Airport art (and coincidence) at ATL and JAX

Over the holidays I spent a few hours hanging out at the (north) end of the International Concourse at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). When I wasn’t watching the TSA guys with the anxious-looking dogs, I was checking out all the art.

I was intrigued by the set of sculptures stretched out on walls of one gate area.  The airplane I recognized. Some of the other shapes, looked like, well, just shapes.

Turns out, that’s the point.  On his Web site, artist Gregor Turk explains that these 64 sculptures, part of a piece titled Latitudes and Legends, is made of sculptures derived from the symbols used on maps from around the world.

By removing the symbols from their context, my intent was to shift the shapes from miniature, benign marks to totems and icons with ambiguous meanings. The symbols represent a range of natural and manmade structures found on maps including different types of roads, water features, aerial obstructions, and places of worship.

By delightful coincidence, just hours after I got around to looking up the story of Turk’s ATL artwork, I got an email from Chris McGinnis alerting me to his post on The Ticket about a public art piece called Pictograms ( above and below) at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport(JAX) created by an old friend of his:  Gregor Turk!

For Pictograms, Turk covered the entranceways to a pair of  JAX restrooms with tiles bearing lots of different versions of the generic gender symbols from around the world.

Again from his Web site, he explains:

“At facilities that employ a greater sense of design, highly stylized pictograms reflect a much greater range in variations of body types, shapes, proportions, and activities. When the images of the respective figures are shown collectively, their typological differences become apparent, even amusing.”

You’ll find Gregor Turk’s Pictograms on Concourse C at Jacksonville International Airport.

(Thanks, Chris!)

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One thought on “Airport art (and coincidence) at ATL and JAX

  1. Ami says:

    Interesting article and outlook at the art in airports. Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport is not particularly known for it’s art. I guess this is a good lesson to learn and emulate. If you are interested in art and are in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem take a look at my blog. There are plenty of pictures from around the city and a few posts on sculpture in Jerusalem: ~ safe travels, Ami

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