Only once you've removed your belt, emptied your pockets and stepped through the metal detector; only once you've crossed the shadow-laced expanse of City Hall Annex's atrium; only once the reflective, bronze-colored elevator doors slide open on the government building's fourth floor, will you come face-to-face with a city-commissioned 10-foot-by-21-foot mural by the late modern art icon Sol LeWitt. Located behind a row of cardio equipment, LeWitt's minimalist, tri-color "Wall Drawing #581" adds a shot of adrenaline to what would otherwise be an unremarkable partition in the building's Employee Wellness Center.
While the iconic Coca-Cola script towers over drivers passing through Atlanta's Downtown Connector, DOSE has literally flipped the script for those of us in town, drawing our eyes to the back of the billboard (don't miss the subtle metaphor). This long-standing, bold roller piece, made of equal parts acrobatic feat and irrepressible style, reminds us daily that graffiti is just as much a part of Atlanta as any soda company.
To the right of the main entrance of the College Park library exists a barely visible verdant mini-Arcadia. Three 8-foot-by-3-foot steel panels by the self-taught Athens artist reveal a pastoral vision of children reading beneath trees and Pan, a centaur and other mythological beings cavorting in nature. In the 11 years since its installation, leafy vines have wiggled their way through the sculpture's in-between parts, winding pliable life-filled stems around rusty steel ones, laying waxy, sun-loving leaves on top of an artist's metal rendition of leaves. The effect is sublime.
A hand-painted sign will never be perfect. No matter how careful the artist is, there will be a subtle wave in the lettering or line, a reminder of the human who painted it. While the cookie-cutter signage dominating Atlanta storefronts is distinctly soulless, tire shop pieces like this one — an unexpected and original jumble of objects floating on the wall — speak to Atlanta's soul and put that corporate bullshit in sharp relief. We stopped by to find out who painted it a couple different times, but never found anyone. Let us know if you know the answer.
It's highly doubtful that a small child has ever remarked, "What a fascinating work of modernist design!" after going down the slide in Isamu Noguchi's playscape, but that's part of what makes it so exciting. You don't have to know the breadth of his influences or the iconic status he enjoys in the history of 20th-century sculpture to feel the magnetic pull of his clean lines and colors. This is art that truly invites you to play.