Over the past few years, L.A.-based graphic designer and multidisciplinary artist Paige Smith (a.k.a. A Common Name) has installed countless crystalized rock formations in cracked, decaying nooks and crannies on the streets of cities as distant as Madrid, Istanbul, and Philadelphia. These “urban geodes” pop up as hidden gems tucked away in quiet, unnoticed spaces, from the grating of a drain to the thin crevices between old bricks.
The crystals, created using spray paint and paper or silicon-molded resin, infuse everyday scenes with an unexpected touch of shimmering beauty. Subject to the sweeping forces of weather, natural deterioration, and sometimes meddling passersby, the geodes don't often stand the test of time, but their ephemeral existence highlights the small treasures found everywhere. Smith writes on her website, “Geodes are formations made and found in nature and my process of using manmade materials and placing them in major cities concurrently signals the tension between nature and industry and celebrates the beauty of urban space. My work is infused with a magical realism that encourages us to pause, to discover, to be present and to find beauty in the mundane.”