Tag Archive | public art

Joy of Life Sculpture in Zuccotti Park

joy of life sculpture photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Zuccotti Park in the Financial District is perhaps most famous for being ground zero for the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it’s also home to several pieces of monumental public art. For example, behold this bright red, 70-foot-high painted steel installation by sculptor Mark di Suvero, entitled Joie de Vivre (Joy of Life), which went up at the corner of Broadway and Cedar Street in June 2006. The sculpture is comprised of “open-ended tetrahedrons” as described by di Suvero, and was formerly located at the Holland Tunnel rotary.

joy of life sculpture photo by gail worley

East Village Life: Photos of Street Art From My Neighborhood Walks

madonna and child neon mural photo by gail worley
Madonna and Child Neon-Look Mural by Straker on East 3nd Street at 1st Avenue (All Photos By Gail)

Hello and welcome to week two of my ass-kicking East Village Life. In this week’s edition, we will walk through a virtual gallery of assorted street art and public art pieces that I’ve passed by on my weather-permitting daily walks in and around my neighborhood. Enjoy!

love mural by hektad at fsgap photo by gail worley

Hektad is a name that you’re going see a few times in this post, as his optimism-infused artworks are all over the East Village, especially in the First Street Green Art Park, located on First Street at First Avenue. Since this photo was taken, I believe the park has temporarily closed due to the Covid as it was attracting crowds. And we can’t have that.

Madina Deli Shop Photo By Gail Worleylove mural with portrait by hektad photo by gail worley

Here are a couple of additional Hektad pieces on 11th Street just East of First Avenue. These are side by side, adjacent to this monumental piece by Kobra.

king kong mural photo by gail worley

It does not get much more NYC than this mural of King Kong by French graffiti artist Moi One (@moi.one). Find it next to David’s Cafe on St. Mark’s Place near Tompkin’s Square Park.

avenue a tile mosaic by jim power photo by gail worley

This colorful tile mosaic by Jim Power, known locally as the Mosaic Man, marks the intersection of Avenue A and St Mark’s Place. Jim composes all of his intricate pieces from up-cycled china, glass, pottery and found objects to create unique, site specific works of art. His mosaics are all over the neighborhood.

More Art, After The Jump!

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Jill Mulleady’s We Wither Time into a Coil of Fright at The High Line


All Photos By Gail

In We Wither Time into a Coil of Fright, artist Jill Mulleady (b. 1989, Montevideo, Uruguay) portrays a surreal landscape populated by multiple figures. Though the individuals are clustered close to one another by the riverbank, they appear disconnected — even self absorbed.

We Wither Time into a Coil of Fright Photo By Gail Worley

The work suggests that contemporary life is hyperconnected yet ultimately isolating, a sense heightened by the scene’s lush natural surroundings. Without the protection and surveillance of the built environment, Mulleady asks, are her subjects more free, more vulnerable, or both?

We Wither Time into a Coil of Fright By Gail Worley

This mural went up in March 2020 and is on indefinite view. You can see it from the beginning of the High Line on a building located at 95 Horatio Street.

 

Rose III By Isa Genzken

Rose III By Isa Genzken
All Photos By Gail

It’s so hard to see all of the beautiful things there are to seen NYC; especially when you don’t even know what you’re missing. It can take going just a few blocks out of your way by complete accident to discover a breathtaking work of public art that’s already been in that location for a year or more. And you never would have seen it if you didn’t have to get a new iPhone battery at the Apple Store located in the Oculus mall adjacent to the World Trade Center. These were the circumstances that brought me face-to-face with German artist Isa Genzken’s monumental sculpture, Rose III, which was erected in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park in September of 2018.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

Standing at a height of 26-feet, Rose III is forged from painted steel and is on long-term loan to Brookfield Properties, which owns the park. Genzken, who is known for capturing the fragility and impermanence of roses in her public sculptures, rendered a Yellow Rose that was based on an actual rose she picked and developed for production, in Switzerland.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

Ric Clark, senior managing partner and chairman of Brookfield Properties, has praised Genzken’s sculpture as being a “captivating addition to Zuccotti Park and the landscape of lower Manhattan.” It certainly is a fantastic subject to photograph with the nearly endless perspectives and dramatic backdrops created by the panorama of high-rise buildings surrounding the park.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

It’s completely surreal. Manhattan’s iconic skyline is said to have inspired Genzken’s work, as many of her sculptures stand tall and narrow. Some of her other notable works have been installed throughout Manhattan. One that I am very familiar with, Rose II (2007) is installed at the Museum of Modern Art, where it is part of the museum’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.

