An Artist’s Trump Countdown Clock Goes Dark, and Other News

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The Trump countdown clock on Matthew Barney's studio building

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An artist’s LED clock counting down Donald Trump’s presidency goes dark in Queens. 

In summer 2017, a mysterious 25-foot-wide LED neon clock appeared on the side of artist Matthew Barney’s studio in industrial Long Island City. Located across the East River from the United Nations building, the clock began counting down from 1,460 to the confusion of observers. Eventually, it was discovered that Barney had installed the work, titled Remains Board, with the help of editor and curator Brandon Stosuy, architect Jane Lea, fabricator Jade Archuleta-Gans, and light designer Kenzan Tsutakawa-Chinn, to track the remaining days of Donald Trump’s first term. “We see it as a civic project, like the national debt clock, and we don’t want it to become about who made it,” Stosuy said in a statement at the time. “We figure what it does is clear enough without us elaborating on it. I think our stance on Trump is clear, too.” Today, after four years, the clock goes dark

Trump staffers may have been illegally taking home artworks from the White House. 

This past week, several artworks were removed from the White House one day after President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time. Trump aides were seen carrying items such as a framed photograph of Trump with the Chinese president Xi Jinping, a stuffed bird, and a bust of Abraham Lincoln, out of the executive mansion and loading them into cars. This raised questions about whether or not these artworks belong to the public. White House Historical Association, the organization that oversees the building’s art collection, released a statement on Twitter saying that some items are being returned to other collections after they were loaned to White House staff and offices. “Be reminded that staff have had items of their own that they brought to the White House and can take those items home as they wish,” Stewart D. McLauren, the association’s president, said in a statement.

Torch Tower by Sou Fujimoto in Tokyo

Sou Fujimoto unveils visuals for Tokyo’s Torch Tower, described as a “hill in the sky.”

Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, known for his unconventional designs such as the tree-inspired Arbre Blanc building and House NA, has released renderings for a new project in Tokyo, dubbed Torch Tower, which includes a “hill in the sky” nearly 1,000 feet in the air. The skyward, semi-outdoor park is a feature that plays on Fujimoto’s aim of creating a super highrise with a “space for people.” Situated in the city’s Chiyoda ward, the structure will house commercial facilities, offices, hotels, and public spaces, and is slated for completion in 2027.  

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons discuss menswear and why fashion won’t change.

Last February, Miuccia Prada announced that she was hiring Raf Simons, the former creative director of Jil Sander, Dior, and Calvin Klien, to be her co-director at Prada. Now, a year later, the duo has unveiled their first menswear collection four months after their first womenswear collection debuted in September. While they don’t share an office—Simons splits his time between working on his own brand in Antwerp and the Prada headquarters, while Miuccia is quarantining at home—the interview speaks to the pair’s ongoing dialogue and the genius that ensues from the collaboration. “You know, I was always criticized because I never wanted to do collaborations,” says Prada. “I always thought they were more about selling something, making money, than deep dialogue. But now we are doing a collaboration, and I’m very happy. We haven’t had time to really enjoy working together, though.”

RM from Korean boy band BTS has been named one of the world’s leading art sponsors.

The South Korean boy band BTS continues to leave their mark on the art world. One of the group’s singers, RM, has been named “art sponsor of the year” by the state-run organization Arts Council Korea after donating more than $90,000 to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul. And early last year, the best-selling group helped commission a series of five major public art projects around the world with celebrated artists such as Tomás Saraceno and Antony Gormley. They launched the initiative in collaboration with Serpentine Galleries, which the band teamed up with again to support artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist’s ongoing “do it” exhibition project. 

The Dakota, New York's first luxury apartment buildings. Photography by Kenneth Grant

Today’s attractive distractions:

Uffizi Galleries launches a popular weekly cooking show on Facebook.

A new book spotlights New York City’s array of grand building entrances.

These face masks support eliminating slavery in the built environment.

Magical ice bubbles are appearing on the surface of a Japanese lake.

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