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Mandela Inspired Artwork

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Nelson Mandela inspired everyone. We can try to write a tribute to the man, but we would only fall short. So instead, we’ll stick to the blog’s theme and have a look at some Mandela inspired creations.

The one thing to keep in mind is that his moving on should not be thought of with sadness.  Nobody lives forever and this man who brought so much positive motion and change into the world, lived to the ripe old age of 95. He will be missed but never forgotten.



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Recycled Sheetrock Scraps

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Don’t throw away those drywall scraps. If you keep what you cut you can reuse it in an art project. Shown here are very levelheaded colors for an office building. There are so many options with this. Go bold! Do photo transfers! Use textures! Caulk the seams!

It’s easy enough to do. Just glue the pieces to a board. You can even paint them before laying them out if you suck at painting.

PS: Of course you can do it with your wood scraps too.

Toilet Museums

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File this one under “Practical Art”. Yes, toilets can be beautiful and yes, toilet museums exist. A handful of museums came up in my search, although only two still have functioning websites.

Klooseum is located in Weisbaden, Germany. It’s not so much a walk through the history of the loo as it is a bizarre collection of toilet themed installations. Whatever the case, it’s going on my bucket list.


Toilet seating around the table? I’m ashamed that I never thought of that myself!


Hall of toilet paper. Wonder which ones are soft. Check out the roll of film bottom middle.

The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets located in New Delhi, India is more informative and less wacky. Actually, the website is chock full of information. But who wants to read when you can look at fun pictures?


Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the crapper.


Museum Admission Tags

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The Metropolitan Museum is giving up on their iconic admission tags. When I worked at The Met for whole three years of my life, I saved all of my buttons if I didn’t give them away to visitors as a form of recycling. Admission to The Met is now, as it has always been, “suggested” so you can give a penny and get in. Lots of people don’t realize and pay the full amount. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s a great institution that should be supported if the money is there to give. I just happen to believe that art should be available to everyone and I wish that every museum would have a sliding scale. Hear that MOMA?

So, the tags. This post was meant to be about all the lovely museum admission button art created by folks over the years. Surely if I was making earrings and bracelets out of them (it was the 80’s), everyone else is doing the same. Not so much.

I only found a handful of creations online. Very disappointing. WTF, people?




Art Relief Caravan for Sandy Children

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Please check out the IndieGogo campaign raising funds for Sandy victims through Children’s Movement for Creative Education. The one year projects helps the youngins of Far Rockaway, Gerritsen Beach, Coney Island and Red Hook heal through artistic expression.

What do to:

1. Watch video.
2. Give money.

Photoville, USA

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What could be better than an emerging photographers’ photo exhibit? An entire photography town! Dumbo’s Brooklyn Bridge Park transforms into Photoville this weekend for all of us lovers of captured moments.

Of course there will be exhibits around “town” but that’s not all, folks! Photoville features workshops, a greenhouse, a beer garden and even a dog run!

Thirty plus shipping containers will act as galleries showing the works of world photographers, with big wigs such as Magnum and Photo District News getting in on the action.

The event runs until July 1st. Check out the weekend schedule here.

Shoot Brooklyn (A Photography Show)

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Ben Russell has had a camera attached to him since we met some 30 years ago back in high school, but this is his first exhibit. The Brooklyn native has been doing mostly commercial shoots all these years and hasn’t presented his work as art yet.

The images were shot over a period of two weeks. They are little snippets of a bigger picture that the viewer may or may not recognize. Russell lives in Carroll Gardens where quite a few of these shots were taken. Just for fun, try to guess where each of these shots are located. The answers will be in the comments section.

The show is hanging for the month of February at the 505 Gallery Lobby, 505 Court Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Come see it!

Awesome Soho Street Artist

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Walking through Soho yesterday (something I haven’t done in years), I was dismayed by all the tourist galleries. Do you know what I mean? Galleries that don’t cater to art collectors but rather they sell commercialized pieces in tourist areas. Happens all around the world, not just Soho.

Most of the street artists are pretty cool, but they are also creating for a tourist audience. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Hey, they have to make money and I’m not saying the work isn’t good. We all sell out at one point or another.

