wilton, PA | Original Post

Coney Island, NY | Original Post

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

Hopper’s House by the Railroad

Hopper’s House by the Railroad

The House that Inspired the Painter

My attention operates with cyclical obsession. An idea will blow in on the breeze and lodge itself firmly in my mind. It’ll then go about the business of devouring my thoughts until it uses them up and moves on, leaving space for the next obsession to move in.

Art has been a persistent interest in my life. The magnitude of my attention to it waxes and wanes but never goes away. Over the last six months, I’ve had a keen interest in the imagery created by American artist, Edward Hopper. His name, first whispered into my ear while growing up in Rockland County, NY not far from where Hopper himself grew up.

A few weeks ago, I posted about eating breakfast at the filling station on 9W. It has been suggested that the building was the inspiration of Hopper’s “Gas.” This painting tickles some part of my brain that I cannot seem to sufficiently articulate with words. Looking at it creates an actual sensation, a feeling of longing, of melancholy and nostalgia. I can feel the scene of the painting as if I’d experienced it first hand. It is like a photograph I’ve taken myself.

edward hopper GAS painting

Recently, I read an article about a how Hopper’s 1925 House by the Railroad served as an inspiration for the facade of the Bates House in Hitchcock’s Psycho.

edward hopper's house by the railroad

Throughout my life, I’ve passed the house that Hopper painted many times. But, I never had a frame of reference that called its existence to my attention. Now, I cannot escape the feeling of wanting to go and see it, see it with purpose. I’ve got a pin on my Google map that keeps calling my name.

With the idea-seed planted by Hopper’s painting, I had to see the house for myself. Part of me was expecting to have a deep and resonating experience when I laid eyes on it. But, I confess, I did not. What I experience with his painting is far more moving. Perhaps that is the true testament of a great artist – the ability to make you see or feel something where your own eyes would not.

Think of all of the things in our world that we’re missing out on, that we glide right by. So many wonderful things are hiding in plain sight, just waiting for us to wake to them.

Last week I received a copy of Gail Levin’s Hopper’s Places. In it, the author creates a catalog of photographs of the actual locations that served as an inspiration to some of the artist’s works. It is important to note that while he is a realist painter, he did take liberties, in particular with the surrounding environs and eliminating the presence of people throughout his work. You can see evidence of that with the House by the Railroad.

Introverted Hopper’s painting are like postcards from places I’ve never been but I feel like I know well.

To me the most important thing is the sense of going on. You know how beautiful things are when you’re traveling.”

-Edward Hopper

Walking With Ghosts in The Desert

Walking With Ghosts in The Desert

The Goldwell Open Air Museum sits just outside of the northeastern entrance of Death Valley and at the edge of the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada. I’d seen photos of the sculptures that grace the grounds many times online. But, seeing the ghostly shapes of Albert Szukalski’s pieces in person caused a visceral reaction – somewhere deep inside, things felt off kilter. The figures possess a powerful and strange voodoo.

The Last Supper – Albert Szukalski

I find this figure to be particularly haunting.

What an incredible gift to have, to be able to make people feel something with your art.