The Watchers by Amar Stewart
Amar Stewart, the British artist now residing in Brooklyn, whom we profiled last April, has a new solo exhibit, “Ex Post Facto.” In the United States, “ex post facto” laws, which change the legal status of any kind of action, are prohibited. In the United Kingdom, though, these kinds of laws are common, as parliament (unlike, say, Congress) can change laws as they will. Stewart, who has lived in both countries, perhaps knows of this contradiction between these two governments. It fits along with his style of mixing 21st century urban artists from the West, with the style of 17th century British royalty.
We recently met artist Killy Killford via Skype, as he spoke with Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young at the Fordham University conference Law, Urban Space, and the Future of Artistic Expression. Killy is the man behind Happy Signs, produced from his self-proclaimed Dept. of Well Being. Prompted by the sheer number, and the “do not” messaging of New York City street signs, the UK-native decided to take matter into his own hands. In the conference, he admits he moved to New York for a girlfriend, and needed something to do (if not a job). Installing positive street signs that said what he wanted like, “Honk Less, Love More,” and “New York Loves You,” he soon realized that if he added the words “Dept. of Well Being,” people would think the signs were legitimate.
We know Alexander Calder for his large-scale statue and mobile sculptures but New York City can also lay claim to Calder’s only terrazzo piece and possibly his only immobile sculpture.
On the sidewalk of 1014-1018 Madison Avenue between 78th and 79th streets, black and white tiles are arranged in zigzag and swirl patterns. Installed in 1970, the block was restored in 2002 with the support of the Calder Foundation and the New York City Landmarks Commission.
Source: Sergio Coelho on DesignCrowd
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Today’s Popular Articles
Janos with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, bonding over a favorite music album
What’s your “day job”?
I am the curator of Janos.nyc. I also keep myself busy meddling in local politics.
Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?
My 2012 piece on the Ellis Island South Side hospitals, for Untapped Cities’ campaign with Partners in Preservation. Touring those decaying buildings, it was hard to imagine that it was once the most cutting edge mass health-care facility in the world.