Tag Archive | Central Park

Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, In and Around NYC!

Gilded Cage Central Park
Ai Weiwei’s Gilded Cage in Central Park (All Photos By Gail)

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has a new series of public art sculpture installations up in Manhattan and across the five boroughs, which is called Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. Inspired by the international migration crisis and current geopolitical landscape, the ambitious project is installed in over 300 locations, including two monumental sculptures situated within in highly-trafficked Manhattan parks, along with security fences on top of, and in between, buildings (such as The Cooper Union), and several bus shelters. In addition, there are also graphic and photographic works on flags, billboards and lamppost banners. I saw a lot of these banners along Chrystie Street, which is where I also got my first glimpse of one of the fences.

Fence On Chrystie
Rooftop Fence Installation at 189 Chrystie Street

Fence On Chrystie

Ai’s metal fence is designed as a modular form, readily adaptable to the existing architecture, to span and partition the space.

Fence On Chrystie

You can still see the fences at night, because they are illuminated.

Fence On Bowery
Rooftop Fence Installation on Bowery

Don’t forget to look up!

Bus Shelter at Ave C and E 6th Street
Bus Shelter at Ave C and E 6th Street

Gilded Cage Central Park

While it’s fun to spot the fences, it’s the interactive sculptures in the parks that really bring the Instagram Moments. Gilded Cage located at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park (at 5th Avenue and 60th Street) can be entered on one side.

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park Top Detal

Gilded Cage Central Park Top Detail

This is the money shot, am I right?

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

This turnstile is trapped between two layers of the cage and cannot be accessed from inside or outside. Think on that for a bit.

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park Detail

Gilded Cage Central Park

I haven’t see Gilded Cage at night, but it has to also be illuminated, and you can probably get an entirely different vibe from it (not to mention great photos) after dark.

Gilded Cage Central Park
Facing The Plaza Hotel

On the evening of the same day I saw Gilded Cage, Geoffrey and I were down in Tribeca at an art opening and we walked back uptown through Washington Square Park so I could get a glimpse of Arch, which, appropriately, is installed under the one of the most famous landmarks in the city.

Washington Square Arch Park to Street View With Fountain

Let’s take a closer look!

Washington Square Arch Park to Street View

Arch is also a cage-like structure with a cut-out passageway in the center, which is formed in the shadowy shape of two men holding each other. The passageway was influenced by one of Marcel Duchamp’s early artworks.

Arch Park to Street View

This is the view facing the Arch from inside the park, looking towards the park’s northern boarder on University Place.

Arch Park to Street View

And now we walk through!

Arch Street to Park View

Arch Street to Park View

Washington Square Arch Street to Park View
Looking at the Arch from Outside the Park!

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is a fun thing to see all over the city, and if you have friends or relatives visiting from outside NYC it is a cool, non-touristy thing to expose them to the art of Ai Weiwe! Enjoy!

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is on Exhibit Citywide Through February 11, 2018. Consult the Google for Locations Near You!

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Snails Tile Mosaic in the Fifth Avenue Subway

Snails Tile Mosaic
All Photos By Gail

A family of lavender-shelled snails makes its way to the train in the 5th Avenue and 59th Street Subway Station, where you can catch the N, Q or R Trains, or exit to Central Park!

They are moving slow, so it easy to get a good shot on your Subway Art Safari!

Snails Tile Mosaic Detail

Open House By Liz Glynn in Central Park

Open House Installation View
All Photos By Gail

At the turn of the 20th century, New York City’s wealthy elite gathered in opulent private ballrooms to define their social status. In contrast, Central Park granted democratic access to public space when it was established in the 1850s as one of the nation’s first urban parks.

Open House Arches

Open House is a new commission by Los Angeles-based artist Liz Glynn (b. 1981, Boston, MA) that highlights these historic class distinctions. It references one of the grandest Fifth Avenue interiors designed by Gilded Age architect Stanford White: the now-demolished William C. Whitney Ballroom.

Open House Arches

Open House transforms Doris C. Freedman Plaza into an open air ballroom, where only scattered furniture and arches remain eight blocks south from the original mansion.

