Manhattan developers keep building skyscrapers taller and taller, but Greek architect Ioannis Oikonomou hopes to break a new kind of record.
His firm, Oiio Studio, has designed a U-shaped tower called the “Big Bend” that aims to become, what Oikonomou calls, “the world’s longest building” (if you were measure from end to end of the U, which would total approximately 4,000 feet).
The design calls for a super-tall, skinny skyscraper bent in half, to form what looks like the first drop of a roller coaster. From the sidewalk to the building’s peak, it would stretch about 200 feet taller than One World Trade Center, the largest tower in the city.
For now, the Big Bend is merely a design. Oikonomou tells Business Insider he has sent the design to a few developers, and is currently seeking investment.
The residential building would be located on the southern border of Central Park, an area that’s known as “Billionaire’s Row” and contains many luxury skyscrapers.
Oikonomou is confident that plans for the Big Bend could move forward since many developers will do whatever it takes to get a better return on investment, he says. In a huge skyscraper that doesn’t take up much space, more people would pay mortgages or rent.
“The Big Bend has been created, among other things, in order to emphasize the fact that New York has become a giant hotel,” Oikonomou says, referencing the recent trend of people buying condos without using them as primary residences. The Big Bend would “ensure maximum profit for its investors, even if its apartments are inhabited only for some days every year.”
Meet Ejovwokeoghene S. Okorodafe, Painter and Potter
Anttention Media had the pleasure of interviewing a talented lady who embodies the true inspiring spirit of Nigeria. A true creative soul who has wholly given herself to the pursuit of creative excellence.
Ejovwokeoghene S. Okorodafe is a painter and a potter from Ughelli North LGA, Delta State, Nigeria. She was born in December 1989 to Mr. Patrick and Mrs. Queen Okorodafe, the last addition to the nuclear family tree. Her passion for Art began so early in life that it’s almost impossible to tell the exact age when she started her Artistic journey. By age 4, she was already making drawings with simple lines and by the age of 6 years, had decided to become a Fine Artist. Her father would always call her to present her scraggly drawings to his visitors, proudly showing off the budding talent of his youngest child.
She grew up and schooled in Port Harcourt, from primary school up to her tertiary level. In her secondary school, (First International Academy) She was the only one in a class of about 70 students taking Fine Arts classes in preparation for WAEC examinations but she was not discouraged because of her goal of becoming a professional artist. An uncle of hers, Mr. Emmanuel Oboba who was a Fine Arts teacher in a govt. School, also noticed her determination and offered to give her extra lessons in drawing and painting. This proved to be very instrumental to her success in the WAEC examinations.
In 2005, Ejovwoke gained admission into the University of Port Harcourt, Fine Arts and Design department, where she graduated as a ceramist. However, she still nurtured her love for pencil drawings, quick sketches and painting, eventually making her practice professionally more as a painter than a potter in the years after her graduation from school.
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Earning an income after graduation was also a major challenge as is usually the case for most young artists. Ejovwoke worked for a few months at a local ceramics factory at Oboburu, ONELGA; then as a Fine arts teacher for the primary and secondary section at Wisdom Gate International Schools from 2013 to 2015. She enjoyed the job, but hardly had enough time for real studio practice as a professional artist. Balancing work with the lengthy hours required to produce good paintings continuously was really tasking. By 2017, she made a tough decision to quit her part time teaching job and move to Lagos where the Arts are better appreciated, to practice Art as a full time business, applying her creative skills to meet everyday needs and earn an income: interior/exterior mural (wall) designs, classroom decoration, painting faces at children’s parties, production of party mask costumes, kids craft tutorials, hand made birthday cards and portrait painting.
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Ejovwoke has participated in the Art and cultural exhibitions at the Novare Lekki Mall, Sangotedo, Lagos where she displayed some of the paintings in her ongoing series, THE MIND OF SHALOM: a group of paintings that emphasize the importance of developing the right mindset/attitude, inner strength, contentment, good will, peace and tranquillity. She strongly believes that such a mindset will lead to a prosperous life for every individual which will in turn produce a better society and stronger nation. Her paintings suggest that the problems in our country and infact the world at large, will be better tackled if only each person will work on his/her inner self first, so that they can be able to give something positive and helpful to others; since you can never give what you do not possess.
Amongst Ejovwoke’s future projects is a solo exhibition which will specially celebrate and applaud women for their unique but often overlooked role in nation building. The exhibition will remind women of their importance in society and encourage them to forge on with the good work they do balancing their duties as wives, mothers and career women. She will be displaying paintings done in a rare scribble technique which she developed using biro ink and acrylics . Her works will also be featured in the upcoming Society of Nigerian Artists exhibition by October this year.
We are happy to have featured this amazing talent on HANDS our creativity centered programme and hope to invite her to our annual creative exhibition show aimed at promoting African art and exhibition. Her details are available here and her talent ready to serve a populace.
