The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now.
The bronze Charging Bull statue outside of the New York Stock Exchange is getting a younger brother. Debuting today in front of the Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel, Mexican artist Enrique Cabrera’s El Toro de Oroisn’t a symbol of a prosperous economy but rather an ode to the neighborhood’s gritty heritage as an epicenter for slaughterhouses and meat packing plants. Perched atop a base inspired by a butcher block, the reflective geometric bull features a shiny gold exterior in a nod to the area’s modern transformation into a hub of art, nightlife, and high-end fashion.
“It only makes sense that this piece, signifying the convergence of old and new in the greatest city in the world, would live on these streets,” says Cabrera, known for his large-scale skull sculpture, Palmarius, that has traveled to more than 28 countries. The unveiling coincides with the kickoff to the inauguralNew York Art Week, a city-wide initiative showcasing exhibitions, events, and biennials alongside four art fairs: Independent, TEFAF New York, NADA New York, and the Future Fair. El Toro de Oro will be on view through Labor Day. —Nate Storey
Drift cancels a drone show at the Elbphilharmonie due to “aggressive disruption.”
“Drift’s planned four-day drone performance at Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg was cut short after attacks by unidentified drones. Titled Breaking Waves, the seven-minute piece was designed to mark the fifth anniversary of the building’s opening and was due to be performed every night from Thursday to Sunday last week. However, the performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday were canceled after the rehearsal and premiere were disturbed by what Drift called “aggressive disruption” by anonymous drone operators that knocked some of the performance drones out of the sky.” —[H/T Dezeen]
Sheena Wagstaff, who transformed the Met’s contemporary art wing, will step down.
“Sheena Wagstaff would often visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1980s when she was an arts student, seeking refuge among the Buddhas and bodhisattvas of the Asian art department. Her appointment in 2012 as the museum’s top curator of modern and contemporary art brought the most overshadowed department in America’s leading museum an acclaimed international exhibition program that included Kerry James Marshall, Gerhard Richter, David Hockney, Lygia Pape, Jack Whitten and Siah Armajani. Earlier this week, nearing her 10th year as chairman of the department, Wagstaff announced to friends and employees by email that she would leave her position this summer—after a difficult recovery from a coronavirus infection prompted her to take stock of her priorities beyond the museum.” —[H/T The New York Times]
In Detroit, OMA is converting nondescript structures into new digs for arts nonprofits.
“Cinderblock walls are as ubiquitous as they are forgettable. The go-to utilitarian element of low-budget buildings around the world, the cinderblock, or concrete masonry unit, gets the job done without flair or panache. … A new project being announced today offers an inventive way to give life to these empty facades—by drilling right through them. The project is an adaptation of a vacant and partly crumbling commercial bakery complex on the east side of Detroit, with a sizable fortress of cinderblocks attached. Designed by the global architecture firm OMA, founded by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Rem Koolhaas, the project will renovate two historic industrial buildings into studios and galleries for two local nonprofit arts organizations, Signal Return and Progressive Arts Studio Collective.” —[H/T Fast Company]
Kering and other venture firms invest $46 million in lab-grown leather startup Vitrolabs.
“French luxury giant Kering has invested in San Francisco-based lab-grown leather startup VitroLabs, the latest sign of fashion’s growing appetite for new materials that could help companies meet sustainability goals. The conglomerate made a significant investment—alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Danish fashion company Bestseller’s venture arm and several venture capital firms—as part of a $46 million Series A funding round, VitroLabs said Wednesday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.” —[H/T Business of Fashion]
Historians balk at Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe’s dress to the Met Gala.
“Textile conservators and fashion curators are appalled that beauty mogul Kim Kardashian donned Marilyn Monroe’s iconic Jean Louis gown for the 2022 Met Gala. Monroe’s show-stopping garment became famous 60 years ago when the Hollywood legend wore it to sing a breathless “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy. Kardashian, a pop culture phenom in her own right, became the only other person to slip into the historic garment for Monday’s Met Gala, a “gilded glamour”–themed affair at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. “The Kardashians” star joined hundreds toasting the opening of the Costume Institute’s newest exhibition, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” which examines historical context and tells stories of unsung heroes in early American fashion design.” —[H/T Los Angeles Times]