In September of 2103, NYC-based design firm Sagmeister & Walsh was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District in partnership with Two Trees Management Co and the NYCDOT Urban Art Program to paint two 80 foot long murals on the walls of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway underpass, on Jay Street in Dumbo. The firm collaborated with renowned Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu and created two large typographic messages to sit on the facing walls. A fierce Octopus and its tentacles form ‘Yes!’ on one side, and a graphic black and white version (not shown) covers the opposite wall. Both murals were hand painted by Coby Kennedy.
Takochu are little plastic/acrylic Octopus toys manufactured by the Japanese company Pine. They stack on top of each other and are incredibly cute. A little bit of research on the Google indicates that they’ve been around for about four years and no longer appear to be readily available to purchase expect on eBay.
Octopus Chandeliers: I can’t get enough of them! I’ve been so excited to finally see one of artist Adam Wallacavage’s exhibits in person and my dream finally came true this past Saturday when Wallacavage’s current collection, Magic Mountain, opened at Jonathan LeVine Gallery. Oh man, what a treat for the imagination and an amazing visual experience for everyone in attendance!
Magic Mountain by Adam Wallacavage will be on Exhibit through November 16, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, Located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Whenever I am visiting a new city, I like to find out if they have an aquarium; and if they do, I like to go there. I was in Seattle a couple of weeks ago on the front end of an Alaskan Cruise (so awesome) and spent a marvelous few hours at the Seattle Aquarium, which is right on the waterfront. The last time I was at the Seattle Aquarium, the Internet was not even a thing yet, so it was fun to see that they have made so many changes and improvements to the facility. With an emphasis on education, the Aquarium is dedicated to preserving local marine life and they have integrated many green practices into their daily operations, so it is not only a beautiful and fun place to visit, but an organization that you can feel good about supporting.
On the main floor of the Aquarium you will find many Tide Pools and Touch Pools, which are fun for kids because they can see the animals up close and even touch them. There are a few pools with large collections of anemones and brightly colored red and green Sea Stars, some with too many arms to even count.
My favorite feature of the main exhibit area is the archway-shaped Moon Jellies Illuminated tank of Sea Jellies (Jellyfish), in which the jellies appear to transition color as the recessed tank lighting runs the full colors of the spectrum. I would like to have this in my house.
The Aquarium is home to a giant Octopus who likes to hide in his tank so he is a bit hard to see. They can squish themselves up into fairly small spaces, apparently (see above photo). Several times a day you can watch them feed the Octopus, and that is really cool. If you see a scheduled feeding time listed, be sure to get yourself close to the tank about 15 minutes before the show starts, otherwise you will miss all the action. Did you know that the life expectancy of the average Octopus is only one to four years? I did not know that.
A tiny Clown Fish makes his home among the Anemones and Coral in this Pacific Coral Reef Tank.
Here is a very interesting type of Coral. I think this is called Plate Coral (judging by results from the very obvious search terms I put into Google when I got home and started writing this post) but I probably should have paid attention to its name while I was at the Aquarium. If you can confirm this coral’s proper name please leave it in the comments, thanks!
This is a Cow Fish: The Most Awesome Fish Ever In the Universe of All Time. The Cow Fish swims so very fast around the circumference of the tank that he was hard to photograph, but I got him. Moo.
In the same tank as the Cow Fish I saw this Puffer Fish, who had an angry look on his face like he was about to Puff Up, but he did not.
These intriguing creatures are called Sea Pens, for their resemblance to the old fashioned, plumed writing instruments. Sea Pens can be found in the Ocean Oddities section of the Aquarium.
Like any aquarium that is worth its salt (water), The Seattle Aquarium has a separate, outdoors habitat area that houses aquatic mammals including River Otters, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Northern Fur Seals and various types of Aquatic Birds, which affords a very complete experience for all visitors. These cute little guys are Sea Otters, and the staff can tell you all about them including their names and ages and how they came to have a home at the Aquarium. I was so charmed by the Otter in the above photo, who was floating leisurely on his back while playing with a plastic bowl and an empty water jug. Adorable.
Another added bonus of visiting the Aquarium is that is it so close to The Great Wheel Ferris Wheel, also located on the pier, so you can head over there for a spin in the sky and lovely views of the Puget Sound after your visit with the fish. Visit Seattle Aquarium Dot Org to find out about special exhibits and get further information on the Aquarium so that you can plan your visit!
The Seattle Aquarium is located on Pier 59 on the Waterfront, 1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101-2015. Phone (206) 386-4300. Hours are 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM daily. Last entry is at 5:00 PM and exhibits close at 6:00 PM.
Cool Aquatic Sculpture On the Boardwalk Adjacent to the Aquarium
Pop Surrealism is a genre of painting that never gets tiresome for me. Connecticut based Artist Robert Deyber paints realist-style visual renderings of clichés, euphemisms and popular sayings or phrases, to create surreal, dreamlike tableaus that really take the viewer elsewhere. I love his work.
Despite his keen sense of humor and the visually absurd, Robert Deyber is a seriously skilled painter. Much like solving Rebus Puzzles, the fun in observing Deyber’s paintings is trying to deduce the title from the images on the canvas. Sometimes it’s really easy and obvious, and at other times quite confounding. You can even make a game of it with your friends!
Here are some of my favorites from Thursday night’s opening reception, where I had the chance to meet Robert, and he was very nice!
Martin Lawrence Galleries is located at 457 West Broadway (Between Houston and Prince) in Soho, NY.
Claes Oldenburg, the legendary pop sculptor, has long been a collector of objects and images. His studio shelves contain an immense variety of items that, since 1972, he has gathered during his daily travels, alongside experiments and prototypes for his sculptures. Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing — currently on exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art — evolved from the artist’s commitment to this practice of collection, storage and display.
Located in the MOMA’s center atrium area, the Mouse Museum is the structure in the above photo that is shaped like a Geometric Mouse (a recurring motif in Oldenburg’s drawings, prints and sculptures). The Ray Gun Wing, which was created in 1977, is shaped like a gun. I had a peek inside each of these tiny museums when I was at MOMA the other day, which was a treat.
The Ray Gun Wing, as you might’ve guessed, is filled with cases displaying various types of toy guns and pistols and various every day objects — from soda can tabs to stones — shaped like guns and pistols. When I first walked into this wing, and saw all the different “prototypes” of toy guns, BB guns, ray guns, Nerf guns from the different eras – I instantly thought that my kid needs that nerf review, and snapped a few pictures for him on my phone. The Mouse Museum is filled with little fantasy trinkets, toys, candles and small prototype models for some of Oldenburg’s sculptures. I didn’t take any pictures inside of the Ray Gun Wing, because you weren’t really supposed to take any photos, but I took quite a few inside the Mouse Museum, because, why not? I had just been to the Punk exhibit over at the Met and I was feeling a little rebellious. Here are a few snaps of some of the cool stuff I saw inside a tiny room shaped like a mouse head.
Plastic Ham, Fire Hydrant
Miniature Bathroom Fixtures and Octopus
3D Cherry Pie
Prototypes for Stuffed Cake Slices, Small Purse
Miniature Play Food
Small Chair with Woven Seat, Carrot-shaped Dish
Miniature Plastic Ice Cream Bars
The Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing by Claes Oldenburg will be on Display Through August 5th, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art, Located at 11 West 53rd Street in NYC.