Emphasis

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vladimir_Lenin_Leon_Trotsky_Lev_Kamenev_1920.jpg

In 1920, after Lenin delivered a speech in Petrograd to troops departing to fight in the Soviet-Polish war, Russian artist El Lissitzky challenged his architecture students to design a speaker’s platform on a public square. The result was the Lenin Tribune, a rostrum that can bear its speaker aloft to address a crowd of any size. In a letter to the art historian and critic Adolf Behne, Lissitzky wrote:

I have now received some sketches of former works and have reconstructed the design. Therefore I do not sign it as my personal work, but as a workshop production. The diagonally-standing structure of iron latticework supports the movable and collapsible balconies: the upper one for the speaker, the lower one for guests. An elevator takes care of transportation. On top there is a panel intended for slogans during the day and as a projection screen at night. The gesture of the entire speaker’s platform is supposed to enhance the motions of the speaker. (The figure is Lenin.)

Here the message reads PROLETARIAT. Lissitzky later said he regretted not publishing the design when Vladimir Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International was attracting attention, so that the two might have competed against one another.

Spun Art

Moscow programmer Ani Abakumova makes portraits by spanning circular hoops with lengths of colored thread.

A computer dictates the placement of the threads, but she produces each portrait by hand.

More at her Instagram page.

Legacy

In 1924 the eccentric Lord Berners composed a “Funeral March for a Rich Aunt”:

The musical direction is Allegro giocoso — “fast and cheerful.”

Self-Image

Daniel Rozin makes interactive digital artworks that respond to the presence of the viewer, in many cases serving as mechanical or digital mirrors.

“In an interactive piece such as my Mirrors or Easel, the piece has no content without the viewer and the piece celebrates the likeness of the viewer,” he says. “This suggests that the important part of this equation is the person, not the artifact.”

(Thanks, Seth.)

Water Colors

Hawaiian artist Sean Yoro paints murals positioned near or in large bodies of water. He paints on the sides of shipwrecks, abandoned docks, and submerged walls, often on themes of climate change and rising sea levels, balancing on a paddleboard and using environmentally friendly materials.

“Combining both my art and environmental passions happened almost by accident at first, when I started creating murals along ocean walls,” he told the Met. “I always had underlying messages of sustainability and awareness, but this was the first concept I could literally combine these two aspects of my life influences into one. Every project since then has seamlessly integrated both values into their own unique stories naturally.”

There and Back

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lawa/1520399
Image: Flickr

One day his inventive eye fell on an old bicycle saddle and handlebars. Placing the handlebars at the back of the saddle in an upright position he created a bull’s head with horns. The illusion was striking and the virtuosity of the transformation conferred a kind of noisy notoriety on this Tête de taureau. When it was exhibited after the Liberation Picasso looked at it with an amused air. ‘A metamorphosis has taken place,’ he said to André Warnod, ‘but now I would like another metamorphosis to occur in the opposite direction. Suppose my bull’s head was thrown on the rubbish heap and one day a man came along and said to himself: “There’s something I could use as handlebars for my bicycle.” Then a double metamorphosis would have been achieved.’

— A. Vallentin, Picasso, 1963

Inflated Rhetoric

Swedish graffiti artist Daniel Fahlström makes trompe l’oeil murals of mylar balloon letters — there are no balloons, just the two-dimensional painted surface, but the effect is stunningly deceiving.

“I’ve seen a lot of reactions from people, and the funniest one was when this old lady that wasn’t wearing her glasses, she was trying to go up and touch the balloons,” he told Business Insider. “That’s good if they think that’s real balloons. That’s my mission, to make them believe that.”

Light and Shadow

yamashita building blocks

Building Blocks, by Kumi Yamashita. “I sculpt using both light and shadow. I construct single or multiple objects and place them in relation to a single light source. The complete artwork is therefore comprised of both the material (the solid objects) and the immaterial (the light or shadow).”

More.