Tag: Art

Five Best Mood-Matching Museums

Five Best Mood-Matching Museums (c) Sam Buxton, courtesy Kinetica

What kind of art do you feel like today? Hayden Foreman-Smith knows where to go to match any mood.

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Where I’ve Been: Tracking It

Where I’ve Been: Tracking It Photo courtesy of Amy Ruppel.
Photo courtesy of Amy Ruppel.

Since I (semi-permanently) dismissed the idea of getting a tattooed map of the U.S. on my person in order to mark off, one tattoo pin at a time, where I’ve traveled, I’ve been on the hunt for a new way to detail where I’ve been. (Please don’t recommend a scrapbook. I’m not that girl.) I think Facebook “where I’ve been” maps are annoying and show-offy. And a traditional pinned map still appeals but ... I just haven’t found a U.S. map I want to stare down at all the time. But, today, I found my new I’ve-been-there collection idea: prints of artist Amy Ruppel’s state birds pieces. As my bank account allows it, I’m going to build the collection, bird by bird. I guess I’d better clear some wall space.

How do you mark your territory?


Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

Today Art Museum, Beijing, China REUTERS/David Gray

A man walks through a group of works by Chinese artist Yue Minjun, one of which is carrying women's handbags, on display outside the Today Art Museum in central Beijing.

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Quyang, China

Quyang, China REUTERS/David Gray

Sculptors work as they stand on scaffolding surrounding a statue of the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong in the town of Quyang.

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Street Art: Sao Paulo Graffiti

Brazil's biggest city is famous for its graffiti. Rob Verger reveals 10 powerful images.

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The Great Everest Clean-Up

The Great Everest Clean-Up Photo by Kappa Wayfarer via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Kappa Wayfarer via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The climate-change watchdog group Eco Everest hauled off 2,100 pounds of trash and human waste from Mount Everest last year and is now paying visitors $1.00 per pound for waste removed from the mountain, according to Outside and Rock and Ice magazine.

The Nepalese have recently tried to prevent dumping by withholding a $4,000 trash deposit from climbers who leave rubbish on the 29,028-foot peak. But there still a lot of waste up there from previous expeditions—enough to inspire a documentary and an artist who recycles discarded oxygen bottles into eco-provocative bowls, bells and ornaments.


Photographers Focus on the 50 States

idaho 50 states Photo by Shawn Gust. Courtesy of The 50 States Project.
Photo by Shawn Gust. Courtesy of The 50 States Project.

The Works Progress Administration did it. Musician Sufjan Stevens has done a bit of it. Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey got a whole bunch of people to do it. And, um, Sophia and I are deep into our own version of it.

The it in question? Exploring, one by one, what makes each of the 50 states unique—and looking for the threads that tie them together. Now it’s time to add another to the list: The 50 States Project. Every other month, 50 photos—one from each state—will be posted on the site. Flyover America checked in with Stuart Pilkington, the U.K.-based (we’ll get to that) creator and curator of the project to find out what it’s all about.

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Morning Links: Paris Celebrates Voids, Favellywood, the Travel Bug and More

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Travel Nostalgia: The World in Vintage Posters

I’ve confessed to my abiding love of postcards before, and now I have another confession: I am a total sucker for the vintage travel poster and all its varied (fridge magnet, notebook, calendar, tote bag) incarnations. There’s something so refreshing about those old Cunard posters, or the early advertisements for transcontinental passenger rail. They have a guileless wonder to them, and a total lack of cynicism or irony—because they come from an era when nobody thought they had already seen it all. So I was thrilled to read on the Shoretrips blog about a major vintage poster auction being held in New York.

The auction’s already come and gone, but the entire collection is still viewable online. There are more than 400 posters in the sale, though, and only some of them are travel-related—so for all my fellow vintage-travel-poster-lovers (and I know you’re out there) I’ve put together a list of my favorites, and a cheat sheet for the rest.

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‘World’s Brainiest Tour Operator’ Now (Sort of) Affordable

‘World’s Brainiest Tour Operator’ Now (Sort of) Affordable Photo by Titanas via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Titanas via Flickr (Creative Commons)

For all the high culture addicts out there, good news from Arthur Frommer: British tour operator Martin Randall Travel has been spotted advertising in Harper’s, which means, as Frommer writes, “that tours with profound intellectual content will henceforth be marketed to the American public; the ‘dumbing down’ of travel may be significantly slowed through this effort.” The guidebook mogul figures the shifting exchange rate, which has made Britain much more affordable for Americans in recent months, is behind the unprecedented stateside marketing effort. The tours still aren’t for shoestringers—the all-inclusive packages hover around 300 pounds per person per day—but, as Frommer notes, they’re cheaper than comparable college alumni tours, and thanks to the sliding pound they’re within easier reach than ever.


