Street Artist BD White painted a few of his Astronauts on Bowery just south of East Second Street. This one is my favorite.
If you travel all the way to the back end of Freeman Alley (right by the city’s most secret restaurant) you may still be able to find this Astronaut floating amid a constellation of stickers, stencils and paste ups, accompanied by the phrase “Fly me to the moon!” spray painted in vibrant pink. How delightful. The artist, Poet (#poetwastaken on Instagram) offers that, “the astronaut is both an ode to Ol’ Blue Eyes‘ lyric of love, yet a modern nod to the Coachella Moon Man.” “After all,” he concludes, ” love is out of this world!” Amen to that!
A cacophonous summary of the grand aspirations and unrest of the late 196os, Robert Rauschenberg’s Signs (1970) was originally commissioned as a cover for Time Magazine. When the collage was rejected by the publication, Rauschenberg turned it into a print “conceived to remind us of the love, terror, and violence of the last 10 years. Danger lies in forgetting.” United States soldiers in Vietnam, peace protestors and the anonymous victim of an urban riot are combined with the images of five public figures, three of them recently murdered: President John F. Kennedy, presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. They are joined by Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon, and the singer Janis Joplin, who died from a drug overdose a few months after Signs was made.
Photographed as part of the exhibit Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends, at the Museum of Modern Art Through September 17th, 2017.
Jonathan LeVine Gallery is currently hosting Invisible World, a series of new works by Detroit-based artist Glenn Barr. Althoug his work has appeared previously in group shows, this is Barr’s debut solo exhibition at the gallery. It was worth waiting for.
In compositions on paper and wood Barr gives life to surreal creatures, specters and lonesome characters that live in a stark world, drenched in the grit and haze of a post-apocalyptic urban dreamscape. Drawing inspiration from pop and counterculture sources, such as pulp art and cartoons, he presents alternate yet interconnected realities that invite viewers to examine otherworldly narratives.
For Invisible World, Barr presents a universe of private intrigue where pink-haired waifs and haunted astronauts are suited up for the unknown.
He also brings us back to earth and into private moments where anti-heroines are trapped in telephone conversations filled with either rage, horror or quiet despair.
The artist elaborates, “Fiction; written on the page or visualized on celluloid, there has always been a narrative that exists parallel to our own. A counter culture. An invisible world. In keeping with this aesthetic, I’m exploiting voyeuristically a vision of life’s emotionally charged moments or its banality. I want to illuminate the problematic cracks in the human condition reflected in fringe urban settings or even in outer space.
“These paintings to me have a subtle emotional punch that reference the lonely solitude of life’s cruel existence and yet their plots seem unknown and open ended. But no matter what the underlying cryptic woes, I will sometimes just revel in the simple beauty and emotion of the human face.”
Glenn Barr’s Invisible World will be on Exhibit Through November 12th, 2016 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 East 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
I’ve been seeing what I call the Hanging Astronaut for the past week, twice daily as I travel between my home on East 14th Street and Union Square on the way to and from the subway. As it turns out, the Hanging Astronaut is actually a work of sculpture/street art by artist Emil Alzamora entitled Retrograde. You can read more about the Hanging Astronaut at This Link, although the page misidentifies the location of the intriguing sculpture.
As you can see by my photos, he is currently hanging in front of the Beauty Bar cocktail lounge on 14th St. between Second and Third Avenues. As part of the Art in Odd Places project, expect to see the Astronaut up only until Monday, October 15th, 2012.
Tuesday, March 24th is a day for bloggers to honor and acknowledge the achievements of women in technology under the banner of celebrating Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was a brilliant metaphysicist and inventor. The daughter of the great romantic poet Lord Byron, she is considered to have been the first software programmer. The Science Museum in England has more information on Ada Lovelace Day at this link.
Dr. Ellen Ochoa
In honor of Ada Lovelace Day I’d also like to give a shout out to another modern American woman achieving great things in technology, Dr. Ellen Ochoa (B. May 10, 1958). Ellen Ochoa has invented and holds patents on two different optical systems; one used for quality control in the manufacturing of various intricate parts, and a second which can be used to robotically manufacture goods or in robotic guiding systems. In addition to being an inventor, Dr. Ochoa is also a research scientist and astronaut for NASA. She has logged over 719 hours in space and is a veteran of three space flights – her most recent mission being 10 days aboard the space shuttle Discovery in May of 1999. Ellen Ochoa also holds the distinction of being the first hispanic astronaut. In other words, she rocks.