Featured

March 23, 2017

Signs of Things to Come?

Street artist Plastic Jesus marks the “sites” of “future internment camps”

“Lot Reserved for: Future Internment Camp,” said signs posted at industrial sites, empty lots, and other spaces in multiple American cities in early March. “By order: Donald J. Trump. President United States of America/ Executive order 9066.” The project, by the Los Angeles artist who calls himself Plastic Jesus, was a dystopian elaboration of Trump’s … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

March 17, 2017

Seven Magic Mountains

Artist: Ugo Rondinone

LAS VEGAS – Half an hour outside Las Vegas, seven striking cairns in a neat row rise 30 feet from the desert floor. In form, these structures resemble hoodoos—tall and spindly natural rock formations commonly seen in the western United States—but if their isolated placement doesn’t signal artificial origins, their intense color erases any doubt. … Read More

March 15, 2017

Space Invaders

Artist: Invader

GLOBAL – Since 1998, an anonymous French citizen who identifies himself as an Unidentified Free Artist (UFA) and goes by the name Invader has developed a public art project that’s reached around the world…and beyond. The project, Space Invaders, “liberates art from its usual alienators”—museums and other institutions—and introduces pixelated, video-game-like ceramic tile invader figures … Read More

March 10, 2017

The Hive

Artist: Wolfgang Buttress

LONDON – Inspired by scientific research about the health of bees, British artist Wolfgang Buttress designed The Hive to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators in feeding humanity. From a distance, The Hive—surrounded by a one-acre wildflower garden—looks like a swarm of bees. Its 17-meter-tall latticework structure is made from 170,000 aluminum pieces weighing … Read More

March 3, 2017

Hunting the Symbol

An interview with sculptural landscape architect and writer Charles Jencks

DUMFRIES, Scotland – Apparently, our universe is not immense enough to contain the imagination of landscape architect and author Charles Jencks. He instead thinks in terms of multiple universes, which he evokes in his most recent work, the Crawick Multiverse, a 55-acre sculptural landscape that sits on the site of a former open-pit mine in … Read More

February 10, 2017

Transforming Spaces

Catherine Widgery’s installations use subtle motions of light, wind, and water to awaken the urban landscape—and those who inhabit it

Catherine Widgery’s epiphany as an artist came just over a decade ago with a sculpture she created for the opening of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum on Cape Cod. Stringing together rusted chains, fishing gear, shells, and other debris, she created a whirlwind of junk in the center of the gallery—and after the exhibit, … Read More

January 16, 2017

Public Ritual

William Pope.L and exorcisms of abject otherness

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re republishing this 2010 Public Art Review article about artist William Pope.L, whose work addresses racism and social inequities.   Best known for his street performances, William Pope.L has worked for decades across a broad array of media including public interventions, stage performances, installations, painting, and found … Read More

Derek Conrad Murray and Soraya Murray | Featured, Magazine Feature, Public Art Review

December 26, 2016

Pure Genius

MacArthur Fellowships have a long tradition of rewarding innovative public artists—and of providing the resources for recipients to live free and dream big

Economic uncertainty, regardless of how it exhibits itself, has a sneaky way of stifling creativity. Conversely, financial freedom is often a potent muse. Just ask the artists, writers, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, and other pioneering souls who—after being awarded a vaunted MacArthur Fellowship—suddenly found themselves blessed with the freedom to dream radically, experiment spontaneously and, if … Read More

December 19, 2016

Portable Land Art

Vaughn Bell’s playful works are inspired by serious issues of humankind and our environment

Vaughn Bell’s work brings a quirky, humorous sensibility to a sphere that is often treated with deadly seriousness: our relationship with the environment. The Seattle-based artist literally “models” human relationships with the natural world by creating offbeat objects like the Portable Personal Biosphere, a terrarium that fits over the head so that the wearer carries … Read More

October 9, 2016

Museums Go Public

Around the country, museums are collaborating with public artists and shedding their highbrow image

Over the years, in these pages we’ve chronicled the evolution of public art from “plop art”—the big sculptural object by the renowned artist dropped into the public place—into a dynamic ecosystem of artistic practices, from mural-making to event-making, that are more and more focused on the histories, needs, and wishes of communities, and more and … Read More

Jon Spayde | Featured, Public Art Review

July 15, 2016

A Shift Toward Trust

Indian artist Jasmeen Patheja describes her work and the genesis of the Talk To Me project

Jasmeen Patheja began addressing critical social issues early in her career as an artist. While still an art student in Bangalore, India, in 2003, she initiated a project that ultimately led to the formation of Blank Noise, a collective that emerged in response to the widespread harassment and rape of women. Blank Noise creates interactive … Read More

July 13, 2016

Climate Storytelling

Subtle, elegant, and arresting, public art projects on a human scale help us understand climate change

One of the greatest gifts an artist can offer is to show us the world as it is. Our sense of what is real is often clouded by our preoccupations, passivity, or politics. But when an artwork removes these filters and allows us to see as the artist sees, we can be changed. Our perspective … Read More

Karen Olson | Featured, Public Art Review