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Artist Mariko Mori Uncovers Parallel Universes With New Show

One of the biggest art stars in Japan brings her intergalactic sculptures to NYC’s Sean Kelly Gallery.

Photograph by David Sims. Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery.

Though you might not have heard her name, in her home country of Japan 48-year-old polyglot artist Mariko Mori is a superstar. Her pieces, spanning from video, to film, to sculpture, seem like missives from the future, juxtaposing a Sci-Fi sleekness with a deep humanity that in some works, like her Rebirth series, can border on animism. Since her formal introduction to the western art world two decades ago, Mori has shown at the Brooklyn Museum, the MCA Chicago, and the Serpentine Gallery (among many others), and is now currently exhibiting at the Sean Kelly Gallery in NYC. The exhibit, Cyclicscape, which we had the pleasure of walking through with Mori late last week, is a stunning paean to humanity’s intrinsic ties with nature, modern spirituality, and the ways the environment and technology dance through our lives.

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A Mosaic Shines in Philly

An intimate conversation with a fixture of the Philadelphia art world.

PHILADELPHIA - The South Street district is a gritty, disheveled, and jaggedly beautiful area in Philadelphia. Filled with artist’s studios, bohemian hangouts, and eclectic boutiques, South Street has long been a bastion of counterculture, a haven for those who do not fit into mainstream society and go against the grain of the status quo. Driving around this eclectic neighborhood, it is apparent that a main fixture of South Street is the glittering mosaics by artist Isaiah Zagar. Zagar’s mosaic murals, often covering entire buildings in shattered glass, ceramic, and mirror, are metaphysical windows into a world of creativity; they synthesize the history of art and the international folk art communities into a uniquely beautiful visual statement that is all at once a reflection of Zagar’s surroundings and his imagination.

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“There’s so much anxiety and fear in being an artist in this country to begin with, especially as you get older,” said Ken Bolden, a 53-year-old adjunct professor and actor. “For my friends who get married and start having children, not having health care is a real issue. So they start dropping out of the arts.”

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Steal This Idea: Detroit SOUP Dinners Fund Grants for Artists

Once a month, a group of people prepares a simple meal served family-style at a local bakery. Diners pay $5 and an artist takes the kitty.


I heard a lot of great ideas while moderating last week's Compostmodern conference on design and sustainability. But the concepts that resonate the most with me when I visit these mile-a-minute thinkfests are often the simplest ones. Detroit SOUP is one of those concepts: casual community dinners that fund micro-grants for local artists. A low-cost idea with extremely high-impact results.

Kate Daughrill, the co-founder of Detroit SOUP, explained how it works. Every first Sunday of the month, a group of people prepares a simple meal served family-style at a local bakery. People pay $5 to attend, where they'll hear pitches from local creative people about projects they're working on to benefit the city. At the end of the meal, the diners vote for which creative project should win the kitty of five-dollar bills (usually between $600 and $900). They even have handmade voting booths where people can cast their ballots privately.

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