‘Chowpatty’ by Shweta Malhotra
Pranita Kocharekar’s ‘You & I’
Now in Mumbai, you can hail a colorful story for that ride across town. Taxis in Mumbai are being decked out in wildly colorful fabrics courtesy of the company Taxi Fabric.
India has some 55,000 taxis smashing around the city on the daily, with all the competition for fares, taxi drivers pimp out their vehicles to attract customers. Fabrics for taxi seat coverings haven’t changed much over the years; the same fabrics geared towards function and less about design are being used over and over.
Tasneem Amiruddin’s ‘Jungle Book’
‘Monad’ by Samya Arif
Sanket Avlani, founder of Taxi Fabric saw an opportunity to bring something new into the mix. They highlight not only the art of design but the impact that design can have in an environment. This platform provided the makers a gateway dialogue about the importance of fiber arts as a mainstay. And opens a realm of accessibility to design students eager to showcase their work and celebrate their city by telling its stories with this exciting art form.
“We want to help Indian designers have their work not only be seen but also allow them to connect with members of the public who up until now perhaps haven’t understood that design can tell stories and create emotions.”
‘A century of Revolt’_ by Kunal Gaur
Right now it’s a limited number of taxis sporting the new looks, so finding one will be like searching for a diamond in the rough – but one with a lot more meaning and hopefully smiles from both the passengers and the drivers who move these stories about a city full of talent.
Lokesh Karekar’s ‘From a Taxi Window’
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, 30 designers will have their work be printed, stitched and fitted onto Mumbai taxi seats. That will turn into 20-25 Taxi Fabrics by the end of the year.
‘Urban Garden’ by Pavithra Dikshit
Gaurav Ogale’s ‘Cutting’
via Mental Floss
photos via Taxi Fabric
There was no polling of art aficionados, no pouring over magazines or newspaper reviews, and there’s definitely no big ballin’ art plays for likability listed below. These shows made the list because I visited them more than once (that rarely ever happens) or my sensibilities were totally confounded by the creativity. Shows that make that kind of impression can provide a year’s worth of conversational tidbits and a measure to which you might hold all others. Aw, enough with that…these shows rocked my 2014.
Spring Break Art Show
It’s fun, fresh, and daring like newly graduated art school minds before they get crushed and compromised. This curator driven show, gets set up in an old schoolhouse during Armory Arts Week in New York. Yes, we know it’s technically an art fair. But the 2014 show, PublicPrivate won us over with installations that we talked up all-year-long.
Kara Walker: A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby
Kara Walker’s Installation at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn was a “homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.” The exhibit was mind-blowing – from the overwhelmingly beautiful conceptual execution of the sugar-coated sphinx-like woman, to the very unexpected nauseating smell of burnt sugar permeating the hot factory.
Swoon: Submerged Motherlands
Swoon’s intricate wheat-paste portraits normally grace New York buildings, but for Motherlands she went large-scale, telling landscaped stories against a backdrop of dramatically blue washed walls in the Brooklyn Museum rotunda. The star of the show was the massive sculptural tree that nearly kissed the rotunda’s 72 foot high glass domed ceiling.
David Lynch: The Unified Field
Lynch’s grime aesthetics found solace at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (PAFA), where he studied as an advanced painting student in 1967. The exhibit explored Lynch’s hybrid collection of works, displaying a delicate balance from disturbing narratives to richly descriptive lithographs. Unified Field is his world of opposites that he wanders in and out of at will.
Interhaven: The Works of Caitlin McCormack
McCormack’s sorted things in shadowboxes lay posed and gracefully still as if they once knew air – their layers of articulated overlapping crocheted beige string bones resembled the things they never were. The show’s curio layout carried a pleasantly haunting tone, but it was the lingering of McCormack’s stored memories seen through these tangible manifestations of contained dreams and nightmares that left me feeling domed under her bell jars.
*thank you to paperclips215 & Paradigm Gallery for the use of their Instagram Photos
Upperplayground X Dennis McNett
It’s been out since early summer, but I figure I’ve still got a few months till the weather freezes me out of my t-shirts. So I’m still trying to make the HAITI Wolfbat purchase. Only every time I hit that ‘add to cart’ button – it keeps giving me that 404: Error ‘Sucka you too late screen’. So I guess I’m on an eBay hunt. But it’s sweet right?
Reminds me of my earlier summer find…
I’m completely obsessed with the storytelling creativity of Rumisu scarves. Their limited edition runs are a playground of hand-drawn illustrations transferred to silk scarves, while playful hand crocheted accessories (paying tribute to the traditional Turkish art of ‘oya’) dangle from a scarf corner. The scarves appeal to men and women alike with a flair for having trinkets with ‘must have’ names like: Moby Dick, Troy…War because of an apple, Chicken Pox and Car Theives. Rumisu is run by two sisters in Istanbul whose Instagram I check on the regular to see who they’re collaborating with next.
Swatch Caramellissima Watch
Swatch Watches are like Lisa Frank for me – two companies that remind me of my childhood – they possesses buying power I have yet to outgrow. And now I discovered a Swatch that won’t leave rainbow rings on my wrist or give me a communicable disease from sharing.
What other reason do I possibly need other than ‘these are some seriously rad chairs’.
Sticky Paper Tape Wrapping Paper
Design: Nina von Wahlberg
I suppose it’s like the laziest thing ever, but having to expertly gift wrap presents I can’t wait to give immediately bores me to tears. Then I saw this and immediately starting looking for things to gift. To my dear friends – everything I give you this year will be wrapped with this… Surprise ruined.
Real Rosewood Macbook Wook Keyboard Skin
I’ve been a bit obsessed with wood design lately, so I’d jump at the chance to turn my working pal into a rustic feeling. And yeah, this is real wood (NOT vinyl). It’s made from real Rosewood veneer with a 3M™ pressure sensitive adhesive backing. Fancy, Fancy…
This past August, an abandoned storefront in East London was transformed into a temporary art installation.
Cornershop, the brainchild of fiber artist, Lucy Sparrow, is a fun take on consumerism where the shelves are stocked with every traditional shop item you could think of: cash register, magazine rack, newspapers, ice box, biscuit isle, lady items, beer, crisps – my personal favorite ‘the oyster card’ (think public transportation pass).
You’re waiting for the fun part right? The items were hand-stitched by Sparrow and her assistant. The undertaking took 8 months and they blew through 984 square feet of felt. Sparrow describes corner shops as a “slice of life…The exhibition encourages people to take a closer look at the everyday.”
All the items were available for purchase in the store and online, during that time Sparrow offered a variety of sewing workshops, designed to engage the local community in public art. In a interview with The Guardian, Sparrow openly expressed her fear of selling out the shop…”Obviously it would be nice to sell it all on opening night, but I have this fear of having to make it all again,” she said. “I don’t think I can go though that. It might actually break me.”
As well as £1,000 of sponsorship money from Swizzels sweets, the project was funded by a Kickstarter campaign, which raised £10,500, and £8,000 of Arts Council funding.
The project is closed now, but you can still browse the items online.
photos via Sew Your Soul and Fashion For Lunch
Quote from The Guardian
I cannot stop looking at Ashley Blalock‘s fiber work. Her installation: Keeping Up Appearances features some brilliant red 15-Foot Tall Crochet work that ebbs in and out of the gallery corners. Though the work itself is delicate, the building of layers in Blalocks work convey strength…the same characteristics of webs – delicate yet strong. That convention itself seems appropriate when learning that Blalocks means her crochet art to explore the female domestic sphere and “themes of discomfort and coping mechanisms to provide solace from the stress and trauma of everyday life”.