I so thoroughly enjoy artwork that changes the way we view our cities. Similar to the artists I talked about in this previous post, Chris Martin and Arnaud LaPierre are two artists asking us to rethink our city experience. It’s not about focusing on or changing small details in our environment, but more of a feeling of who we are as city-dwellers and how we define ourselves in relation to our surroundings.
|Chris Martin, “East River Williamsburg,” Brooklyn, 2005. Image via Eflux,
Courtesy Chris Martin, KOW BERLIN, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, Foto: Donna Alberico
With this installation Chris Martin used pop colors and unusual shapes to bring our attention to the comparison – artwork vs. skyline. We compare the colors and shapes of his work to the backdrop of the New York city skyline, and it offers the possibility of breaking from reality into a color-coded fantasy city. Yes please!
|Arnaud LaPierre, “The Ring Installation”
on the Place Vendome in Paris
|Images from MocoLoco|
Arnaud LaPierre uses mirror cubes to emphasize the connection of people with their surroundings, and the results are this gorgeous funhouse in the middle of Paris. It transforms many Parisian’s everyday walk, and gives them a chance to ponder who they are in relation to their city. I really need to see this btw.
The installation plays with the concept of place. As James H Kunstler tells us in this entertaining TED talk, “Your ability to create places that are meaningful … depends entirely on your ability to define space with buildings, and to employ the vocabularies, grammars, syntaxes, rhythms, and patterns of architecture in order to inform us who we are.” LaPierre isn’t defining space, instead he’s distorting and fragmenting it, and placing us right in the center of the urban landscape, encouraging people to take a break from their usual routine and play with the sense of place.