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March 25, 2019

Slovakia: Bratislava, Urban Art

“Street art Corp. EGO / VANITY” from Bratislava’s street art festival

Bratislava has numerous impressive pieces of public art. In 2017, Bratislava was ranked as the third richest region of the European Union by GDP (on Purchasing Power Parity or PPP) per capita after only Hamburg and Luxembourg City. It is not a poor city, and the street art reflects the Bratislava’s relative affluence. Unlike poorer places, Marseille for example, most of the art on the streets we noticed was clearly planned and considered. Many of the pieces we spotted were grand in scale and required permission and advance logistical planning. The art in central Bratislava is less spontaneous and subversive than what can see in less affluent and less controlled areas of the world. It’s not graffiti art produced surreptitiously in the middle of the night. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it is a distinctive difference. (more…)

January 28, 2019

France: Nantes, Machines of the Isle of Nantes

Le Grand Éléphant in motion

The Machines of the Isle of Nantes or in French Les Machines de l’île defies simple categorization. (more…)

December 31, 2018

San Francisco: Street Art

“In Memory of Pico Sanchez”, Mel C. Waters, Clarion Alley, 2010

Pretty much every major metropolitan city has street art. San Francisco is no exception. Like many upscale cities San Francisco’s street art tends to be confined to particular areas. Exuberant art does not spill out in all sorts of unexpected places like it does in rougher cities like Valparaiso Chile. (more…)

December 6, 2018

Germany: Völklingen Ironworks

A walkway crosses over the Urban Art exhibit at Völklingen Ironworks.

In 1986, after more than 100 years and millions of tons of pig iron processed, the Völklingen Ironworks in the Saarland region of Germany was closed. The plant was quickly protected by a preservation order. Eight years later Völklingen Ironworks was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today the Völklinger Hütte is open to the public as a museum. It is the only example, in the whole of Western Europe and North America, of an integrated ironworks that was built and equipped in the 19th and 20th centuries that has remained intact. (more…)

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