Mad Obsessories On Mad Ave

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I was walking to an early appointment at 7 a.m. on East 76 Street off Madison Avenue on a late July morning, when I was surprised to see Kevin O’Callaghan, the chair of the 3D Design Department at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) (where I work), so far up town. Almost a decade ago, Kevin designed my SVA Masters Series Exhibition and dozens more incredible conceptual SVA exhibits collected in his book Monumental : The Reimagined World of Kevin O’Callaghan (Abrams), for which I wrote the introduction. I was happily surprised but also assumed something new was brewing.

So, you might say, I am predisposed to loving his incredibly witty and ambitiously conceptual work. The morning I ran into him, he was presenting another of his high energy Madison Avenue public art outdoor exhibitions to Marie Claire to coincide with the magazine’s blockbuster October 2018 issue; “SVA’s “Obsessorize: Common Objects Uncommon Accessories”.

Each of the vitrines in this extravaganza represents a decade. Students in the 3D Design Department reimagined everyday objects into absolutely fabulous fashion accessories. They were given objects from a specific period of time, and then created accessories that emulate the essence of the eras

The show opened on Mad Ave in early Oct and is still on view through Friday, October 26. But this Saturday maestro O’Callaghan gives a free walking tour starting at 2:00 PM beginning at 58th Street and Madison Ave — a not to miss obsessive experience, I promise.

The photos below also include windows of O’Callaghan’s other current on-going exhibition of conceptual fashions at Rockefeller Plaza. This one is “ One of a Kind Luxury” all the dresses are made from one everyday material object, including spoons, bark, earplugs etc. A better exhibit a millionaire’s money can’t buy.

39 participating stores within the Madison Avenue BID will bring to life the intersection of art and shopping via this 3D experience on the sidewalks and in stores running all the way from 86th Street down to 58th Street.

Supervised by O’Callaghan, showcases 28 student-designed sculptures on view in plexiglass cases positioned along these 29 blocks. This marks the fifth time that SVA and Madison Avenue have mounted a themed public art exhibition as a focal point of weeklong retail festivals and events. The partnership between the SVA 3D Design department and the Madison Avenue BID began in fall 2016 as six-foot tall sculptures that brought to life the interweaving of fashion and typography and graced Madison Avenue during New York Fashion Week.

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About Steven HellerSteven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →