Category Archives: Art

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Monument.

… there is an attraction, a special charm in the colossal to which ordinary theories of art do not apply.

Gustave Eiffel

He had a point there. It certainly applies to Eiffel’s own Tower; in fact I believe that was his answer to those who questioned why his tower had to be so big. And it applies to Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty, which would be an unremarkable sculpture if it weren’t for its monumental scale—

IMGP0207 cropped

And here are some other monumental sculptures, beautifully scattered in a monumental landscape of hills, forests, and fields, in the Storm King Art Center, about an hour’s drive north of New York City—

IMGP0251 cropped small
IMGP0334 cropped small
IMGP0224 cropped small
IMGP0301 cropped small
IMGP0206 cropped small

We found ourselves there, almost accidentally, in late November 2012. The raw strength of the sculptures fit well into the bare landscape. But no doubt the sculptures will also complement, in a different way, the fresh green leaves that will soon cover the trees all around them. We’ll have to go back this Spring…

Of course, the monumental scale can also be misapplied—

DSC_0087 cropped small

Seen from a Kayak

By Vladimir Brezina

Some works of art were surely put there for the sole appreciation of passing kayakers…

IMGP0247 cropped small 2IMGP5244 cropped smallIMGP1540 cropped small 2DSC_0178 cropped small

More marine art, specifically of New York Harbor, is here.

Spooktacular!

By Johna Till Johnson
Photos by Vladimir Brezina

DSC_0112 cropped smallMy favorite holiday is Hallowe’en. What’s not to love? There are small children, gaudy costumes, and plenty of candy. Plus, my Goth-girl side revels in the idea of celebrating darkness, death, and the onset of winter.

But over the years, I’ve celebrated more in the breach than in the observance, since the end of October is one of the busiest times in my industry. (I’ll never forget hearing the joyous noises of the Austin Hallowe’en parade from my hotel room, where I was chained to my computer with an imminent deadline.)

So this year, I was delighted to break free from work and meet Vlad over at the Third Annual Halloween Spooktacular. It’s an Upper East Side block party, or rather mini-street fair. The organizers block off the street and hold costume contests—not just for children, but for adults, families, and pets too. There’s a DJ, a bubble artist, and did I mention the candy? And the houses are lavishly—indeed, extravagantly—decorated. (After all, this is the Upper East Side.)

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Eerie.

I hope all of you had a lovely Halloween…

Eerie

It’s That Scary Time of Year Again…

By Vladimir Brezina

DSC_0045 cropped small

… and the residents of our neighborhood don’t let you forget it!

(click on any photo to start slideshow)

Last year’s Halloween photos are here, and the previous year’s here.

Travel Theme: Sculpture

By Vladimir Brezina

IMGP2678 cropped smallAilsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Sculpture.

Her own examples start with man-made sculptures, but conclude with her “favourite sculptures [that] come from the natural world… sculpted by wind… and water…”

Here is a sculpture that we came across recently that seems poised between the two worlds, being both man-made and sculpted by natural forces, wind, water, and sun…

IMGP2532 cropped smallIMGP2635 cropped smallIMGP2766 cropped smallIMGP2751 cropped smallIMGP2799 cropped small

And in the morning…

IMGP8345 cropped small

On North Captiva Island, Florida, during our kayak trip down the Gulf Coast of Florida in April (see here and here).

And speaking of beach sculptures, check out this one, courtesy of our friends 2 Geeks @ 3 Knots!

At Play in the Land of the Giants

By Johna Till Johnson and Vladimir Brezina

It started like any other kayak trip.

The night before, we prepared. We made sure we had our paddling equipment (life jackets, spray skirts, tow ropes, pumps and sponges). Navigation gear (compasses, GPS, charts). And clothing: it’s definitely the season for drysuits now, with plenty of insulation underneath. And pogies–can’t forget the pogies! (Pogies are kayaking “mittens” that allow your bare hands to grip the paddle, but simultaneously sheath them in delightfully warm neoprene.) The Jetboil, so we’d be able to make hot coffee during the trip. And food, water, all the usual.

Continue reading

Halloween Spooktacular 2012

By Vladimir Brezina

The famous Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village was canceled, or at least postponed, because of Hurricane Sandy. But on the Upper East Side, the Carnegie Hill Neighbors’ second annual “Halloween Spooktacular” block party, held among the elaborate Halloween decorations on East 92nd Street, was even bigger than the first!

A few highlights:

Click on a photo to start slideshow:

.

Portraits of Scariness

By Vladimir Brezina

Elsewhere, it might have been quite enough that this big scary thing was going to join the party.

But on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, people take their Halloween very seriously.

No mere hurricane was going to restrain their Halloween decorations!

Here are a few highlights:

Click on one of these photos to start a slideshow:

.
I think these portraits qualify, too, as an appropriate response to Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week, Spooky

Travel Theme: Spooky

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s Travel-Themed photo challenge this eek is Spooky.

This is still an old photo, from Halloween 2011. But I will head out any day now to take fresh photos of this year’s Halloween decorations that are now cropping up in our neighborhood. It should be a spooky Halloween this year…

… unless of course Hurricane Sandy spooks us out first. Current forecasts have it arriving in New York City precisely on Halloween!