art

Ariel Erestingcol’s Times Square Portraits

Did you play with Perler beads when you were a kid? I did, and I loved making things out of them! (In case you need a refresher on what they are, they’re tiny colored beads that you arrange onto grids in various shapes and formations. Then, an adult would run an iron over them, thus fusing the beads together to make little plastic creations.)

Perhaps it’s the nostalgia factor, but I’m loving Ariel Erestingcol‘s Time Square portraits made by a similar method. To create them, the Los Angeles-based artist pixelated images of 42nd Street and plotted out which colored beads would go where. Then, he placed each bead onto a grid…

Ariel Erestingcol’s beadwork

Ariel Erestingcol’s beadwork

…and created plastic portraits of Times Square. Each one contains more than 5,000 beads.

ariel erestingcol times square ariel erestingcol times square

The limited edition pieces were available at CB2 and now,В unsurprisingly, appear to be sold out. I would have loved to get one! But I’m going to keep my eye out for Erestingcol’s future creations.

(Top images via CB2, bottom images via The Luxury Spot)

Subway Maps You Can Wear on Your Wrist

This is genius.

When Tiffany Burnette was researching women who travel solo, for her master’s project, sheВ stumbled upon one voyager’s gripe: Having to pull out a map to navigate the NYC subway—thus clearly branding herself a tourist. Inspired, Tiffany came up with a simple and stylish solution: subway maps embossed on cuff bracelets. While wearing them, female travelers can navigate a transit system with a discreet glance at the wrist.

So far, her company, designhype, has cuffs for NYC

nyc metro cuff

London

london metro cuff

Paris

paris metro cuff

…as well as Milan, Berlin, Chicago and Brooklyn.

As a woman who’s often traveled solo, I can attest to how many times I could have used these! One safety measure I always take when traveling alone is to look like I know where I’m going. And nothing blows your cover more than when you have to study a subway map, whip out a guidebook or consult your smartphone—if you’re in a place where you even get service. These cuffs could have helped me out in several cities.

Plus, I love how the bracelets are very understated, so you wouldn’t be flashing around expensive-looking jewelry. I actually just want the NYC one to wear every day!

Here’s to hoping city map cuffs will be designhype’s next project!

(Photos via designhype; found via Scoutmob)

P.S. — I had an amazing time onВ EleutheraВ and I’m looking forward to posting about it, in a few days!

The Illustrated Train

I may have been taking public transportation for my entire life, but people-watching on the subway never gets old. Even when I’m trying to block out my fellow commuters—with my headphones turned up and/or a magazine in front of my face—I can’t help but wonder what their backstories are: Why are they also headed home so late? Where are they coming from? Who’s waiting up for them? And so on.

Bee Johnson is similarly intrigued by NYC subway riders. The Harlem-based artist has taken to capturing them in her series, “The Illustrated Train.”

The project is exactly what it sounds like. As Micropolis NYCВ quotes Johnson:

If I happen to be standing on a crowded train and can’t comfortably draw or only have a stop before I have to get off, I’ll try to discreetly snap a photo (no flash!) with my phone and base my illo on that. (I know I sound like a total creep, but what can you do? Sometimes the best ones are gone in a flash.)

A few of my favorites illustrations:

southbound for a sleepover

bronx, party of three

to grandmother's loft we go!

the mad hatter of morningside heights

…funny enough, I see the guy in the last illo all the time on the A train!

(Illustrations by Bee Johnson; found via Micropolis NYC)

Rain Room

Here’s a good reason to mark your calendar: Random International’s Rain RoomВ is coming to PS1!

The exhibit, which debuted last year in London, looks incredible. Vistors enter a room filled with rain—but wherever they step, overhead censors prevent water from falling on them. So they’re able to walk through the downpour without getting wet, virtually controlling the weather!

I first learned of the Rain Room, last fall, when I saw these photos. Wayne McGregor choreographed about 25 hours of dance for his companyВ to perform inВ the London exhibit:

rain room

rain room

No word, yet, on whether there will be a similar dance component in the PS1 exhibit. But if anyone is interested in being my pas de deux partner, let me know—I would happily dance around the Rain Room with you!

(Photos by Sidd Khajuria via Random Dance; Rain Room is at MoMa PS1 from May 12 through July 28.)

Adrian Tomine’s NYC Illustrations

My all-time favorite New Yorker cover is Adrian Tomine‘s “Missed Connection.” It ran on the November 8, 2004 issue, which I purchased more for that illustration than the stories inside. At the time, I was living and working in Boston (albeit, at a pretty great job) but dreaming of being back in NYC. I felt a bit like the girl in the illustration: so close to reaching something that would bring me great happiness, but not quite there. That cover hung above my desk for the next few years, until I made it back to NYC.

Missed Connection

Since the, I’ve been a huge fan of Tomine’s work, especially his NYC-related illustrations. He captures life in the city with amazing poignancy—especially the mundane, everyday details. Like inВ my second-favorite New Yorker cover, “Summer Getaway”В (which I’d posted on Tumblr back in 2010 when I used Tumblr!):

Summer Getaway

Or in the “AC” illustration below. (Though if that were my apartment, there’d be an open window and no AC! I actually love the thick, NYC summer heat.)

AC

The other day, I learned that you can buy signed Tomine prints from his website—including “Missed Connection” and “AC.” At $250 each, they’re a little out of my price range, but maybe one will eventually hang in my apartment. Tomine also has a new book, New York Drawings, of, well, I’m sure you can guess. I’ll be placing my order!

What’s your all-time favorite New Yorker cover?

(Images via Adrian-Tomine.com)

Thread Art

How gorgeous is this thread art installation? It’s the work of Gabriel Dawe, a Mexico City-born/Dallas-based artist. He’s created numerous pieces like this around the world, but this one, “Plexus no. 19,” at Villa Olmo, in Como, Italy, is my favorite. I love theВ juxtaposition of the delicate threads against the site’s ornate architecture. It’s like catching a glimpse of a rainbow on a sunny day. (Which, by extension, made my day a little sunnier!)

thread art

tumblr_mbstkbx4LS1qj6juso2_1280

Gabriel Dawe thread art

(Images via Radiolab)

What Does Your Manhattan Look Like?

Back in 2009, native New Yorker Becky Cooper walked Manhattan from top to bottom. Along the way, she handed out blank maps of the borough, along with stamped envelopes bearing her address. Her request to recipients: Fill in the map with your experience of Manhattan. Tons of people obliged; weeks later, Cooper was inundated with personalized maps.

She’s compiled the best ones for her book,В Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers, which comes out in April.В This weekend, the NY Times ran an awesome gallery of a few of the maps. It included entries from New Yorker staff writer Patricia Marx (who themed her map around her lost gloves) and the head of the New York Public Library’s map division (whose map pointed out directions to key places in her life). The one below especially amused me—it’s funny how territorial New Yorkers can be, whether intentionally or unintentionally!
migration patterns
If you were given one of those blank maps, how would you have filled it out? (I think I would have highlighted 30 spots, each representing a significant place for each year or my life, numbered accordingly.)

(Image via NY Times)