Morning Links: The Belgian Flair for Comics, New Orleans Street Theater and More

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Some Say ‘Nay’ to Giant Horse Sculpture

There is a 32-foot-tall sculpture of a wild mustang in front of Denver International Airport, and to put it bluntly, it’s freaking some people out, the AP reports. There is even a Facebook group devoted to putting the horse out to pasture, so to speak. The sculpted horse is blue, muscled, and rears powerfully up on two legs. Mohawk-like mane juts from its neck and head.

To get more reactions to the horse, I emailed some friends who live in Colorado. “Driving by the horse is a surreal experience,” wrote Dan Knights. “The horse is incongruous with its surroundings. All around it there’s nothing but flat dry fields and highway, and then all of a sudden there’s this giant cobalt blue horse. It’s made especially creepy by its fiery glowing eyes. I’m not sure if the eyes are actually illuminated or merely reflecting the ambient light, but they definitely give the horse a possessed demonic appearance.”

My friend Andrew Jones put things more strongly. “Frankly, the horse freaks me out,” he wrote. “In my last few trips to D.I.A., I’ve been trying to figure out why, exactly. The bright red eyes are an obvious candidate, of course, so I imagined: What would I think if it had green eyes? Or none, or black, like a normal horse? Is it the nostrils, aggressively flared, or the fact that the mane is so uproarious in its frozen flow?” Jessica Jones, his wife, wrote: “We see this horse every time we go to D.I.A. and its eyes scare the blazes out of me.”

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D.C.‘s Magic Carpet Ride

D.C.‘s Magic Carpet Ride Photo by Julia Ross
Photo by Julia Ross

My affection for Oriental rugs is as much aesthetic preference as childhood nostalgia. I grew up in a household padded with Bukharas and Isfahans, and I remember when my mom first showed me how to tell a hand-knotted rug from a machine-made doppelganger by flipping the carpet over to examine how the fringe is attached. As an adult, my taste has tended toward flat-weave rugs—Kilims and Soumaks—in dark browns, burnt oranges and blues, woven in tribal patterns that speak of dusty villages in Turkey and Iran. In fact, when I moved into a new apartment last spring, I treated myself to two Soumaks purchased from a weathered Afghan at a flea market outside Washington, D.C. I love them; they make the place home.

Rug lovers like me will find nirvana at an exhibit currently on show at Washington’s under-appreciated Textile Museum, in the city’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. Timbuktu to Tibet: Rugs and Textiles of the Hajji Babas, includes 90 rugs and other textiles—salt bags and bridal veils—collected by the 77-year-old Hajji Baba Club, a New York-based society of rug collectors. It’s a feast for the eyes and expansive in scope: deep pink diamond patterns from Uzbekistan, blazing tiger pelt motifs from Tibet, black and white checkerboard rugs from Mali. I spent a long time just letting the colors soak in, marveling at the hours spent in pursuit of beauty and wondering at the rituals—births, prayers, long journeys—that inspired such attention to detail.

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‘Whale Circles Underwater Skyscraper’ and Other Unnatural Scenes of the Future

In The Unnaturalism of Human Habitat, artist Don Simon has created a disturbing and beautiful series of tryptichs showing animals interacting with the hyper-developed world of humans. The skyscraper piece is especially apocalyptic (and seemingly post-human) but many of the other works are bizarrely poignant: Bison in a traffic jam, a family of lowland gorillas perched on a steel tower, an alligator in a pool of trashed tires, a “parking lot Serengeti” with lions and giraffes. Scenes from the travel brochures of a broken future? Maybe not, but Simon’s message of respecting natural habitat ought to resonate with anyone who loves planet Earth. (Via TreeHugger.)


Morning Links: Americans Behaving Badly, Disappointing Attractions and More

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Morning Links: City Bans Apostrophes, Russians in Goa and More

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Morning Links: Buffalo-Wing Boycott, Nashville’s English-Only Measure and More

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State-by-State Home Improvement

bottles Photo by Jenna Schnuer.
At the Treasures & Trash Barn, Searsport, Maine. Photo by Jenna Schnuer.

Yeah, there are a few things here and there from places far, far away but, looking around my apartment, I realized that most of my art/knickknacks/stuff was hauled home in my carry-on, checked baggage or the trunk of a rental car from a trip to one of the 50. OK, I shipped the bear lamp home. This is some of it ...

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Morning Links: A New Way to See the Prado, Cuban Tourism and More

El Tres De Mayo by Goya El Tres De Mayo by Goya (via Wikipedia)
The Prado’s El Tres De Mayo by Goya (via Wikipedia)

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Morning Links: Robots Around the World, ‘Pizza Huh’ and More

reimagined WPA poster Design by Open.
WPA poster, reimagined by Open.


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