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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.
Felix Chev in LA at LA PLaces
Sign for Uncle Jer found at smashing magazine.
The Chief offers steamed HEAT or steamed MEAT. Either way, sounds good after a long day. From here.
Planet of the Baobabs. Yes it is. See here
Billboards are sometimes the best show in town. More here.
This is just a really nice little spot, because of the signs. Go here
Bath and laundry. Of course. Multitasking with a splash. Here
Swell. from askpang.
Las Vegas signs, down, but not forgotten. Go here
Vancouver’s local summertime fair is on again for the 101st time. There will be lots of fun to be had during the 2 week run–food you only ever see at the fair, fun-scary rides that make you scream and then want to go again, simple games you never can win, beads and trinkets that look crummy as soon as you get them home, revolutionary mops. Photo from here
Above summerday shot of Vancouver’s PNE from here. Lots of things have remained pretty much the same since the start in 1910.
Above from 1940 when the amusement park portion of the PNE was known as Happyland. Image from here
But there have also been changes over the years, most notable for us at the R of L is the loss of all the weird sideshows that made you want to look and NOT look all at the same time.
Above snake and sword specialists from a remarkable website called sideshowworld.
An actual portrait of Jo Jo, a Human Sky Terrier. Above 2 banners from here
And a team photo-portrait of the Clyde Beatty Congress of Human Oddities, circa 1937 , found here.
This photo above shows that the tradition of making a living as a result of unusual physical characteristics continues today here and there. Photo from here.
So in your heart you know that Miss Electra the Danger Diva is probably just an ordinary woman who likes the spotlight and has frizzy hair. But still, you want to see for yourself, right? She’s a performer, she’ll do a show. It’ll be worth the $3. Right? Seen here
James here looks like he might have a bit more of a scientific approach to the electric phenomenon. Found at vintage venus here.
No matter where you find a fair, no matter when, there is always something you just never see anywhere else, whether it’s a giant man, a horse smaller than a dog, ALIVE!, or a juice maker for $700. Or..
Deep fried jellybeans at the Massachussetts State Fair, full gooey description here.
A crazy brave kid riding a sheep. Seen here
So get out to the fair and prepare to be amazed and appalled, maybe all at the same time.
This is the front entrance to the Shaw House. It is located along a much desired strip of waterfront property in Vancouver. It was designed by Canadian architects Patricia and John Patkau and their incomparable team. Image seen here.
When you’re in the Shaw pool, you can look down and see who’s at the door, and you can look north to see the ocean and mountains that people come thousands of miles to see. Image here
Above is one of the first of the Patkau’s fabulous houses, the Barnes House. It sits on acres of rugged land near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, looking back toward Vancouver. It has won many awards. Image from their website here
Above are three photos of an amazing library in Montreal known as La Grande Bibliothèque du Quebec. It is essentially the national library of the Province of Quebec, serving both as a public library and a repository for important archival material. Images here and here.
Model building is an important part of the design process for the Patkaus, and the models themselves become beautiful objects, not simply miniature versions of the building. Above models for Church of the Assumption Coquitlam from here.
Above is the model for Seabird Island School, an important project in Canadian architecture and the architecture of Canada’s first people. Image from here.
The Patkau major renovation and addition to Winnipeg Manitoba’s Centennial Library. Just really really nice. From their website again.
We’re not sure what you need to say about the work of John and Patricia Patkau and the superb, incredibly hard working architects and support people who, project after project, produce stunningly good work, from the big idea to the tiniest detail. It pretty much speaks for itself.
Maybe you just say Thanks and More Please.
When’s the last time you had yourself a good old fashioned picnic. Above from here
The thing about a picnic is that it can be for 200 or just 2, as here on a bench in Central Park, NY.
Or you could just go by yourself. From Time Out New York.
This couple is picnicking in, or just beyond, San Francisco.
Still in SF, above shot is a happy crowd in Delores Park, and some are having a picnic.
In times gone by, a picnic was a big event in the life of a family, etched in your memory. Above is a picnic story from Life magazine seen here.
Fancy people like to dress up when they picnic. These are people from Vogue, seen here.
If you go to Paris, you picnic. By the River. Above pic from here.
Still in Paris (why leave?). picnicking with crafty rachel.
But Paris is also black and white, and sometimes a picnic is just a bench and two hungry people. From here.
These people are picnicking in the UAE. Just like it was Pismo Beach. Seen here.
And these didn’t get to where they wanted to go–because of the Icelandic Volcano–so they had a picnic just where they were, at the airport. See here.
Wherever you go, make sure you take your picnic condiment set, OK?
Get that blanket, get that summer novel, make that potato salad, and get on down to your favourite park or beach. A picnic is a wonderful thing, for 25 people, or 2 or 1.