It’s Sunday morning, I opened my rdio page, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to make an image (above) that I’ve been meaning to make for months. Why is it that so many bands over the past year or so have opted for album covers with big glaring circles in the middle? It’s a pretty established fact that whomever comments first in a list, be it a Facebook post or a hotel or wedding guestbook, will be copied at least a few times before the end of the page, but has endless scrolling taken over LP design in the same way?
That said, while I’m not a fan of any of the above records, some of my favorite records have similar artwork:
Brooklyn-based artist Marsha Cottrell works in the same building as me, on the same floor, for the same company. In fact, a couple of years ago (though we don’t work in overlapping departments) I worked at the desk directly adjacent to her. It makes it all the more lovely then—meetings, corporate jargon wading, and deadlines aside—to have taken five and snook a peek at the always-inspiring But Does It Float, admire a collection of breathtaking images, and realize they were iron oxide drawings by Marsha. I urge you to visit Marsha’s site and see the rest of the series. For those of us in New York City these may be the only constellations we’re likely to see but the other stars might be right under your nose.
Above: Impossible Night, 2011, iron oxide on mulberry paper
I’m convinced art teachers in England use Claes Oldenburg as a student pacifier. GIANT PAINTED PLATES OF FOOD … HOT DOGS THE SIZE OF CARS … and so on. I saw the fun in his work but wasn’t a huge fan until I saw a little exhibition at the York City Art Gallery of his work in 1960s London. The standout for me was London Knees (above and below), a sculptural homage to the Britain’s swinging capital. Setting out to produce memorials of “objects from contemporary life that seemed to sum up and concentrate the ingredients of a specific time and place … enlarged and inserted into a site in the city” (#) Oldenburg mixed cultural observation and a foresight for iconic symbolism with wry humor to create adventurous proposals for environmental art. He also made sure to reference “the architectural and fetishistic functions of knees” through the work which, frankly, is a refreshing change from feet.