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Archive for January, 2011


This is such an exciting story about the discovery of an unknown street photographer whose voluminous and gifted body of work was stumbled upon by a young Chicago man.

In 2007, John Maloof purchased a box of film negatives through an auction. They had come from a repossessed storage locker. He wanted to create a book about his Chicago neighborhood and thought he might be able to use some of the photographs. What he got was the work of Vivian Maier, a woman who worked as a nanny and took masterfully striking photographs of Chicago street life on her days off. Her work spans the 1950s through the 1990s. There are so many positive elements to this story – Maier’s brilliant photography, Maloof’s commitment to scanning and documenting her work, and the odd chance that her work would end up in the hands of someone who didn’t know what street photography was but be moved by its great beauty.

When I read in John Maloof’s blog that looking at Maier’s photographs had inspired him to pick up a camera and start taking pictures, I was awed by his great fortune in acquiring such a fascinating and skilled ghost mentor. This accidental discovery has changed the course of his life, shifting its focus to preparing her film negatives for the world to see, and it has brought to light the work of an extremely talented artist.

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Meeting of the Minds, City Park, Denver, CO

Boston-area artist Doug Kornfeld has been busily designing and submitting public art proposals for years with success, and with greater frequency seeing them coming to fruition here in the Greater Boston area. Many of his works have narrative qualities to them, and he is known for incorporating the international icons for man and woman into many of his projects.

He’s designed metal outdoor sculptures for sites that include a dynamic entryway for Indiana State University’s student recreation center; a dramatic and sprawling grounds scene for the Judicial Building of St. Petersburg, Florida; and a “tree of life” for the Clinton Avenue School of New Haven, Connecticut. For his hometown of Denver, Colorado, he created a striking indoor wall feature at the Civic Center Bus Station, and an outdoor sculpture for City Park.

Ozmandias, DeCordova Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA

In May of 2009, his bright red contemporary male icon “Ozmandias” was installed on the grounds of the DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and in the fall of that year Doug had the truly distinctive honor of having the piece featured in a Zippy comic strip. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Reach, Mozart Park, Jamaica Plain, MA

But wait – there’s more! On Tremont Street in Boston’s South End, Doug’s designs have found their way into the men’s and women’s restrooms at the Boston Center for the Arts, and even more recently, they’ve popped up on the grounds of Mozart Park in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood as the skyward-bound “Reach,” an apt metaphor for Doug’s rising star on the public art landscape. Doug knows how to blend mindscape with landscape, whether indoors or out.

Men's room mural, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA

To see a more comprehensive portfolio of Doug Kornfeld’s public art installations, museum and gallery exhibitions, and a section on his virtual art (sculpture designed for the Web) visit his website at http://www.awaka-inc.com. There, Doug explains and shows what’s involved in the fabrication and installation processes of some of the works. You’ll get to see the more intricate details of these pieces.

Or better yet, visit them in person! How about a Doug Kornfeld public art daytrip?

OOr better yet, visit them in person. How about a Doug Kornfeld public art daytrip?r better yet, visit them in person. How about a Doug Kornfeld public art daytrip?

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