Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Unity

Unity by Ivan Klapez, Alban Gate atrium, London Wall, City of London
“Unity” by Ivan Klapez, 1992
Alban Gate atrium
London Wall, City of London
London, September 2016

“Tucked away in an upper walkway through the Terry Farrell-designed building that straddles London Wall is this whirling pair of dancers, though what the dance may be defies deduction. Perhaps you have to be listening to the music. The 1992 work, Unity, was commissioned by developers MEPC from the Croatian sculptor Ivan Klapez. It is a most awkwardly positioned artwork, in a low atrium with industrial ceilings. It is circled by a huge window which bathes it in light but makes it very difficult to photograph - either it is against the light or the background is filled with fussy office detail. The original idea was to use a figure by Klapez called Liberty, a very tall male nude, but the artist felt the ceiling was too low to give it room to breath and suggested this dynamic X-shaped composition instead.” (Alban Gate, London Wall, Ornamental Passions)




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bacchino Fountain

Fontana del Bacchino, Bacchino Fountain, Giardino di Boboli, Boboli Gardens, Florence
Fontana del Bacchino (Bacchino Fountain) by Valerio Cioli, 1560
(A satiric portrait of court dwarf Pietro Barbino ‘Morgante’ as Bacchus)
Giardino di Boboli (Boboli Gardens)
Florence, January 2017

“His most famous work is the ‘Fontana del Bacchino’ in the Giardino di Boboli, near the entrance to piazza Pitti in Florence. It shows a dwarf at the court of Cosimo I, ironically nicknamed Morgante (the giant of the poem Morgante by Luigi Pulci), portrayed nuded and sitting on a tortoise like a drunken Bacchus.” (Valerio Cioli, Wikipedia)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Empire State Building

Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Street, New York
Empire State Building by William F. Lamb, 1931
Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Street
New York, September 2007

“The Empire State Building was designed by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which produced the building drawings in just two weeks, using its earlier designs for the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the Carew Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio (designed by the architectural firm W. W. Ahlschlager & Associates) as a basis. Every year the staff of the Empire State Building sends a Father's Day card to the staff at the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem to pay homage to its role as predecessor to the Empire State Building. The building was designed from the top down. The general contractors were The Starrett Brothers and Eken, and the project was financed primarily by John J. Raskob and Pierre S. du Pont. The construction company was chaired by Alfred E. Smith, a former Governor of New York and James Farley's General Builders Supply Corporation supplied the building materials. John W. Bowser was project construction superintendent.” (Empire State Building, Wikipedia)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

San Marcello al Corso

St Philip Benizi refuses the papal tiara, by Antonio Raggi, stucco bas-relief over the entrance of San Marcello al Corso, Piazza di San Marcello, Rome
St Philip Benizi refuses the papal tiara, by Antonio Raggi, 1686
Bas-relief over the entrance of San Marcello al Corso
Piazza di San Marcello
Rome, April 2013

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ford Transit

Ford Transit van, Regent Street, London
A Ford Transit van
Regent Street
London, September 2016

Friday, February 17, 2017

Stacked

Stacked by Ai Weiwei, Ai Weiwei Libero exhibition, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence
“Stacked” by Ai Weiwei, 2012
“Ai Weiwei. Libero” exhibition
Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza degli Strozzi
Florence, January 2017

“A parallel is implied between old furniture and old lives, and a persistent theme in Ai’s career has been the condition of ordinary Chinese life. The 950 bicycles neatly stacked in interlocking columns symbolise the simple liberation from the highly constricted social and political atmosphere of the Maoist era that Ai’s generation (he was born in 1957) discovered in being physically mobile.” (Up, up Ai Weiwei, The Florentine)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Zietenplatz

Horse-drawn carriage, Zietenplatz, Berlin
Horse-drawn carriage
Zietenplatz
Berlin, September 2011

“The central section extending to Mauerstra├če was called Zietenplatz from 1849 until 1945. The name comes from the statue unveiled in 1794 of the Cavalry General Hans Joachim von Zieten. It formed a unique ensemble of monuments on the square area together with five other statues of generals. Today, the building for representatives of the Province of Thuringia is on the northern corner towards Mauerstra├če. The monument of the Hussar General von Zieten was erected again in 2003, followed by the sculpture of the Old Dessauer on 8 June 2005. The newly designed Zietenplatz, based on a design by the landscape architect Reinald Eckert, Berlin was presented to the public in June 2007.”