"It's a place where you can let your freak flag fly." This comment from one of the marchers in Coney Island's annual Mermaid Parade said it all. The spectacle was so colorful, hot, sweaty and wonderful that it took me back to a time when canned experience was rarely the norm. Thus it moved me towards nostalgic and luminous black and white.
Danish Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, twists the way we think we see. It's remarkable because it all happens in the moment you are experiencing the work. Frozen water drops, moving light, visual illusion and more. Worth seeing, especially if you missed the '60s.
It started at the Times Square Station where resides a mural by Roy Lichtenstein. His paintings are blow ups of the dotted images in the comics.
I remembered that the process for dotted reproduction (Ben-day dots) was named after printer Benjamin Day. Depending on the effect or optical illusion needed, small colored dots are closely-spaced, widely-spaced or overlapping.
1950s and 1960s pulp comic books used Benday dots in the four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to inexpensively create shading and secondary colors such as green, purple, orange and flesh tones. This is where Lichtenstein comes in.
Then I went to MOMA saw the current design show and saw a hilarious take on the Ben-day dot in the Design area, where each image dot is a crazy icon/pictograph.
And....on my way downtown, I saw a film poster for a Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino film, Righteous Kill. A black and white dotted Ben-Day image.
Thinking about dots and getting dotty in the heat--is there a country song in this?
Some friends were visiting from Louisiana and wanted to buy a camoflage New York Yankee's baseball cap. They were unsuccessful, not because there weren't caps (even in pink!) but because they were the wrong camo pattern for Louisiana foliage with too much dark green. As a New Yorker, might I then expect the NY Yankee's camo cap to be shades of grey and faded brick?
Or how about this woman spotted on the street? She is correctly camoflaged to hide in my closet. What a wonderful world!
Sorry, we've been rethinking the blog. About what it might be, how to change it and also about migrating it. I encourage you, plead, beg and so on. If you want to always know what's new, please come on over to the "sister" site, www.slshaw.info and register for e-mails. You can always unsubscribe later so why not?
Susan Shaw is an internationally exhibited painter and photographer. Private and public collections include the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Shaw is the recipient of two New York State Artist’s Fellowships and 2007/2009 residency fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center.
Kurt Hoss is a freelance photographer capturing the exuberance of
New York City for 35 years. A favorite project has been documenting life in south western Louisiana, culminating in two recent books, Going to Lafayette and Bosco Swamp.
Shaw and Hoss recently received an AVA gold award for video production, as producers of The Mermaid Parade.