Open House Installation View
Check This Guy Out

Glynn’s lavish Louis XIV sofas, chairs, and footstools evoke the historic home, but with a twist —- these objects feature sculpted additions and are cast in concrete, a populist material more commonly seen in modern architecture.

Cement Chair

With this revision, the artist invites the public to enjoy a previously exclusive interior space that is now open and accessible to all. In this strange facsimile, Glynn addresses the evolving face of a city: who has access to space in a society that is increasingly divided along socio-economic lines?

Open House will be on Exhibit Through September 24th, 2017, at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Located at 5th Avenue and 60th Street at the Entrance to Central Park in Manhattan.

Open House Signage

Penguins Tile Mosaic in the 5th Avenue Subway

Mosaic Tile Penguins
Photos By Gail

This family of happy Penguins can be found right by the stairs as you exit from the N, Q and R Trains at 59th Street (Central Park South) and Fifth Avenue. This also the stop you would take to get to the Central Park Zoo.

Mosaic Tile Penguins

Big Bird Sitting on a Park Bench

Big Bird in Central Park
Photo By Gail

Why was Bird Bird sitting alone on this bench in Central Park on Monday, February 20th as we walked through the park from Fifth Avenue to Central Park West, on the way to the Not My President’s Day anti-Drumpf Rally? I bet I know. To make a donation to PBS here in NYC, you can visit This Link.

David Shrigley, Memorial

David Shrigley Memorial
All Photos By Gail

Across the centuries, memorials have acted as public sites of collective remembrance and markers of our shared cultural heritage. Some monuments continue to hold a contemporary significance, while others have become obsolete in an ever-changing urban and social landscape; their meanings often lost from civic consciousness.

Memorial, Rear View
Memorial, Rear View (Plaza Hotel in Background)

Memorial, by British artist David Shrigley honors one of the most common of all acts: the writing for a grocery list. By engrave this ephemeral, throwaway list on a solid slab of granite — a material ubiquitous with the language of monuments — the artist humorously subverts both a daily routine and the role of the classic memorial.

While Shrigley’s shopping list might appear to posture as a counter-monument, through its celebration of common activity, its anonymity and absurdity, the sculpture becomes a memorial both to no one and to everyone — perhaps standing as a simple but poignant ode to humanity.

David Shrigley: Memorial will be on view through February 26, 2017 in Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street. 

Tatiana Trouvé’s Desire Lines in Central Park

Desire Lines
All Photos By Gail

For her first public commission in the United States, Tatiana Trouvé (b. 1968, Cosenza, Italy) has made a work that responds to Central Park. She came to see the miles of pedestrian paths that traverse its landscape as similar to the arteries of a living being. There’s no singular way to walk through the park, but rather a multitude of possible routes that may be followed according to our own desires.

Desire Lines Black Spools

Desire Lines Black Spools

Drawing on existing maps, Trouvé isolated all of the marked pathways in the park and estimated their distances. She identified 212, from secluded paths to prominent thoroughfares, ranging in length from around 60 feet to four miles. Translating her research into three-dimensional form, Trouvé created three large-scale storage racks that house a total of 212 spools.

Desire Lines Green Spools

Each spool is wound with rope equivalent in length to a corresponding pathway and labeled to identify its location in the park.

Desire Lines Pink and Purple Spools

Tatiana Trouvé’s work is also a reflection on the broader cultural significance of walking. It’s an activity that ranges from personal recreation to political statement, and has inspired poets, musicians, writers, and artists. Thus, the artist has associated each pathway with a title drawn from culture and history that relates to walking. In this way, Desire Lines is both a systematic inventory of the park and an invitation to explore the political and poetic resonance of the simple act of taking a walk.

Desire Lines Pink Spools

Desire Lines Pink Spool Detail

Desire Lines by Tatiana Trouvé (curated by Nicholas Baume) is on Exhibit Through Sunday August 230, 2105 at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. Make sure you head into the Park for some exploring after you view it, because it’s gorgeous out there!

Central Park

Desire Lines Green Spools