Creating tabletop terrariums, residential gardens, immersive environments, and a 240-gallon glowing aquarium brimming with sea creatures, Paula Hayes considers herself a maker of living artworks
The populist aspect is essential to Hayes, who considers herself a maker of living artworks that inspire happiness. These range from tabletop terrariums with miniature edens cultivated in hand-blown glass containers, to residential gardens sculpted with playful, squishy planters and landscaping accessories she designed herself, to museum and gallery installations that often look like friendly visitations from another plane
“Probably the most radical aspect of my work is that it can die and requires maintenance continually,” Hayes says. She is committed to a lifelong relationship with each of her living artworks and will make house calls or send surrogates for upkeep as needed. “The person who’s collected it can never really own it and is more of its caretaker,” she says of each work. For those who insist on keeping their terrariums in rooms without light, Hayes may suggest swapping plants for a glittery landscape of crystals and minerals.
They range in price from $8,000 for a small terrarium to $300,000 for a large-scale piece like Slug.
In her own garden, behind the Brooklyn brownstone she shares with Hayes likes to entertain guests in a teepee. Her studio, recently relocated from a small storefront in the East Village, is nearby. Hayes uses its terrace as a laboratory for the soft retrofit roofing system she has been developing since 1999.
. “I just loved that my grandfather was an inventor,” says Hayes, whose favorite spot was his workshop. “It was always this goal of mine to patent something.”
She met that goal in 2010, when she was awarded a patent for her “dumpling planter,” a pouch made of rubber waterproofing membrane, with an internal drainage system, that cinches looser or tighter at the top as needed around a plant or a tree and has the pleasing appearance of a dumpling. Hayes received a second patent for her “garden necklace,” a braided rubber rope used to shape and hem arrangements in planted areas. Both inventions are part of her flexible and lightweight roofing system, which also includes hexagonal, pond, and silicone planters that can be grouped together in various configurations to create a green environment in black-tar urban spaces.
They also dream of using Hayes’s roofing system to carpet the tops of factories in Long Island City, where they spend a lot of time during the fabrication of her acrylic pieces. “Just picture driving in from LaGuardia and seeing a vast sea of green rooftops insulating these factories and improving the quality of life for the people who work in them,” Hayes says.
BANKSY has become an international icon; the rebellious and mysterious street artist has turned the art world upside-down over the past few years. Banksy has recently joined the list of the most influential people in 2010 alongside Barack Obama and Steve Jobs. Known for his graffiti, painting, activism, filmmaker and all-purpose provocateur he has clearly made a name for himself through his art. I have come to realize after following his strategic art and subversive epigrams combing dark humor with graffiti done in a distinctive stenciling technique and he is very involved in speaking out for the people. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.
His work commands tens of thousands of pounds, he’s been described as inspiring, provocative, illusive, and infamous, but there’s one missing piece to this puzzle……..
KNWOONE really knows anything about him, not even his real name. Banksy has been described as the invisible man of graffiti art. Very few facts are known about the man himself - although his work is known throughout the world and can give you a pretty good idea of his views and style by following his work. Being nominated as one of the most influential people of 2010 they requested a picture and as secretive he supplied a picture of himself with a paper bag over his head. Most of his fans don’t really want to know who he is.
Some say street art or “bombing” is destructive and illegal, but most street art I see is like free speech, especially in this case. Banksy has said before, “There’s a whole new audience out there, and it’s never been easier to sell one’s art. You don’t have to go to college, drag ’round a portfolio, mail off transparencies to snooty galleries or sleep with someone powerful, all you need now is a few ideas and a broadband connection. This is the first time the essentially bourgeois world of art has belonged to the people. We need to make it count.”
The importance of where his pieces were located. In Banksy’s work, location itself is a large part of the message, a key component of the resulting metaphor. Whether he’s hanging a fake rock pictogram of early man pushing a shopping cart in the British Museum, or installing an amalgam of the Statue of Liberty and Statue of Justice clad as a prostitute at the site of his last arrest, the environment is usually part of the message. The pieces that have stood out to me most have been his Hack of the Israeli barrier wall and the holocaust lipstick motif.
The “Manifesto” on Banksy’s website contains only a diary extract from Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO, who was among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen in 1945:
“It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no night gown but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”
As for the Israeli wall graffiti, he justified it by saying, “How illegal is it to vandalize a wall,” asked Banksy on his website introduction to his Wall project, “if the wall itself has been deemed unlawful by the International Court of Justice? The Israeli government is building a wall surrounding the occupied Palestinian territories. It stands three times the height of the Berlin wall and will eventually run for over 700km - the distance from London to Zurich. The International Court of Justice last year ruled the wall and its associated regime is illegal. It essentially turns Palestine into the world’s largest open-air prison.”
I really urge people to quit being bystanders and although some may see Banksy as being destructive activism, at least he is doing something and not harming anyone in the process.
Check out his Academy Award nominated documentary, “Exit through the Gift shop.”
The Laib Wax Room is lined with fragrant beeswax and illuminated by a single light bulb, is the first permanently installed artwork at the Phillips since the Rothko Room in 1960. German artist Wolfgang Laib installed the work in a space he helped to select in the original Phillips house. Accommodating one to two people at a time, it offers a personal, meditative encounter.
To install the work, “Where have you gone – where are you going?” Laib melted approximately 660 pounds of wax at a constant temperature to achieve a uniform golden hue. He used tools such as a spatula, spackle knife, electric heat gun, and warm iron to apply the wax, on the walls and ceiling of the 6-by-7-by-10-foot space.
“A wax chamber has a very deep and open relationship,” Laib explains. “To enter a wax room, is to be in another world, maybe on another planet and in another body.”
I came across this piece of art and this artist on ARTnews and it really intrigued me and I instantly began researching this Liab. I love how he incorporates life and nature into his pieces. Finding beauty and art within nature has always been a passion for me and soon enough I will make a photo book of all the places I have captured art within mother earth.
To some, Liabs work may seem simple and out of the ordinary but to me, and many others his art pieces are highly ritualistic. In the spring and summer Liab collects pine, buttercup, moss pollens, hazelnut and dandelion from fields around his home in Germany and then displays the collected material in jars or sprinkled across the floor of his gallery.
ART THAT IS COLD AS ICE
Well I was wondering why my refrigerator ice dispenser wasnt dispensing any ice. This is what I found, I call it the “IceBerg Sculpture.” Just another run in with natural beauty and art surrounding us everyday that one might not notice. It reminded me of this quote:
People grow old only by deserting their ideals, Macarthur had written. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young. When your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old. And then, indeed as the ballad says, you just fade away. -Douglas MacArthur
Capturing the moment one day at a time.