I must admit that I had a good laugh when I passed this very familiar-looking sculpture while walking on the High Line recently. Maybe you have a similar dental Retainer (albeit on a much smaller scale) in your medicine cabinet right now. I know I do.
It’s hard to believe that Eduardo Kobra’s Mount Rushmore of Art mural has been up for five months already, and it took me that long to photograph it in its finished state; but that what I finally had the chance to do on Easter Sunday, when I went for walk on the High Line.
Located at 10th Avenue and 22nd Street, directly above the often-shuttered-and-reopened Empire Diner, I happened to be in that neighborhood on November 3rd, 2018, while Kobra and his team worked on monumental piece, detailing the likenesses of four contemporary art legends: Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. I was able to take a few photos of the mural as a work-in-progress on the afternoon, so I thought it would be fun to share them alongside photos of the completed mural, which takes its name from the monument located in South Dakota, swapping out US Presidents for North American Artists.
Finishing touches are added to the face of Keith Haring (1958 – 1990). Frida Kahlo’s beautiful face seems to be completed at this point. She lived from 1907 to 1954.
Kobra works on the face of Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987). The Dollar Sign visible under Warhol’s likeness, which is a motif from his artworks, has been replaced in the finished mural by a dinosaur wearing crown: an image popularized by Basquiat, who was a disciple of Warhol.
This mural was completed in collaboration with HG Contemporary Gallery in NYC.
With Half Mast, Derek Fordjour debuts a new work that reflects on the current national reckoning with mass shootings, and the relentless threat of violence against Black and Brown bodies. A portrait of this divided moment in U.S. history, Half Mast presents law officers, students, and ordinary civilians in one compressed, shared space. Alongside teddy bears and balloons reminiscent of street-side memorials, some figures appear marked with targets while others have been reduced to silhouettes.
Fordjour’s image holds no one person or group responsible for the violence, even as it speaks to loss and abuse of power. Painted brightly in his signature graphic style, the work points to possibilities of a future civic movement or celebration. Derek Fordjour first made Half Mast as a painting; here, in his first solo museum exhibition, it is presented as a public art installation in the form of a large vinyl print, located outdoors at the intersection of Gansevoort and Washington Streets, across the street ands down one block from the Whitney Museum, and directly across from the end of the High Line.
If you happen to be planning an outing to the Whitney Museum to see the new Andy Warhol exhibit, From A to B And Back Again, why not make a day of it: do some shopping, walk the High Line, enjoy a delicious lunch at Bubby’s, and stop by the outdoor Plaza at the Standard Hotel to check out their amazing Psychedelic Christmas Tree Forest!
Andrea Bowers is a Los Angeles-based artist working in video, drawing, and installation that combines art and activism in order to draw attention to the struggle for social justice. For the High Line, Bowers presents a continuation of her ongoing work supporting the DREAMers, individuals who came to the United States at an early age without documentation, who have assimilated to U.S. culture, and who have been educated in the U.S. School system.
Here’s what the sign looks like at night.
The message is written in Spanish on one side and in English on the other.
Bowers invited the immigration activist group Movimiento Cosecha to write a slogan in support of DREAMers, realized as a neon sign reading “Somos 11 Millones / We Are 11 Million,” which is the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Part of the Agora Project, Installed on The High Line (Under the Standard Hotel) Through March of 2019.
Mariechen Danz (b. 1980, Dublin, Ireland) is a Berlin-based artist who researches representations of the body, investigating the way it has been given meaning in various cultures, epochs, and fields of knowledge. In her installations, performances and music, often in collaboration with other artists and musicians, the human body emerges as a contradictory structure and a scene of conflict — an utterly contaminated zone, both politically and historically.
For the High Line, Danz presents a new iteration of The Dig of No Body, a sculpture that references anatomical learning models segregated into individual parts, like a life-sized soil sample in movable layers.
The work evokes our changing relationship to the earth, as well as the popular contemporary name “Anthropocene,” which suggests humans’ creation of a new geological era.
The Dig of No Body is Part of the Group Exhibition Agora, On Display Along The High Line Through March of 2019.