Photo: Peter Murdock, Katherine Abbot Photography, Charles Benton, Riccardo Gasperoni
Objects, creators, news and events to know.
When Seth Rogen gave Architectural Summary a tour of his weed palace – the Los Angeles bungalow where his cannabis brand Houseplant is headquartered – he showed off his collection of vintage ashtrays and the details that separate the good from the great: how a joint rests, how much ash it has, how easy to clean and, of course, how beautiful it looks. A careful study of Rogen’s favorites influenced Houseplant’s new Ridge Ashtray ($150), which is both functional and pleasing to the eye. It features a thick green marble base and a gold-finished ribbed aluminum top that unscrews when you need to clean it. Naturally, the piece was also inspired by a stoner snack. As Rogen and his business partner Evan Goldberg describe their thinking: “First there were potato chips, then they added crests. We did the exact same thing with the ashtray.
Trailblazers Park, a new Fire Island Pines monument honoring LGBTQ+ activists and artists, was unveiled on July 16. Visitors to the Pines will see the striking installation as soon as they step off the ferry. The Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association sought to create a symbol of racial solidarity following the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprisings, and the park features a wooden pergola adorned with flags dedicated to under-recognized figures: We’ wha, a two-spirit (a third gender with both male and female features) 19th century Zuni chief; Bayard Rustin, a civil rights activist who helped establish the Congress on Racial Equity; and Carmen Vázquez, a Puerto Rican activist from Harlem who served as the founding director of the Women’s Building in San Francisco. The flags – made by contemporary artists like Lyle Ashton Harris, Wolfgang Tillmans and DonChristian Jones – shade a public fountain, the first of the Pines. It is adorned with a mosaic of trans activists Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson by artist TM Davy, who designed the installation.
Photo: Charles Benton
In Draw a line upside down, an archive of water samples and a book, artist Marco Barrera alludes to the central role the taming of the substance plays in the development of New York City, from covering ponds to filling streams and the direction of rain in the storm drains. The piece is part of “In Practice: Literally Means Collapse,” a SculptureCenter exhibition curated by Camila Palomino that focuses on physical and social infrastructure. For years Barrera has collected and bottled water samples from mundane and historically significant places, such as a Vermont quarry that provided decorative stones for the city’s municipal buildings, a Catskills reservoir that supplies the city with drinking water and various public fountains. Over time, the samples – stored in assorted jugs, jars and spice bottles – took on various shades of yellow, pink and green due to the organic matter present in the springs. The color change illustrates the artist’s point of view: although we seek to encircle and exploit natural resources, we cannot fully control them (on view until August 1).
In the early 1970s, Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica hoped to build one of his “penetrables” in Central Park – the labyrinthine installations he made recreated what it was like to wander the narrow alleys of favelas brazilian. He proposed a wood and mesh structure composed of concentric circles, filled with plants and projected images, but was never able to obtain a public commission before his death in 1980. This year, the Socrates Sculpture Park and the Projeto Hélio Oiticica finally constructed a late artist’s work outdoors in a publicly accessible space, as he had intended, in collaboration with “This Must Be the Place: Latin American Artists in New York, 1965- 1975”, an exhibition organized by the Americas Society (on view until August 14).
In their Lake Como studio, furniture and lighting designers Draga Obradovic and Aurel K. Basedow experiment with cast resin, one of their favorite materials. On a recent visit, Nina Yashar, owner of Milan’s influential Nilufar Gallery, played with their vivid designs, intuitively stacking iridescent slabs and knee-high orbs. Yashar and Draga & Aurel loved the results so much that they turned the compositions into Candy Box, a collection of side tables and ceiling lights that look like colorful candies.