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Anchor: Tolu ‘Taraj’ Omisakin
Camera Works: Chris Mokwunye ‘Krismok’
Graphics: Michael ‘Surplus’ Egbo
Music: Oluwatosin ‘O’tea’ Aphia
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Ivory Coast: African art museum gets new lease of life
It has been buffeted by the pendulum swing of domestic politics and suffered looting that left it without some of its most precious items.
But Ivory Coast’s Museum of Civilisations is now back, and determined to recover its place as one of the richest museums of African art in the world – a place of “incomparable wealth”, as Senegal’s late poet-president Leopold Sedar Senghor said in a 1971 visit.
Looted four decades later during a political and military showdown, the museum shut its doors for a two-year refurbishment, reopening in July with redecorated rooms, modern lighting and a new conference centre, restaurant and garden.
The first exhibition since the renovation is rightfully called “Renaissance”.
It places the spotlight on a selection of a hundred of the museum’s finest pieces, from the palaeolithic era to contemporary art.
“We can consider ourselves lucky to have such a beautiful collection,” museum director Silvie Memel Kassi said.
“It’s an asset – a collection of 15 000 pieces from across every region.”
But she still mourns the pillage that occurred in 2011, during a post-electoral time of anarchy in the Ivorian economic capital, Abidjan, that claimed some 3 000 lives.
“That really left us with a bitter taste in the mouth,” she said. “The items that were looted [120 items] were major works: sacred pieces, objects made of wax… Our estimate is that almost €4bn was lost, Memel Kassi said.
In the coming months, the museum plans to put on a “ghost collection” exhibition to keep the memory of the vanished pieces alive and to promote recognition of illicit trafficking in historical objects, which circulate in a market financed by many private collectors who are often not overly troubled by origins.
Founded in 1942 when France was the colonial power in much of west Africa, the museum is itself a work of art with 20 columns finely sculpted in wood.
The renovated premises give special place to contemporary artists with a hall set aside for people like Ivorian sculptor Jems Koko Bi, while the garden displays recent work.
“We deliberately speak of the museum of civilisations,” the director said.
“We wanted to show that the artists whose creations are today regarded as ‘ancient works’ are the very same as Africans producing contemporary work.
“We’re living through a renaissance even at national level with cultural and artistic development… We have the ancient aspect in the museum collections and the contemporary work in the creations of young sculptors.”
The museum is also planning an exhibition to highlight ties between Picasso and Ivorian sculpture on the heels of a “Primitive Picasso” show at the Quai Branly, the Paris museum dedicated to the indigenous art and cultures of Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas, which opened in 2006.
More than 10 000 people have visited the museum in Abidjan since it reopened, but the curator hopes to raise this figure tenfold over the course of the year, since tourists are returning to the country.
Engaging students and schoolchildren in the collection is also a priority.
“The museum is also the memory of a people,” Memel Kassi observed. “It’s important to see it discovered by the Ivorians.”
Why we can’t return African artworks – museum
The National Museum of African Art (Smithsonian museum) has explained why it cannot return the original works of art from African countries back to their places of origin, amidst calls for their repatriation.
The Director Emerita of the museum, Dr. Johnnetta Cole, stated that the documentation of original artifacts from such countries, including Nigeria, at the museum was important to enable the institution to expose the rich African culture and history to the rest of the world.
Cole spoke during a press briefing to mark the grand opening of the national museum exhibition gallery of a former photographer for the Royal Court of Benin, the late Chief Solomon Alonge, in Benin, Edo State.
She explained, “It is incredibly important in our museum to honor prominence, to honor where each and every object has come from. If we are ever aware that an object has come into our museum because it was stolen, we go through an enormous effort.
“If every work of African art is returned to Africa, how will the rest of the world know of your art, know of your culture and know of your history? I cannot speak for the British museum. I cannot speak for the museum in Belgium or the museum in Amsterdam.
“But I can speak for my museum, to tell you that it is with enormous respect that we document where every work has come from and we do everything in our power to use that art to tell your stories.”
Cole further stated that the exhibition, which was the first of its kind in Africa, would help to lift up the power of creativity, as the works contained elements that bound the human race together.
In his remark, the US Consul-General to Nigeria, Mr. John Bray, stated that the exhibition at the Benin National Museum would go a long way in preserving the social history of the Benin people and its traditional leaders for future research and educational programmes.
According to him, arts, including photographs, represented one of the most important principles of democracy in the United States of America, as avenues for freedom of expression.
“The US government seeks to show its respect for other cultures by assisting efforts to preserve cultural heritage. The US has a long history of supporting the preservation of cultural heritage in countries around the world, including Nigeria,” he said.
The Director-General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mr. Yusuf Usman, noted that the project would assist the Federal Government to plan, train manpower and provide an opportunity for Nigerians to understand the past, present and future.
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