Tag Archives: street art

Flying Flowers (and the trees in your veins)

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I’ve got to say that I absolutely love this computer chip-ified butterfly “e-Lepidoptera” by Ludo in Paris.

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for butterflies. I adore gadgetry, too – especially when it takes such a beautiful form.

Did you know that recently researchers (Scientist Isao Shimoyama of the University of Tokyo and Hiroto Tanaka of Harvard University) were able to actually create a little mechanical butterfly?

This whole new understanding of how butterflies fly could mean big things for biomimicry in the field of aerodynamics.

But that is not why I’ve always loved butterflies so much. Of course, their natural beauty is astounding and inspiring:

(Each of these pretty critters are from The Evolution Store)((Seriously, you can forget that these colors and these color combinations come in nature))

No, I think what entranced me so much about them growing up was the thought of metamorphosis. How a dear little caterpillar hunkers down into a chrysalis and emerges a colorful flying creature.

Some times people need to do this, too. Not everyone was born with their wings apparent, but rest assured they’re there. Some people are against the cocooning sort of phase, be it in ourselves or in others. I feel like I know a lot of people feeling stuck and lost and unsure what to do with themselves right now, and it’s so easy to get discouraged and/or depressed. But why not think of it as phase where you’re just working out how to find your wings. And then, you’ll fly.

And on a sort of similar note (at least if you’re in my head)..

Do you remember my post in January about Roberto Kusterle’s beautiful photography? And how I talk about imagining myself as a tree, of sort? Well, Andrew Carnie, is a devotee of both science and art, and creates some lovely pieces of work that manage to merge the nature outside (trees) with the nature of our insides (nerves and such). And it’s surprisingly lovely how they can be so similar.

He’s got a show in London through September 10, 2010 if you’re local.

(Also, *ahem*, the term “Flying Flower” comes from a favorite childhood film of mine that began my intrigue, I believe, into butterflies)

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Hitting pause

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Ladies and gentlemen(!) it’s that time of year again:

The holiday season

Are you feeling the warm fuzzies? Are you letting out a groan of dread? Some combination of the two?

It seems to be a season that’s all about reminding you of the haves and the have nots; and I’m not (just) talking about social status. It’s the time of year when you really feel it: the effects of the people in or not in our lives; how much money we do or do not have; how life is in relation to where we thought we would be by this point. It can be a very material time of year. People stay up all night to go shopping. People go crazzzzzzy over the latest deals. We’re obsessed with giving and we’re obsessed with getting. Love sometimes being deemed in how much money was spent (or appeared to have been spent) on a gift. How much do you love me, with dollar signs ($$) glinting in our eyes.

I was thinking about this as I dragged myself out of bed at 5am to go to work, having been assigned the arrival time of the bright and early 6:45am (to a night owl like myself). Good golly miss molly(!), I thought, having just watched the CNN Heroes presentation with my parents Thanksgiving evening. I was in awe of the amazing work these people do, selflessly, to better the lives of others and for a while I pondered and raged about what kind of society are we that we will so eagerly camp out for hours in the cold to score a deal on a new TV/sweater/blah blah blah, but we’re so reticent to help others. To really dive in and contribute to truly bettering others lives.

I stewed and stewed about this as I power walked to the train pressing against the cold whipping wind of the morning, damning us all for making me wake up so early because of our greed. Then, of course, I remembered that one of the main things hearing from all of those amazing do-gooders did to me was make me feel ashamed for all of the times I complain about my life in terms of wishing things were different (*ahem* since I was probably more peeved about having to get up so early than our culture of rampant consumerism. Granted, I did think about how it would be nice if families who dragged themselves and sometimes their children out of bed to go shopping also took a day to drag themselves out of bed to do some volunteering. Wouldn’t that be nice?). Back from that I aside: we all do it (the kvetching about our lives thing); but, really, it could often be so much worse. Certainly my life isn’t perfect and I can attest that I’m not where I thought I would be on the eve of my 26th year of life. But. Oh but. The struggle has made me so much better. And I think this whole economic climate has, on the whole, been working to make us better, kinder, and more appreciative of the little things in life.

