Edward Hopper’s Seven A.M. (1948) depicts an anonymous storefront cast in the oblique, eerie shadows and cool light of early morning. The store’s shelves stand empty, and the few odd products displayed in the window provide no evidence of the store’s function. A clock on the wall confirms the time given in the title, and indeed the painting seems to depict a specific moment and place. Yet a series of Hopper’s preparatory sketches reveal that he experimented with significant compositional variations, depicting a figure in the second story window. He even considered setting the painting at another time of day. His wife, Josephine Hopper, a respected artist herself, described the store as a “blind pig” — a front for some illicit operation, perhaps alluding to the painting’s forbidding overtones.
These porcelain-enameled steel panels once clad the exterior of Best Productscatalogue showroom in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Featuring a cheery floral pattern, they evoke both mass-market chintz textiles and Pop artist Andy Warhol’s silkscreened canvases. The building’s billboard-scale graphics and signage made it highly visible from the roadway — an improbable meadow springing from a suburban parking lot. During the 1970s, Best Products‘ founders commissioned firms like Venturi and Roach, and SITE (Sculpture in the Environment) to design architecturally novel, often whimsical showrooms that set the chain apart from its competitors.
Installation View: Best Products Showroom Exterior
The ornamental big-box store exemplifies the postmodern architectural concept of the “decorated shed,” introduced by Venturi and Scott Brown — Robert Venturi’s firm with his wife, Denise Scott Brown — (with co-author Steven Izenour) in Learning from Las Vegas, their influential 1972 text on the built environment. The decorated shed describes any generic structure that relies on applied ornament and signs to convey its purpose.
Graffiti artist and Muralist Jules Muck (aka @MuckRock) has added this fun likeness of guitar god Jimi Hendrix, alongside a border of multiple images of rabbits humping, to the façade of vintage clothing and record store Rags-A-GoGo. It looks like a fun place to shop! You can see more of Jules work at This Link!
Rags-A-GoGo is located at 218 West 14th Street, NYC.
With Half Mast, Derek Fordjour debuts a new work that reflects on the current national reckoning with mass shootings, and the relentless threat of violence against Black and Brown bodies. A portrait of this divided moment in U.S. history, Half Mast presents law officers, students, and ordinary civilians in one compressed, shared space. Alongside teddy bears and balloons reminiscent of street-side memorials, some figures appear marked with targets while others have been reduced to silhouettes.
Fordjour’s image holds no one person or group responsible for the violence, even as it speaks to loss and abuse of power. Painted brightly in his signature graphic style, the work points to possibilities of a future civic movement or celebration. Derek Fordjour first made Half Mast as a painting; here, in his first solo museum exhibition, it is presented as a public art installation in the form of a large vinyl print, located outdoors at the intersection of Gansevoort and Washington Streets, across the street ands down one block from the Whitney Museum, and directly across from the end of the High Line.
For the first time in a while, I can’t even guess who created this image of what looks like a face wrapped in a Pink Bunny hoody, brandishing a dagger, which I spotted on the security gate of Globe Slicers, located at 266 Bowery. Leave any guesses in the comments, please!