Although the writing in the New York Times is invariably excellent, coverage of visual arts, sadly, is usually relegated to the last pages of the Arts & Leisure section. Not so last Sunday when two very different but very intriguing articles made the front page of the section.
In 'Rescued by Design' architecture critic Michael Kimmelman describes how architecture, urban planning, and simple but elegant utilitarian solutions to urban problems can alleviate a plethora of social problems. Focusing on places as far apart as Medellin, Colombia, Nairobi, Kenya, and Bangkok, Thailand, among others, the examples used make it clear that good design can provide hope for those living in "some of the world's worst conditions."
Blending Hip-Hop and Heraldry' by Melena Ryzik. It describes the life and work of Rashaad Newsome who fuses images from contemporary Hip-Hop culture with the ancient forms of heraldry to create richly detailed symbolic portraits.