And going with less has been a surprising lesson to me as a former (thrift) shopaholic, and general lover-of-stuff; as a person who did, in fact, once go on a (admittedly somewhat exaggerated) rant on super practical gifts (like socks). It’s been really interesting. I don’t need as much, and I don’t want as much. I used to buy stuff just because I liked it and now I’ll pause and think about if I really need it. And I’m happy and in, in fact, thankful, if someone feels like getting me socks as a present. I need those socks probably more than I need jewelry (not that I wouldn’t or don’t like it, haha). It’s interesting learning to go with less. It’s not so bad. And I appreciate the little things, and the people in my life so much more. The past year or two have been rough, a shock to the system. But looking back, and in trying to look forward (since time doesn’t stop), all of the shenanigans (both man and situation made) have made me a better, stronger, more resilient person. I think when you have to stop and pause before you buy things you just might find yourself stopping and pausing before you do things and it helps you to better evaluate your life. I think we were all so used to just running, running, running (energizer bunnies beating on our drums!)…. but maybe now we’re allowing ourselves to pause. And realize what’s important. To think about not just where we are going, but who we are and who we want to be. To take a moment and actually be thankful for what we do have.

Because while money does make the world go ’round (all those charities need our money in addition to our time), so do love and hope and friends and family. Judging from some of these lovey-dovey messages popping up, I think others feel this way too. You know something is going on when graffiti is telling you to love more and hate less. A message that, though it might be as cheesy and schmaltzy as all get out, is a good one.

Alright, holiday-ish cheese fest over. Go have some wine.

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Faux City

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My loves! It’s been such a long time, and I apologize profusely. Lady Tilly has found herself in a new (day) job, which has been taking up a good chunk of head space. I’ve been missing you kittens muchly though, and am hoping to get back into regular posting soon/now since I do have oodles of ideas and all of that delightful jazz.

In case you didn’t know, wandering NYC is one of my favorite hobbies, and I always have a camera around so I can snap pictures of interesting and surprising things as I go. What’s interesting is when you see some similar anomalies popping up at around the same time. We’re used to seeing it in fashion, accessories, and home design sorts of areas; but recently I noticed a little bit of a trend in the way we decorate our city. It’s really small, and maybe it’s been there all along, but for some reason I suddenly noticed this sort of “faux city” vibe as I like to call it.

It really rings true to the city and the people in it, in the personas we create for ourselves. In the way we are, the way we want to be seen, and the clash between the two

Some time ago I was walking along bopping along to my headphones when I saw this sight: I did a little double take and laughed when I noticed the fake brick and windows pressed up against the real brick building. It has this delightfully cartoon-y sort of look to it, all the lines perfectly straight and even, yet it’s perfection is not enough to escape the inevitable graffiti.

This one I saw right after the first, and I stood there for a minute scratching my head. I may’ve even pulled out my glasses to attempt a better look. Something just looks a little off. It looks like someone intentionally painted it to look old and run down – the opposite of the previous. It’s those two perfect windows that have me perplexed. I’m probably missing something obvious which someone will point out to me and I’ll feel very, very silly.

This one caught my eye while I scurried between interviews. I’m amused by the effort of attempting to cover up the scaffolding or whatever you want to call the black screen covering up the actual building, with a print of a similar sort of building….which is subsequently, err, kind of falling down.

This one would allow you to claim to have a great view of the city’s immaculate skyline even though you’re just looking at the side of a somewhat low building (in comparison to the supposed skyscraper scene). I do love the gardens implied on top of the skyscrapers, too. That would be lovely, wouldn’t it (granted, I’m sure there are some that do…)

Interesting, wouldn’t you say?

And this next one is similar but different.

I almost walked right past this one. Out of the corner of my eye it looked just like regular, run of the mill graffiti type situation. But, I looked a little closer and was delighted to see a depiction of a lovely farm-y country-side (Italy maybe?). On the side of a building, behind gates, next to trash cans.

The dreams of the places we wish we could be tucked to the side.

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Making faces

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So, lately I’ve been noticing a bit on an on slot of faces – just faces – showing up in street art. Most of these are from my neighborhood (Bushwick), but our little blue “Beau” is from the West Village. The (err?) stenciled on brick I’m pretty sure has been there for a good while, but the others are recent. The one of the coffee bag popped up at my local coffee haunt just as I was pondering doing a face post. I think their mostly hand scrawled look is interesting, and am curious about the sudden-ish little appearance. I like how they kind of gives a personality to these otherwise inanimate objects. You can almost turn them in characters, and imagine them suddenly springing into animated life and start speaking to you.

And while these aren’t “faces”, they seem to be have suddenly shown up in my ‘hood. Saw these two in one day, and one in the subway yesterday though I didn’t have time to grab a shot. I think their scribbly monsterlyness is kind of adorable. Especially here in industrial sorts of Bushwick.

Has anybody else been seeing faces or monsters locally?

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