Anyway, I see this truck with a life size sculpture of Construction Workers Lunching on Crossbeam, that famous 1932 photograph by Charles C. Ebbets. How friggin cool? The artist is Sergio Furnari from Sicily. He’s been in NY about 20 years.

Lots of fun stuff on his website. Check out that mosaic bathtub below! Turns out the big sculpture on his truck was down at Ground Zero for a few years. It’s probably pretty famous and everyone knows about it, but I just found out yesterday.

That’s what happens when you don’t take time to play tourist.

The Black Cowboys of Queens

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Over the weekend we ventured out to Howard Beach, Queens to hang with a buddy who’s a member of the Federation of Black Cowboys. Those are the guys you see riding their horses on South Conduit out near JFK.

Black cowboys have been part of American culture since the 1860’s, but the current incarnation of the Federation was born in 1994. The website is not currently being kept up. They do often welcome visitors, but check first to make sure it’s cool. When we showed up, most of the cowboys and cowgirls were at a Juneteenth rodeo in NJ, so it was a quite day back at the ranch.


This is our buddy Ralph. By day, he’s a heavy construction laborer, but much to his wife’s dismay, he spends evenings and weekends tending to his garden on the Federation’s 25 acre property.


“Mountain Man” was proud to show us the museum he’s been working on. Housed in one of the trailers, it has some very cool old western gear, but I winced at the animal skins, body parts and traps. He uses all parts of the animal, so kudos to him for that.



This “kid” is only 17 years old. He has his own horse and attends an agriculture high school right there in Queens.


The garden, barbeque pit and picnic area are just off the main road. Making the most out of the urban/rural experience!




Black Cowboys Flickr set

Incredible New York City Sculptures

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Check out these images below. You’re looking at mini sculptures from artist Alan Wolfson. They mostly measure under 2 feet. A native of Bed Stuy and Crown Heights, Wolfson creates these narratives of New York’s past in plastic with wood and cardboard. As if the sculptures aren’t fascinating enough, he then lights them to perfection.

Wolfson’s work is a combination of real locations mixed with details from his memory and other locations thrown in. People never appear in this scenes because he feels they would distract from the narrative.

Do you think new NYC would be as interesting? Bet not.

Via Huffington Post

AIPAD Photography Show

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The Association of International Photography Art Dealers holds their photography exhibit, which is open to the public, in NYC around this time every year. Whether you’re an avid collector or just getting started or just have an interest in looking at pretty pictures, this is the place to be.

All of the galleries are under one roof, so you can shop price, ask questions and find your favorite new photographer (one represented by a participating gallery, of course). No schlepping across town to various galleries and no intimidation factor upon walking in.

The AIPAD show started yesterday and runs until March 20th at the Park Avenue Armory. Admission at the door is $25 and well worth it.

NYC Museums @ Your Fingertips

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New York City - Midtown

Talented New York photographer and web developer Dan Nguyen has come up with a list of all the museums in the 5 boroughs. “Yeah, so?” You say. Well, it’s not just a list.

I Heart NY Museums is an interactive beta site which allows the visitor to view admission prices as well as addresses and hours. It looks kinda like a spread sheet with a map on top.

The focus is on price. Which museums are merely “suggested” donation and which are the most expensive? Are there free hours such as MOMA’s Friday evenings? It’s all right there in front of you.

Currently, there is no phone app. Nguyen is working on the data so he or someone else can make this awesome app.

via Brokelyn

Facing Change. Documenting America

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Huffington Post recently featured images by photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz. I was so impressed that I followed the links back to Facing Change, a not for profit organization. Their aim is to document critical, yet under reported issues facing America. You may license images, donate money or propose a story on

Below are some images that brought tears to my eyes. And some that just made me roll my eyes.

27 year old Sargent Manny Hornedo was killed near Tikrit when a suicide bomber attacked his humvee. Military funeral services were held in Greenwood Cemetary.

One year old Crystal lies dying of an intestinal disease while her mom Bridgett and housemate Wendy watch the monitors moments before her passing. Insurance would not cover the $500,000 operation that Bridgett couldn’t afford.

Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show, Westpoint, KY. Nearly 16,000 people attended the show. There has been a surge in civilian firearms since Obama’s election. Draw your own conclusions.

Troy, NY. I know what you’re thinking. Well, look, at least she’s turning her face away from the kids.

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