As you peruse the streets of Austin, look closely and you might have an angry-looking cloud staring back at you.
Most of the time you'll see the sour clouds on telephone poles or sticker-covered walls, exactly where the artist, who goes by the name Angry Cloud, put them for all to see. Angry Cloud, who declined to use his real name, said his clouds are a good receptacle for uncomfortable emotions and encourage onlookers to give their own negative thoughts to the cloud.
"I have kids and I had a job and I wanted—I don't want to be a rageaholic all the time," Angry Cloud said. "The world gets to you and (making art with clouds) was kind of a vehicle for me to express rage and other emotions that I didn't want to live and sit with all the time."
Originally hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Angry Cloud told Austonia he moved from "corporate" New York to the "sleepy hippie town" of Austin in 2011 looking for live music and new opportunities. Seeing what he says was a town on the verge of a tech boom inspired him to use street art as a way to take back a small piece of the city.
The Angry Cloud uses laser-cut stencils to give his clouds their signature faces. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
Upon arriving in Austin, Angry Cloud said he was immediately inspired by the city's wealth of space, telephone poles and live music.
"That space, it almost became sort of like public access television for me, like this is a public space, why can't people use this for art?" he said. "That's when I really got into putting things on the street. That was my specialty—the telephone poles—they still kind of are."
Clouds, used frequently in the graffiti community because of their simple design, have been rendered unique by Angry Cloud. The unpleasant faces, rounded teeth and keywords, like "fear," added onto those clouds are what draw the eyes on the street.
A man of many talents, Angry Cloud works as a professional artist aside from his alter ego and said he found community with plenty of other local artists, often collaborating with them.
Angry Cloud's art is available to view for free on the streets if you're adventurous enough to find it in its natural habitat, but some never-before-seen pieces will be featured at the Art From the Streets show at the Georgetown Art Center from July 23-August 22.
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With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.
Artists and music lovers are set to pack into Zilker Park for The Austin City Limits Music Festival in the coming two weekends. Following that, Formula One will bring racing fans to the Circuit of the Americas.
For those two events, the airport is anticipating high passenger days with 30,000 or more people departing flights.
ABIA recommends arriving at least two and a half hours in advance for domestic flights on those days. For ACL, it's expected on both Sundays of the festival along with the Monday and Tuesday after. The F1-driven high passenger days are expected on Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 23-26.
\u201c#AustinCityLimits visitors, you\u2019re in for a weird and wild ride \ud83e\udd18\u262e\ufe0f \n\nFlying in or out of our airport? We got firm and fun tips for you: https://t.co/RawVRalOXN\u201d— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)) 1664894083
F1, especially, could draw in loads of travelers as the three-day event saw 400,000 attendees last year. ABIA warns that highways leading to the airport may see even higher traffic than usual around the event and that travelers should plan their route accordingly.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, said travel numbers come in 24 hours in advance. So, it's hard to predict if the airport will see travel volumes at the same levels that have happened around previous F1 races or if it'll top ACL's flight traffic.
Still, she says historical knowledge points to a chance for it.
“We've had that Monday after F1 break the record for single busiest in airport history," Grimmett said. "So context clues I would say yes, but I can't confirm that. But the historical background points to that."
In anticipation of the high volume of flyers, the airport received additional TSA officers for security screening through the end of October. To prepare even further, the Department of Aviation and partners hosted a job showcase and hiring fair to address the continued labor shortage the airport has experienced.
Relief from hectic travel days is on the horizon with November likely to see a slowdown.
"I don't anticipate it will be as busy as October just because we don't have as many events going on," Grimmett said. "Thanksgiving is kind of our primary holiday that we see a lot of passengers coming in and out of the airport."