Insomnia: Our Mild Obsession with Colombian Artist Omar Castaneda


Last year at the Pinta Art Fair in Miami, I walked away mildly obsessed with the work of Colombian artist, Omar Castaneda.  His imagery is so ‘in your face’.

Castaneda is committed to the local culture of Columbia – exposing their socio-political issues with concepts and materials related to food and animals, since according to him, that is the basis of the people, the culture and their habits.  Using these common elements, he dissects the past of towns and regions, tells personal stories and recreates armed conflicts, both current and past.

As his art delivers this message with what could fairly be described as disturbing imagery, it delves into the explorations of subjects and materials related to his native South America.  Castaneda’s inspiration and resource is food – A basic human necessity, food is loaded with cultural, social and political implications with regard to its value, production, source, and consumption. Food effectively dissolves most preconceived distinctions between nature and culture, production and consumption, morals and markets, family and society, the individual and the collective, body and mind.

Explore below, pieces from his exhibition, ANIMAL GENERATION. Or do some digging of your own over at

Omar Castaneda

Omar Castaneda_2






Still saying ‘what the’ to Hanna Liden’s bagel totems?  Here’s the skinny: Swedish artist Hanna Liden had her first taste of that new york staple, the bagel in 1998 – which incidentally, is the year that she arrived in new york.  So I guess you could say that the bagels represent her formative NYC year, her first authentic taste of the city that would become her new home.

The sculptures are large-scale, carved versions of bagels — both individually placed and arranged in stacks, acting as makeshift ‘vases’, placed in well-traveled public spaces.  The black spray paint, a romanticized vision of the impurity and grime that is characteristic of the city.

Liden’s sculptural eating experience is titled ‘everything’, a two-part art installation in Hudson River Park until October 20, 2015, and Ruth Wittenberg plaza until august 24, 2015. Presented by Art Production Fund and Kiehl’s since 1851, the exhibition sets up the sculptural bagels in unexpected contexts around the city, giving new meaning to what Liden refers to as ‘a great icon of urban living’.


photo by nicholas knight / courtesy of art production fund


photo by nicholas knight / courtesy of art production fund


photo by nicholas knight / courtesy of art production fund


photo by nicholas knight / courtesy of art production fund


photo by nicholas knight / courtesy of art production fund


via designboom



‘Performance Art’ has become this all encompassing term for what fits the fancy these days.

For French artist Abraham Poincheval that meant spending two weeks living inside a hollowed-out sculpture that he covered with the skin of a bear. Yeah, that’s right, I’m not saying that he lived in the carcass of a bear for nearly two weeks – cause that just sounds bad ass and crazy doesn’t it? When in fact – it was a hollowed out sculpture of a bear that he reclined in with limited supplies of food and water. His unusual living arrangement even came equipped with a makeshift unit for umm…relieving oneself.  Doesn’t sound so bad ass now, does it? Although it’s probably started to sound a tad crazy.

Poincheval’s performance took place from April 1 – April 13th inside the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris.  The symbolic hibernation started with Poincheval’s quest for understanding his animal nature and physical limits. The performance was broadcast 24 hours a day through a live web feed.  I’m going to speculate and say nothing spectacular happened.

Ah, to each his own.








 pics via & Poincheval’s Facebook

Eduardo Kobra Brings Rodin’s The Thinker to São Paulo



Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra’s new mural in Sao Paulo, brings Rodin into Brazil with a mural based on one of the most famous sculptures by the French Artist, ‘The Thinker’.

The mural is located in the east side of the city and carries Kobra’s typical style: an explosion of colors and geometric forms along with an impressive realistic painting.





Previous walls by Kobra:

V Day Kiss / New York

Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer / Sao Paulo

Albert Einstein / LA

Mount Rushmore / LA





“I’m sorry, did a person do that?!

That was pretty much my dumbfounded reaction to seeing Kuksi’s work in-person for the 1st time. As I lay on the floor to shoot pics of the scenes going on underneath this sculpture the realization washes over me that trying to consume the sheer level of detail in these intricate mini mythological universes Kuksi creates in one viewing might cause tiny explosions in your brain.

Kuksi is an architect of worlds imagined, where these modern societies of plastic going on’s take on the turbulent fault of violence and the chaos of society at hand within its structure. And you can see them now at his current solo exhibit happening at the Joshua Liner Gallery /540 W. 28th Street/New York, NY

*Sculpture seen at Joshua Liner Gallery booth / Miami Project Art Fair 2013








*photos taken by author



mcd-tight-sized-private MCDONALD-main-sized-private


Bansky’s newest work is a fiberglass replica of Ronald McDonald having his shoes shined by a real live boy standing in the South Bronx. According to the BANKSNY SITE, the sculpture, Shoe Shine will move outside a different McDonalds everyday at lunchtime for the next week.

According to the Gothamist the sculpture is near 839 Westchester Avenue. – ALSO CHECK THEM OUT FOR UPDATED IN AND BRAND NEW PICS.

Don’t forget to listen to the audio guide for the piece here.

Missed the #1-#15?

pic/Banksyny website




The Woods is a collaboration between Oslo Designers StokkeAustad & Andreas Engesvik. The sculptures consist of seven pieces joined in two separate sections.

