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Here at less, we are fans of a lot of uncommissioned public art, namely the kind that 1) makes you smile 2) makes you admire how well it is made and 3) makes you glad no damage was done in providing you with this unexpected smile.  The category of u.p.a. that succeeds most often on all three scores is the kind that people stick on walls with paste.  Like this swell white rabbit.

As you can see he’s just a little guy on the run caught in full motion on a nice blue/grey wall, found here

Here’s a white dog or doggish creature  stuck on a wall in a lavatory in Melbourne, where quality public art of the non-commissioned kind seems to thrive.  This colour spewing critter is the invention of an artist named Ghost Patrol, who is said to be one of Melbourne’s most prominent artists.  See here.

According to the internet, at least, the top spots for really good stick-on art are Australia (Melbourne and Fremantle) and England (Bristol and London)

This fine little two dimensional shamrock green dachshund lives in London.  He was spotted by the keen-eyed, generous, prolific photographer mermaid99, bless her heart.  Find the pooch and much much more from the mermaid here.

Looking for the uni-coloured dachshund is this colourful kitty, another mermaid 99 find in London  here.

pretty weird squidman in Mexico City.

And here’s a lovely bird, a swallow stuck up in Rye, East Sussex England.  The artist goes by De Wilde when he’s outdoors.  See this fine woodcut and more here

The finders of this paste up, called “Hello Stranger”, on a lamp post in North Oakland CA, are Alex and Allison who rightly point out that it is equal parts pretty and sinister, as all good childrens’ tales should be, we think.

This is just swell, another one from Melbourne.  Thanks to we heart it 

Why is it that “Steve” is the perfect name for this little white dino?  Go here to meet Steve and other Fremantle sights.

These two bandits are having a lot more fun than Bonnie and Clyde.  Found here at a site called Oakown Art (“an exposé of cool public art & culture in and around oakland, california”).  The artist goes by “Get Up”.

Below, three finds of our own in Paris, 2011.

On this one old wall you’ll find a white paste up figure of indeterminate species grasping maybe a large slice of pizza and a coffee (?), a nifty green octopus attacking…Popeye (?), and a whole bunch of tulips.  Also way at the top, a space invader.

And here’s a dapper masked fellow with a rosy fleur for his sweetheart.

And here is another sweet little space invader eyeing/protecting a sweet little cafe.

Space Invader is all over Paris (and quite a few other places too).  These are also stick-up art but made of ceramic tile not paper so they last and last.  They have become part of the fabric of Paris, not a poke in the eye, but an unexpected treat for those who love the sight of children at play without supervision.  This image from here

Let’s give London the last smile:

Again thanks to mermaid99  for this fox. Find it here.  The artist is Surianii.

Martin Parr is one of those photographers who takes pictures that any one of us might have taken, but we didn’t.  And if we did, you just know they would not, not in a thousand tries, make you want to keep on looking at them the way these do.  What does Mr Parr do that we can’t do?  Good question.

Above, a famous photo of his taken at the seaside in New Brighton, Merseyside, England

Pink lookout hut on the pier in Cardiff, Wales

A shop and its keepers in Cambridge England

A great selection of Martin Parr pictures, mostly taken in the UK, can be found at the website of the Guardian newspaper here.

When he’s not in England, Mr Parr is often in a sunny place, like Mexico.

Above is from a book of his called ‘A Fair Day: Photographs from the West Coast of Ireland’ found here .

This book ‘Bad Weather’ was his first, and it is just so amazing you think about the pictures in it days and days after you see them.  Make that years.

Mr Parr himself looks like he’d blend in to the crowd almost anywhere.

He’s wishing he was a fish, and she’s wishing he was too.

Now these two have a future, unlike the couple above them,  but they’ve each got their own ideas about things, despite the matching sweaters and hair.  It’s all there isn’t it?  update, 29 July 2011: This image was featured in an interview with Martin Parr.  It is in fact a photo by Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken, an influential, innovative photojournalist admired by Mr Parr (thanks Chantal).

Great photographers of the life that’s going on all around us preserve a momentary glimpse of an ongoing story.  You can’t help feeling that the action and sound will begin any second.  Now.

The Royal Art Lodge was founded in 1996 by Michael Dumontier, Marcel Dzama,
Neil Farber, Drue Langlois, Jonathan Pylypchuk, and Adrian Williams in Winnipeg,
Manitoba, Canada.  Hollie Dzama and Myles Langlois have also been members.

See here and here.

Neil Farber’s many modern Draculas from here

Pink fish descending staircase seen here

A dog, a boat, a microphone, a speaker.  Could be a song about living life on your own terms.  Found here

Imagine the frustration of being a first class singer AND a white bunny.  Here

Can I eat the little flower in your hair.  see this

The nuclear family.  Marcel Dzama. Found here

Domestic ceramics.  go to this

M Dzama makes books too.

Above Red Devil (no tail) from here

And more dolls, these by Drue Langlois found hanging here.

They and more like them once hung in a window in Vancouver.  They spent a few cold stormy nights there, small and weird and adorable.  Then they were gone.

Pens are a simple source of great pleasure for anyone who likes to make marks on paper.

Above set of six seen here

Above Cross pen can be viewed long and up close here

That’s an Alibi pen up there.  Strictly for getting yourself out of hot water.  Go here

Of course there’s a Fountain Pen Network, see here

And of course there is a Pen right here

This one above has a see through tank, for ink voyeurs.  At His Nibs, here

Cobalt blue, Levenger True Writer, circa about 1995 at fountain of pens here.

This is a Pelican, 75th anniversary, coveted, here.

And another pelican, at the Pen Hero

If you love pens or even the idea of making a mark with metal and ink on paper, we hope you have a great pen shop in your town, like this one in Vancouver seen here

And Art Brown’s in New York, image from here.

Ink up.

When the weather is warm and dry, lots of us get it into our heads to find a spot in the wilderness, set up camp, build a fire, and get closer to the natural world. Just for a few days. As did the folks above spotted here.

Here’s a family group on a spot in the wilderness that happened to have a mowed lawn. They seem happy enough, even in black and white, seen here.

This man, in his TRAILER for TWO is well off the beaten track and looks ready for anything. In particular he is ready for someone to join him to make it a trailer for two. Found here.

Now here we have an open trailer in the urban wilderness , nicely decorated and outfitted to tempt even the most reluctant camper. Found at design vagabond, from this source

But to some, trailers do NOT represent true camping. Authentic campers, like this above, choose canvas for their home away from home. These two are camping near Ayers Rock in the middle of nowhere, central Australia. Discovered here.

Well this nice campsite for tenters above is in the middle of somewhere, not exactly sure where, in the wilder part of England. Found here

Now that, above, looks to us like the real, wilderness (well, with well groomed tentsites) camping. At a place called Juniper Ridge, more here.

And if you can find a spot next to the ocean, you’ll find you sleep better–so long as your tent is above high tide. This above is Hawaii, the Kalalau Trail, found here.

This dry wilderness is not all that far from Las Vegas Nevada, in a place called Big Springs, in Paria Canyon, Southern Nevada. Seen here.

Above is camping in Spain. SPAIN!!! Wow, seen here.

This is…somewhere nice enough to inspire you to rearrange your life, for the better, in the glow of the tent in the middle of that landscape. Happy. Camping.

Seen here


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