Each day in NYC there is something to newly discover, no matter how long it’s been there. I am rarely on the block of East 3rd Street between Avenues A and B, but I had occasion to walk that block during this past Sunday’s lovely snow storm. Because I always have an eye peeled for things that might be fun for the blog, I made the charming discovery that most of the buildings on the north side of the block (because that is the side I was on) have these cute and colorful ceramic tile mosaics on their facades, mostly around the doorways and near the steps.
It’s a G Thing
I’m not positive, but my guess is that these are the work of Jim Powers, aka the Mosaic Man, since he is responsible for most of the ceramic mosaics in the East Village. The mosaics are made from bits of tiles, marbles, broken china, mirror shards, bottles and other assorted found objects. They are beautiful and amazing works of art.
Fans of this blog will know that I am way into repurposing and recycling items that would otherwise end up in a landfill into both functional items and aesthetically pleasing works of art, so when I read about Floating Maize, artist Jean Shin’s new public art installation at the Brookfield Place mall, I braved the subway to get down there to check it out.
Known for her inventive works that transform discarded materials into elegant expressions of place and identity, Jean Shin’s art and practice is ingrained with the idea of sustainability. With that in mind, Shin has repurposed thousands of green plastic soda bottles into an elaborate installation that resembles an artificial landscape.
The Bench I I a (2017) by designer Max Lamb is one of the first prototypes made from solid textile board, a material composed of waste cotton. Lamb created this piece for Really, a Danish company that focuses on upcycling discarded textile waste.
Really mills used textiles into small fibers that are then bonded together with a special agent. The dark blue color of this bench comes from the cotton material, which is discarded denim. The bench is at once a functional object and a conversation starter regarding the reuse of waste materials. The museum installation includes a video (iPad screen seen above) in which Lamb discusses the making of the Really collection of furniture.
The word Nkondi means “hunter,” and it’s also the name of an idol (made by the Kongo people in the Congo region in central Africa) that contains an aggressive spirit meant to hunt down and punish wrongdoers.
The Nkondi Chair, which consists of a No 16 Bentwood Chair by Michael Thonet and hundreds of single-use plastic straws, embodies both the spirit and the act of wrongdoing. In the US, 500 million plastic straws are used and thrown away every single day, and with its artful combinations of colorful plastic straws on the legs, backrest and seat, the Nkondi chair brings attention to the massive plastic pollution on our planet. It also references the artwork created with recycled materials in many countries throughout Africa.
Nkondi is part of the the Metamorphosis Series, where designer Francis Assadi takes the Thonet No. 16 chair and transforms it into a new and vibrant work of art and design.
All of the Metamorphosis series chair are one-of-a-kind/collector’s pieces, handcrafted in New York. Find out more about the unique furniture of Francis Assadi Design Studio at This Link!
Seemingly random bits of e-waste make up the Ore Streams collection of office furniture, designed by Italian duo Formafantasma.
Cabinet (2017) is a clear glass-encased filling cabinet created from up-cycled aluminum computer cases embellished with a digital print of the surface of Mars, a reference to the extra-terrestrial origins of gold, which is widely thought to have arrived on earth via a meteorite shower.