Rose III By Isa Genzken

“The Rose is both an homage to a city that Genzken knows and loves, and a strong statement for unity and equality that every passer-by in this city of millions can enjoy,” said Laura Hoptman, a curator who organized the installation of Rose II at MoMA. “It is a simultaneously a reflection of the empathy of the artist as well as the humanity of its spectators. Like all great art is.”

Rose III By Isa Genzken

John Mosler’s First Large Scale Sculpture Decusatio Now On View Outside The Norwood Club!

Decusation by John Mosler
All Photos By Gail

Brooklyn-based artist John Mosler’s first large-scale outdoor sculpture, Decusatio – meaning Intersection in Latin – is now installed on the terrace at Norwood, the historic townhouse and private members club at 241 West 14th Street. The figurative work was informed by its 14th Street location which, for many, has come to serve as a delineation point between uptown and downtown.

Placed on the balcony, Decusatio is hard to miss; rising over eight feet tall, and painted in a vibrant yellow hue. The work offers a conceptual framework that is intended to respect and enhance the Club and its history, while simultaneously connecting to the location, activity and history in the surrounding area.

Decusation Sculpture

Decusatio’s placement required innovative technical and engineering applications by the artist to ensure it was light enough to be easily placed on a metal balcony, while also durable enough to withstand the outdoor elements.  Mosler offers, “The figurative over tone and the bright yellow color is intended to capture the intersection of humanity and the vibrant human interaction in the surrounding physical environment.”

Decusation Close Up

Martin Kesselman, color influencer and owner of INCOLOUR, worked with Mosler on finding the right hue. “Yellow tends to be perceived in many different ways, more so than other colors,” he explains. “We wanted to stay clear of a frosty cast, one that may veer green. Natural exterior light can play some trickery, so we had to walk that warm and cool fine line.”

Norwood Club Exterior

About Norwood:

The Andrew Norwood House is an elegant urban residence designed in a transitional style which combines Greek revival and italianate features. A remarkably preserved slice of early Victorian architecture and lifestyle – both inside and out; the House is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.In 2007 Alan Linn opened Norwood Club, a bustling five-story club with more than 1,100 members ranging from 21 to 80 years old. Its ranks include architects, artists, fashion designers, musicians, media moguls, and art collectors.

Decusation at Night

Radio Station Call Letters Sculpture, Chicago

95.1 WBEZ FM
Photos By Gail

At first (or even second) glance, this colorful, towering sculpture comprised of jumbled letters and numbers may appear very random and indecipherable. Take a look at it from the correct angle, however, and it clearly spells out the frequency and call letters of radio station 95.1 WBEZ FM, in Chicago, which is an NPR station. Created by artist John Adduci, who is Chicago native, the sculpture has been around since 1996 and it changes location in and around Navy Pier at random intervals.

WBEZ BY John Adduci

Hippo Ballerina in the Flatiron District

Hippo Ballerina
Photos By Gail

If you’ve seen the classic Disney film Fantasia, one of the Flatiron district’s new residents  may look familiar to you. Hippo Ballerina, created by artist Bjørn Okholm Skaarup, is a bronze statue of a Hippo wearing a Tutu, standing over fifteen feet high, and weighing two and one-half tons.  Installed on the east side of the Flatiron Building during the first week of September, the monumental artwork was formerly installed at Lincoln Center, but has been without a home since it was removed from that location in  October, 2017. Kids especially seem to love it. If you’re looking for locations to snap unique souvenir photos from your trip to NYC, add this one to your list. The new installation of the statue was made possible through NYC DOT Art & Event Programming, Cavalier Galleries and the Flatiron Partnership.

Hippo Ballerina can be found on the Flatiron South Public Plaza, Between 22nd and 23rd Streets along Broadway, in Manhattan. The Statue is Scheduled to Be Up Through Thanksgiving, 2019.

Hippo Ballerina

Queen Andrea’s Believe Mural On The Houston Bowery Wall

Queen Andrea Believe Mural
All Photos By Gail

Even though it’s been up since June 4th, it was just last week that I finally had the chance to check out the latest amazingly colorful mural on display at the famous Houston Bowery Wall, which is entitled Believe,  and is the work of Andrea von Bujdoss, aka Queen Andrea. Queen Andrea is a New York City-based artist who specializes in fine art, murals, typography, and graphic design.  Believe serves as a celebration of the city’s cultural diversity and “vibrancy of urban life.”

