Thursday, February 5, 2009
I Lego N.Y.
I do plan to do more with this blog than rant about the lack of funding for public transit in the stimulus bill. One aspect of cities that is very dear to my heart is their inspirational status for art. It amazes me how much my favorite works - whether The Third Man, early hip-hop or Edward Hopper's paintings - take the city as its subject and source of inspiration. The city, with all of its grit, colors, people, sounds and life,
All of this is a way too wordy intro to this amazing little post by Christopher Niemann at his Abstract City blog on the New York Times site. I won't say too much, other than that it is one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile, so creative, imaginative, hilarious and simple. Two things I especially love about this. One, here is a work about a city that is whimsical and fun. So much of the great art about urban life is dark as hell. The sadness of Hopper's characters, film noir's world of danger and paranoia, Richard Price's world of crime and poverty, the list is long and distinguished. I'm the most guilty of loving this type of stuff, but as someone who has lived in a city his entire life, these works are so unreflective of city life, it's sad. When I think of a city, I immediately think of its beauty, its great buildings, the characters that you encounter, the excitement of being in such an ALIVE place. Those feelings are rarely conveyed in the art about city life and that's a shame and has helped allow people to stereotype and denigrate those who live in the "urban jungle."
Secondly, I love love love the fact that there is another generation of kids growing up with Legos, the greatest toys EVER! There's something wonderful about being to create these little cities when you are a little kid, it probably had some impact on me wanting to go into the planning field. Not that I will ever find anyone who wants to give birth to my children, but if I did, I would really want my kids to get into Legos and avoid the whole video game pit.
Thanks to both TE and JH-B for pointing me to this link. As two of the coolest people around, I knew it must be good if they both were hyping the post.