3D Painting: An Art Form of Trickery and Immersion

An artist placed a hand on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling and developed modern 3D painting. Meet 3 artists making 3D street art, and dive into the epic scenes they create. If you’ve never walked through a plaza and suddenly found yourself standing over a waterfall, on a rickety bridge or atop a flying rat, you need to get out more — to 3D painting events! These anamorphic illusions, or trick art, are incredibly fun and provide an immersive art experience. You’re not just looking at the 3D painting; you get to become a part of it. Festivals take place around the world for 3D painting, there are museums dedicated to its craft, and companies even commission this art form for events. It changes a viewer’s reality and inevitably leads one to question how artists pull it off. A Little History on 3D Painting Every art form has its beginnings. 3D painting was        …read more

Candy Chang’s Interactive Street Art Experiments

murals

Through chalk, stickers and murals, Candy Chang invites the public to reflect, connect and transform their communities. Since 2006, multitalented artist Candy Chang, who holds degrees in urban planning, graphic design and architecture, has created 21 different urban experiments. Chang’s simple but powerful changes to public spaces invite people to share their innermost thoughts about themselves and the communities they live in. Chang uses chalkboard paint, murals, Post-it Notes, door hangers and graffiti stencils to transform abandoned buildings and busy metropolitan streets into new spaces for public conversation. Chang describes how the experiments work: “This personal anonymous prompt, it offers the first gentle step toward honesty and vulnerability in public, which can lead to trust and understanding.” After losing a person who was like a mother to her for most of her life, Chang channeled her depression and grief by painting the side of a crumbling house in her New        …read more

Searching for Street Performer Ron Raffel

street performer

For years, Ron Raffel played guitar in the same spot on the NYC subway. One day, the street performer was gone and I began my search. It was 16 years ago that I first encountered a street performer named Ron Raffel. I was working at a café in Greenwich Village, and I was late. I rushed from the L train platform at 14th St. and 6th Ave. to the F train platform. There, standing under the tiled station sign, was a man who looked as if life had dealt him a difficult hand. He was tall and thin, had large gaps between his few remaining teeth, and his stringy gray-streaked hair was pulled back in a long ponytail at the nape of his neck. He was dressed like a down-on-his luck rock star, his tight black jeans and cowboy boots either well-worn or fantastic Salvation Army finds. He was playing the guitar. “No big        …read more

The History of Graffiti: A Love Story

history of graffiti

From ancient tombs to city walls, the history of graffiti is a rare and valuable glimpse into everyday human life through the ages. The story of graffiti is as old as when humans decided to band together and live in villages. The need to leave a mark, to say, “I was here,” can be found in Egyptian tombs, on the walls of the ancient city of Pompeii preserved in lava, in medieval churches. The American soldiers who stormed Europe during WWII left their famous “Kilroy was here” cartoon. Graffiti is found in almost every town or city today. Graffiti can be made with mud, fingernail scratches, pens, stickers, house paint and, of course, spray paint. When most people think of graffiti, they remember images of 1970s and ’80s New York City buildings and trains plastered in calligraphic-style lettering and pop culture icons like Mickey Mouse. That visual extension of hip-hop culture        …read more

New York’s Subway Art: A Vibrant Underground Museum for All

subway art

NYC’s extensive subway art collection is one of the world’s largest and most accessible museums. New York is known as one of the art capitals of the world. It has a strong gallery presence. It has popular and honored museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and more. And its thriving arts scene encourages creatives from all walks of life to move to NYC to pursue their dreams. It’s no wonder NYC is seen as a center for the international art community. If you want to see the most viewed artworks in New York, however, it’s not enough to walk around Museum Mile. You’ll have to go underground — to the Metropolitan Transit Authority Subway System. Have a Happy Day by Soonae Tark via MTA Arts & Design. Through the Percent For Art program, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)        …read more

Meet 3 Incredible Street Artists Reinventing Detroit (Photos)

street artists

A vibrant downtown and Midtown have made Detroit cool again, but the spotlight belongs to the street artists. If you haven’t heard, the streets of Detroit are changing. And the street artists of the city are playing their part in that evolving narrative. A lot of it has to do with a new mayor, new businesses, new roads, a rediscovery of “cool” — all great possibilities, but you can also look at the city’s art scene. The art scene in Detroit has always been a part of the Motor City’s DNA sequence. Today that connection is more obvious as street artists under 40 remake Detroit in their own image. In places like the Eastern Market (a popular gathering spot for fresh produce and live music) and the Grand River Creative Corridor (GCC) and all around the city, the limitless canvas of buildings is being touched — and retouched — by        …read more

The Great Yarn Bombing

yarn bombing

Grab your needles and hooks and enter the yarn bombing movement. On a chilly day in Chicago’s trendy Oak Park, my sweater-wearing kids and I were surprised to see trees wrapped in sweaters of their own: bright strands of yarn around curvy branches and stick-straight poles. I asked the camp art teacher why they were decorated. With a wink and a smile, she said “someone” was yarn bombing the trees. Her store of hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn was a clue, and I felt like I was in on an artsy secret. That same wink-and-a-smile permeates the world of yarn bombing. From the mother of yarn bombing, “Knitta Please,” to Carol Hummel in the early 2000s, yarn bombers have grown into a diverse group. While many yarn bombers remain anonymous, Twitter helped me find yarn bombers from Oregon to Scotland, including a 104-year-old rebel! Granny Squares Gone Bomb: Grace Brett SWNS        …read more

Street Art Fixes Everything

Street Art

To cure what ails you, we prescribe a walk through the city. I have always loved traveling, but my perception about visiting new places used to be different than it is today. What changed the way I see everything? A short trip to one of the most beautiful Spanish cities: Barcelona. Many people might believe that its multicultural atmosphere, delicious food and people’s desire to enjoy life give the city a special vibe. Yes, all of these are refreshing and inspiring, but the most compelling part of Barcelona is the art. And no, I’m not referring to the outstanding museums and galleries but to the street art. The happy people painting on the streets, selling their portraits to travelers, the colorful walls that used to be gray and even dirty before they were brought to life to add to the exuberance and personality of this city. I’ve visited museums my whole life,        …read more