Drive into the wide open landscape beyond Drummond, Montana, set on an old cattle farm amid a twelve-foot polar bear and wooly mammoth sculptures, you’ll find Bill Ohrmann’s museum and gallery—and a lifetime’s worth of commentary captured in his paintings.
Art created by an artist living, depicting, or experiencing city life and culture, about structures and modalities. Urban Art in its rawest form is graffiti, but also murals, human-imagined creation, displayed across the built environment.
The Seebühne, a floating opera stage of bewildering proportions rises every summer from Austria’s Lake Constance, the centerpiece of the annual Bregenzer Festspiele (Bregenz Festival). It has staged productions such as Verdi’s “Aida,” Giordano’s “André Chénier,” Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” and next year will be Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”
Gigantic steel, concrete and wire trees rise from manicured serpentine gardens, human-blessed symmetry reaching skyward. At the bay’s edge, two sustainably-designed domes invite visitors to explore world biomes and horticultural paradises. A public amusement park, ecological urbanism designed to invite the populace to rediscover the earth, a visit to Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay evokes a green wonderland, human-designed, artistically crafted, growing “wild” and sort-of-natural.
Viewed today, Rivera’s “Detroit Industry” murals might have prefigured Detroit’s downfall, but also envision a renaissance. It harkens to the earth, the races living and working in harmony, where sections of the city have been cleared of distressed neighborhoods and allowed to regrow with food crops, grasses and trees.
Alan Kirby says postmodernism is dead and buried. Sophisticated technology, globalized market economics, consumer fanaticism, fatalistic anxiety, and conformism have created a new paradigm he calls pseudo-modernism.
Short poems, anecdotes, mocking or reverent tributes, called calaveras or “skulls,” are given to celebrate public or private figures. In Los Angeles, for the last seven years Tropico de Nopal Gallery has taken the custom into the realm of performance art-fashion show-walking altar display.
An urban conceptual art installation called The Heidelberg Project, named after its street location in the formerly central core of Detroit, Michigan, transforms a neighborhood first devastated by the 1967 riots, plagued by unemployment, poverty, financial redlining, racial segregation, then abandoned, burned, and largely demolished but for a few homes set among open grassy fields.