These hand blown glass sculptures were inspired by the lights and landscapes of the North. ”A tree changing colors and transparency through the seasons is a fascinating process which was captured in this glass object.” says Engesvik.

via The Art Cake

Photos via Andreas Engesvik

Andreas-Engsavik-1 Andreas-Engsavik-3 Andreas-Engsavik-4


Lorenzo Quinn's Force Of Nature II Sculpture Is Installed In Berkley Square

Artist, Lorenzo Quinn’s is no stranger to attention, his life-sized installations have always been grabbers. His newest works, a series of sculptures entitled, Force of Nature are no exception..these gravity-defying statues seem to be in a state of perpetual motion.

Lorenzo Quinn's Force Of Nature II Sculpture Is Installed In Berkley Square

Lorenzo Quinn's Force Of Nature II Sculpture Is Installed In Berkley Square

At the base of the sculptures are these words from the artist… “We humans think of ourselves as supreme beings, above all others and in absolute control of our destiny and our surroundings. We live with a false sense of security, only to be awakened by Mother Nature’s fury, almost as if she needs to remind us of her presence and our responsibility towards her child (the Earth). After having seen the ravaged coast of Thailand and the hurricane that affected the Southern States, I decided to create a sculpture dedicated to Mother Nature. This would be reminiscent of the early statues made as peace offerings to the gods in the hope of quenching their anger. In essence, people are not very different today from the people who lived thousands of years ago. We still devote ourselves to symbols in order to escape our destiny.”

tumblr_mlekwdt9No1qa6dtuo4_1280 image credit: mymodernmet

KAWS Companion Comes to Philly





It has come to pass…the KAWS Companion has landed at 30th Street Station.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in collaboration with Amtrak bought the 16 foot-tall Companion sculpture to rest at 30th Station.

Kaws Companion will be there until May 14th, then it’ll be hauled away for some other city to enjoy. Lucky for us, it’s departure won’t signify the end, but the arrival of the KAWS Sculpture Plinth Exhibit at PAFA.


*image credit: Ginger Rudolph

KAWS Installation at 30th Street Station

What an evolution – the street artist known at KAWS is best known to most of us for his creation, The Companion.  For the past few years have felt like a burgeoning KAWS explosion.  Forget that fact that I tend to see his toys everywhere, but then in 2011 ‘The Companion’ created a lot of buzz when it showed up at the Armory Show.

Then in 2012, he scores a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon – I’d love to know how they go about deciding what artists will get to watch his creation cruise down New York Streets.  It’s a coveted spot, not to mention for a street artist, when you don’t expect that type of art gets lots of attention from the Macy’s decision makers.

KAWS parade

Now his sculpture work is part of an exhibition being taken around the world. The Companion will sit in several places throughout 2013.  Including my hometown, Philadelphia come April 11th, 2013.  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in collaboration with Amtrak is bringing the 16 foot-tall Companion sculpture to rest at 30th Station.

Kaw’s Companion will be there until May 14th, then it’s hauled away for some other city to enjoy.  Lucky for us, it’s departure won’t signify the end, but the arrival of the KAWS Sculpture Plinth exhibit at PAFA.


kaws companion

Clothed in Transparency: Cassandra Straubing


With His Wife Now Gone, His Clothes Never Seemed to Make it Back in the Drawer, cast glass with found objects, 33.5x17x19

So much is made of the clothing we place on our bodies. I maintain my belief that the clothes we choose make a statement about who we are. But lately, the concept has been taken further to encompass not just the style of the fashions we wear, but what they are made of, where, and how. In her sculptural work, glass artist Cassandra Straubing addresses domestic and industrial labor, two of the major producers of clothing through the centuries


With His Wife Now Gone ( detail )

Last Monday, as I was driving home, ironically from a day of shopping for a few clothing basics at Target, TJ Maxx, etc., I listened to this story on NPR regarding the trend of “fast fashion” begun in the 1980s and gaining relentless momentum since. Clothing is being produced, consumed, and disposed of at alarming rates, all the while using up valuable finite resources. And although the impetus behind Straubing’s work, according to her artist statment, is linked more to clothing as a representation of who we are and who we become, I see in it a throwback to the simplicity of the way clothing was once viewed– it’s first purpose was practical, perhaps overalls or an apron for every day, a suit and “Sunday dress” for special occasions.


The Beekeeper’s Wife, cast glass with found objects, 18x32x3


Mrs. Evans, kiln cast glass and found objects, 22.5x30x3.25

But today, we fill closet after closet with “disposable” clothing, literally buying into what the fashion industry, media and manufacturers tell us we need. As Straubing’s glass articles of clothing suggest, we are all becoming naked emperors.


She Waited for Him on Pins and Needles ( detail )

How do we combat against falling prey to trendy fashion? Perhaps if we imagined each new fashion was sculpted of glass, might we be so quick to want it? Says the woman who travels with 5 large plastic bins of clothes, 1 giant suitcase, and several smaller suitcases. But I’m working on it and have two garbage bags full of Goodwill destined clothes to prove it.

To see more of Cassandra Straubing’s work, please visit her page at San Jose State University.

With His Wife Now Gone.. and She Waited for Him.. via the artist’s page at SJSU, The Beekeeper’s Wife and Mrs. Evans via Bullseye Gallery.


Story & pics via Lesley Frenz of Artsy Forager

Story & pics via Lesley Frenz of Artsy Forager