Queen Andrea Believe Mural

For Believe, in which Queen Andrea used paints in super bright colors, the eponymous typography messaging is a focal point, along with the words Love More on the lower right corner at street level. The artist uses these encouraging messages about staying positive and believing in what inspires you the most and makes you love more!

Queen Andrea Believe Mural

Queen Andrea’s focus on typography as an artist is an evolution of her history as a female graffiti artist. She grew up near the Houston Bowery Wall in Soho, where she began painting graffiti and studying graphic design as a young teen. The mural is  part of an ongoing partnership between Goldman Global Arts and Citi.

The Houston Bowery Mural Wall is located at the intersections of East Houston Street and Bowery on the Northwest Corner.

Queen Andrea Believe Mural

Five Conversations By Lubaina Himid On The High Line

Five Conversations
All Photos By Gail

The High Line always seems to have new public art installed along its mile-plus length of green space, and Five Conversations by Tanzanian-born artist Lubaina Himid, although it has been up since April, was new to me as I walked south along the path on my way to the Whitney Museum one sweltering Sunday afternoon.

Five Conversations

For Five Conversations, Himid introduces five wooden doors reclaimed from traditional Georgian townhouses, painted with life-size portraits, cut into silhouettes, that stand freely as flat sculptures. The portraits depict everyday, stylish women who love talking to each other!

Five Conversations Detail

These works have a theatrical quality, referencing stage sets and the simplified histories that dominate our world. In her signature way, Himid brings the two-dimensional medium of painting into our three-dimensional world.

Five Conversations Detail

Part of the En Plein Air, a Group Exhibit that Examines and Expands the Tradition of Outdoor Painting, On View Through March 2020.

 

Simone Leigh’s Brick House On The High Line

Brick House By Simone Leigh
All Photos By Gail

The first time I laid eyes on Simone Leigh’s monumental Brick House sculpture I was on the bus heading uptown on 10th Avenue.

Simone Leigh Brick House from Distance

I looked up and there she was, gazing out over the oncoming traffic from her perch on the 30th Street overpass, which I am told is now known as The Plinth. A month or so passed before I was able to pay her a proper visit and find out what she is all about.

Brick House Taken From Street Level

Brick House By Simone Leigh

Brick House is a 16-foot-tall bronze bust of a Black woman with a torso that combines the forms of a skirt and a clay house. The sculpture’s head is crowned with an afro framed by cornrow braids, each ending in a cowrie shell. Brick House is the inaugural commission for the High Line Plinth, a new landmark destination for major public artworks in New York City.

Brick House By Simone Leigh
View of Brick House Looking East to 30th Street

This is the first monumental sculpture in Leigh’s Anatomy of Architecture series, an ongoing body of work in which the artist combines architectural forms, from regions as varied as West Africa and the Southern United States, with the human body. The sculpture’s title (which is familiar to most as the title to popular 1977-era song by The Commodores) comes from the term for a strong Black woman who stands with the strength, endurance, and integrity of a house made of bricks.

View of 10th Ave Looking South
View From The Plinth Looking South Down 10th Ave

Brick House references numerous architectural styles: Batammaliba architecture from Benin and Togo, the teleuk dwellings of the Mousgoum people of Cameroon and Chad, and the restaurant Mammy’s Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi. The sculpture contrasts sharply against the landscape it inhabits, where glass-and-steel towers shoot up from among older industrial-era brick buildings, and where architectural and human scales are in constant negotiation. Resolutely facing down 10th Avenue, Leigh’s powerful Black female figure challenges us to consider the architecture around us, and how it reflects customs, values, priorities, and society as a whole.

Brick House By Simone Leigh

Leigh works across sculpture, video, installation, and social practice, stitching together references from different historical periods and distant geographical locations. As a sculptor, Leigh works predominantly in ceramics—a medium that she mastered early in her career—continually pushing the boundaries of her chosen material by working in new methods and larger scales. In her intersectional practice, Leigh focuses on how the body, society, and architecture inform and reveal one another. She examines the construction of Black female subjectivity, both through specific historical figures such as Josephine Baker and Katherine Dunham, and more generally through overlapping historical lineages across Europe, Africa, the US, and the Caribbean.

The High Line Plinth presents a series of art installations that rotate every eighteen months. Designed as the focal point of the Spur, the newest section of the park that opened in spring 2019, the Plinth is the first space on the High Line dedicated solely to new commissions of contemporary art.

Simone Leigh’s Brick House will be on View on The High Line Plinth (at the Spur), 30th St. and 10th Ave., NYC, Through September 2020.

Simoe Leigh Brick House from Distance