Vancouver Art Gallery Gumhead spike public interest

Passersby and gallery goers stick gum on Gumhead, installed adjacent to the Vancouver Art Gallery on Howe Street. (Nicosia Smith photo)

Passersby and gallery goers stick gum on Gumhead, installed adjacent to the Vancouver Art Gallery on Howe Street. (Nicosia Smith photo)

 

By Nicosia Smith

Whenever you chew a gum in public, in almost every case your next thought is where to stick it.

Well, Vancouver based international artist and writer Douglas Coupland has come up with an idea.

It is interactive and all it asks, is that you stick gum on a head – an image of the artist.

Now here is where it gets sticky, the gum-head head is located only at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

It is Coupland, Gumhead, a public art work commissioned by the Gallery.

No matter what your thoughts are about gum, it is intriguing.

This project makes you feel the need to explore in your head, how gum has served art.

And how exactly is gum serving art you are likely to ask?

Since this 7-foot tall sculpture only calls on passersby and gallery goers to chew gum and paste it on its head.

And that in it self, you can argue is art.

And here is another thought that was shared with me.

One gallery host explain that the public in many cases deface public art, so why not make their input apart of the art.

And a lot of people seem to agreed.  The public has not shied away.

For those of you who enjoy sticking gum in public, it is a dream art project.

For those that don’t, well there is the cringe effect.

Since it went on view May 31, this once plain black-head is now

Douglas Coupland: Gumhead, 2014 made from steel, milled foam, resin and gum. (Nicosia Smith photo)

Douglas Coupland: Gumhead, 2014 made from steel, milled foam, resin and gum. (Nicosia Smith photo)

sticky, multi-colored and almost covered with chewed gums.

I must admit I was not chewing gum and sticking it on Gumhead.

Nevertheless, I was fascinated by the numbers that came off the street to add to Gumhead.

Coupland, has described this work as “a gumbased, crowdsourced, publicly interactive self-portrait.”

Through September 1, the public can take part in this very unique work.

Coupland is also exploring the singularity of Canadian culture, technology and the power of language in Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything. The artist is shedding light on what he terms “the 21st century condition.”

A glimpse of Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything exhibit, at the Vancouver Art Gallery. (Nicosia Smith photo)

A glimpse of Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything exhibit, at the Vancouver Art Gallery. (Nicosia Smith photo)

 

So my border friends go ahead, chew and paste if this takes your fancy.

 

 

It is just too cold to be Spring

(Google Image)

 

By Nicosia smith

Spring arrived weeks ago, but walking the streets of New York City you would think otherwise.

It is a frigid Spring.

Just when I thought it was ok for the extra layers to go. I find my self debating whether I need that extra jacket or tights.

And sling back slippers will have to wait awhile longer, as my socks do overtime.

That aside, you still have to get out there and be on the move.

So if it’s still too cold outside for you as it is for me, warm up at this indoor event.

Spring Masters New York, a Park Avenue Armory Fair staged by Architect Rafael Vinoly opening April 30 at the Armory.

And open to the public between May 1-4.

This international show will showcase art and antiquities from galleries across the US and is sure to pique your appetite.

Contemporary furniture, art, bronze and metal sculptures, paintings and jewellery.

And check out the Tribeca Film Festival as well ending April 27, if you can get tickets.

And you may still be able to, with its slogan of ‘never say sold out’.

Certainly, a mixture of international and local films will keep things interested.

 

More Green Less Concerte in NYC?

 

James Wines (Nicosia Smith photo)

James Wines (Nicosia Smith photo)

By Nicosia Smith

It is difficult to get your head wrap around the idea.

Just the thought of less concerte in NYC, is a risk to capital flight.

Nevertheless, Design Mind Michael Sorkin and Architect James Wines took a swipe at it anyway.

In a pack room at the Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, NYC, Sorkin and Wines, spell out ways we might become greener.

Sorkin showed designs of sky-scraper like buildings that included vegetable farms. Rooftops and window sills with tomatoes and vegetables.

Principal Michael Sorkin  of Michael Sorkin Studio in discussion at The Greene Space, NY. (Nicosia Smith photo)

Principal Michael Sorkin of Michael Sorkin Studio in discussion at The Greene Space, NY. (Nicosia Smith photo)

But as Sorkin proposed these fanciful ideas, he also shot them down. The main problem, energy.

For example, he estimated it will take 25 nuclear power plants to maintain vertical farms in NYC.

There would be smaller streets and yes these sky-high farms will block the little sunshine we do have.

So Sorkin believes, we will have to rethink urban architecture, altogether, to go green.

Wines agrees and says the “lollypop”  trees around city streets will not cut it.

He will like to see real thought go into urban architecture, like those of old Venice, France and Rome.

Where design and nature brought people together.

 

File:Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy 2 - May 2007.jpg

(Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy)

Wines basically called our concrete slabs for benches at parks and recreation places lacking imagination.

Unlike those outdoor places of old Europe where he said, “someone apply real imagination to the seating.”

Our outdoor spaces do not engage the mind, touch, light, sound and intellect, he said. And to achieve  this it would mean including nature in some form.

Hence becoming greener.

In an environment that craves the synthetic feel above natural and real, this would be very difficult. Nevertheless,  it can be done with a little financial push.

And the big question is, how do we get corporations involve, to promote something like this.

It does boil down to dollars and cents, sadly.

Sorkin, is a principal of Michael Sorkin Studio in NY and Wines, founder president of SITE, an architectural studio.

Cooper-Hewitt’s Director Caroline Baumann moderated this Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum sponsored event.

In the meantime, however, let us try to grow bigger trees.