Tag Archives: New York City

Typeface Tuesday: NYC Love

Who doesn’t love NYC? …Or at least some aspect of it because it really is all things to all people. If you even remotely love the urban scene, you can’t deny this city is amazing. During a speechwriting class I took in college, I gave a speech dedicated to my love for the “big apple” and much of what I explained loving was the endless access to anything and everything…including art. And, you don’t even have to go into a museum to enjoy it.

The Love sculpture by American artist, Robert Indian, started as a Christmas card design for the MOMA in the 1960s. Sometime after that it became…I’m pretty sure world-famous, and though it’s found on the streets of cities other than NYC it started there and will always be a part of this city. What’s interesting about the sculpture’s design is that it is so simply yet so impacful…a slabserif saturated in color and a titled letter “O”…which so beautifully compliments this simple yet impact message of love.


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Typeface Tuesdays: Ice Texts

Last weekend was a whirlwind. I was in New York for less than 48 hours to attend a wedding and catch up with loved ones.

While I was there I had to get some art in so I decided to check out Parsons New School for Design seeing as I’ve never been and it was conveniently located near our Sunday brunch spot. What was nice is they have a good assortment of student and professional art work on display for the public to view. One exhibition that caught my eye was U-n-f-o-l-d, a collection of art inspired by some of the most remote, desolate, and beautiful places in the world. I enjoyed it because not only is the topic interesting but also the artists used a good range of mediums for their forms of expression. It covered the gamet from photography and graphic design to painting and sculpture.

One of my favorite pieces was, but of course, a series of photographed type installations. It was fittingly called Ice Texts by David Buckland in 2008. What was unique is it’s not your average installation — it involved ice and light, and probably some boating, climbing, and much waiting. Each image was produced in a short window of time when the power of the video projector matched the light of dawn. The outcome is beautiful and tells an impacftul story about the melting glaciers.

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The Remarkable Jean-Michel Basquiat

On Wednesday, I watched the documentary Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child and I was truly moved.

By learning Basquiat’s story I gained a full appreciation for his talents and artwork. He was the most influential, self-taught artist of his generation. His work was more intellectual than first meets the eye, and incorporates words that are intentionally jumbled. The style is meant to be child-like and Basquiat would hold the brush in a way that would make the forms appear this way. He was inspired by his memories and experiences through out his life, and used the canvas as a means to tell it. His painting process was very individualist (he would lock himself up for days) and consisted of continuous layering. Not only do I appreciate Basquiat’s work but also his unconventional and free-spirited approach to life.

Basquiat’s fast-tracked journey was unreal. He left home at 17 and was living on the New York City streets, making a name for himself as a street artist known as Samo. He gained popularity from his Samo tags and brief music stints, and then moved into fine art by a recommendation from a friend. Basquiat’s career immediately took off, and a few years later in his early 20s he was the hottest thing to hit the art scene and quickly became very wealthy. As a raw talent, he was quite competitive and wanted to rub shoulders with the other big name artists of the time, namely Andy Warhol. He confidentially approached Warhol in a New York City cafe, and asked if he’d like to buy some of his postcards (Warhol bought 3). Almost instantly the two were best of friends and even did a joint art exhibition, which unfortunately was highly criticized. Things spiraled downward from there for Basquiat. He felt used by his friends for his fame and money, and he couldn’t take the media criticism about his work. Shortly thereafter he heard Andy Warhol unexpectedly died, and Basquiat was devastated and in bad shape. Basquiat died a year later in 1988 of a heroin overdose.

Just as quickly as his story began, it ended — at age 27 — like so many young talents that are overcome by the pressures of fame. It’s interesting that I watched this film in the wake of Amy Winehouse’s sudden death. Despite their short life journeys, these great talents will be known forever for the artistic and musical gifts they have given the world. Basquiat’s work today is now compared to the likes of Pablo Picasso and other art legends — a great honor I am sure he never imagined.

Below is an image of Basquiat in the process of creating his artwork. Many of his friends and fellow artists commented that watching him work was a fascinating experience.

Basquiat at one of the galleries or museums where his work was being shown. I love the unique look he is rocking with the hair and sunglasses. Although at first it seemed to me he was the kind of individual who didn’t really care what others thought about him, he was actually really worried about being the “best” in his field. The competition consumed him.

Basquiat was influenced and inspired by the great artists that preceded him. Here is an example of his interpretation of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa. I think it is a particularly inspired piece.

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