Over the course of three weeks in September (though the exact beginning and completion dates are unknown to me), I watched Brazilian street artists (and twin brothers), Os Gemeos, paint the above murals, which cover the exposed facades of two buildings that border a vacant lot, located on the north side of West 14th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. The murals portray two rival break dancing crews from the 80s. I imagine the artwork, which is a great example of Os Gemeos very distinctive style, will stay up until someone decides to put up a building. Which could happen at any time.
This is what the murals looked like when I first walked past them, during the weekend of September 9th.
And here is the progress one week later, on September 16th. You can see that the Pandolfo Brothers (Os Gemeos true identities) have started to incorporate structural characteristics of the buildings into the mural and its characters!
The Boom Box located in the lower left corner of the western mural is painted to extend onto the attached storefront.
And a building chimney vent has been transformed into another character’s hat — very fun!
The painted denim jacket that the girl is holding up also contains a tribute to the late graffiti legend Dondi in a design by Todd James. Very meta! Once again, the globally famous graffiti twins have come out with a delightful piece of public art that is over the top!
During my semi-annual weekend escape to the Berkshires, I was able to finally make a trip to Mass MoCA, where we accidentally discovered the Franz West group of sculptures known as Les Pommes d’Adam (Adam’s Apple), late in the day while we were trying to find our car. Being surprised by these sculptures definitely allowed us to end our thoroughly enjoyable visit on a very high note!
Les Pommes d’Adam is rough-hewn and made of basic materials: metal, epoxy, paint, and concrete. The four pink biomorphic totems, each standing at approximately 25 feet, are at once crude in shape, yet highly finished.
Les Pommes d’Adam was, um, erected at Mass MoCA in April of 2014 after previously being installed in Paris, France, in close proximity to the Vendôme Column, on top of which stands a statue of Napoléon Bonaparte in Roman garb.
Just across Water Street from the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a tiny circular plaza, lined with shops and cafes, known as Coentis Slip. In the center of the plaza you will find the similarly-named Coenties Ship by renowned sculptor Bryan Hunt. The 20 foot tall stainless steel strapping form that stands upon vertically on a circular dome of cast glass is impossible to ignore. With the Spaceship-like form of this sculpture, Hunt has stated that he intended to invoke buoyancy and nautical nuance poised for a future. The sculpture was erected in October of 2006.
The sculpture was originally commissioned by the Art Commission of NYC as part of the Percent for Arts program. In order to resolve certain structural logistics issues, Hunt partnered with the firm of Jaroff Design, who specilalize in custom architectural metal and glass design and fabrication services to the architecture, interior design construction and art communities. Hunt wanted to balance his curving metal sculpture with a bell-shaped pedestal made out of custom cast glass, but he was unsure whether that could be done. Drawing on their expertise in combining integrated lighting and custom glass fabrication, Jaroff Design developed, and then fabricated the solution – casting the bell in numerous individual pieces installed around a supportive metal core.
The pedestal appears to magically support the massive sculpture and its interior lighting system (not seen here, due the sculpture being photographed during daylight hours), devised by lighting designer Dale Knoth, illuminates the surface with a glowing green tone. Additional light comes from below the ground, where a mirrored finishing on the base of the inlaid decorative backpainted glass pavers reflects the light from the pedestal upward. Together, the cast glass and architectural lighting components provide the perfect accentuation for the upward swirl of the cast stainless steel.
Coenties Ship was awarded the New York City Design Excellence Award in 2006.
We were just arriving for a fun press event at The Pennsy Food Hall in Penn Plaza, just out front of Madison Square Garden, when I spotted this fantastic, towering public art work by Jonathan Borofsky. Entitled Human Structures, the sculpture sits where Roy Lichtenstein’sBrushstroke Group sculpture previously stood. Human Structures closely resembles a tower of colorful, interlocking paper dolls. I like it.
Aside from its obvious purpose as selfie-magnet, Human Structures is part of Plaza33 Inc’s efforts to turn the no-man’s land outside of Penn Station into a welcoming pedestrian plaza hosting seasonal live music and performances.
Jonathan Borofsky’s Human Structures can be found at Plaza 33, on the East side of 33rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, in NYC.
If you stroll all the way to south end of the High Line to where the park terminates at Gansevoort Street in the meatpacking district, you may look across and consider that someone has blasted a passageway right through the building. But, that is an illusion.
A new site-specific work by Korean artist Do Ho Suh (b. 1962) visually reconnects the building facade of 95 Horatio Street with the elevated railway that once occupied the neighborhood. Although today the High Line ends at Gansevoort Street, here Suh imagines what the vista might have looked like in the days when train tracks continued to run through buildings down into SoHo. 95 Horatio Street previously housed the Manhattan Refrigerator Company, which had a private siding for the railway, allowing direct access to St. John’s Terminal further downtown.
The digitally rendered image, titled 95 Horatio Street, was just unveiled on June 26th, 2017, on the southwest corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets. Suh is interested in the emotional and psychological significance of architectural space: its relation to personal memory and the collapse of time are themes he explores across media. His fabric recreations of former homes, meticulous rubbings of the interior of his New York apartment, and drawings of mobile and anthropomorphic architectural structures are evocative meditations on the definition of home, and how this definition is affected by displacement and context.
95 Horatio Street is the sixth work to be presented in this series of public art installations, organized by the Whitney Museum in partnership with TF Cornerstone and High Line Art. This installation is organized by curatorial assistant Christie Mitchell.
Do Ho Suh: 95 Horatio Street will be on Exhibit For An As-Yet-Undetermined Period of Time.
Veit Laurent Kurz (b. 1985 in Erbach, Germany) cultivates artificial ecosystems composed of a variety of living and nonliving materials, including plants, mosses, nondescript chemicals, biohazardous material containers, industrial plastic tubing, and paint.
For the High Line’s Mutations series, Kurz created Salamanderbrunnen; a fountain that circulates Herba-4, Kurz’s imagined “herbal juice of the future,” asking us to imagine the new forms of nature that we create together.
Salamanderbrunnen will be on Exhibit at the High Line, Closest to the Gansevoort Street Staircase, Through April 2018.
Do these guys look familiar to you? If you’ve ever spent any time in the subway station at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, you will recognize them as being creations of Tom Otterness, the artist behind the Life Underground installation found in that popular transit hub.
While an adjacent plaque identifies the artwork as Cone Fixing Cylinder (2014), and references its home as the Marlborough Gallery, located at 40 West 57th Street, 2nd Floor, the sculpture is actually tucked away in an access passageway between two adjacent buildings, connecting 57th Street with 56th Street just east of Sixth Avenue. The corridor is home to perhaps a half dozen other sculptures from various aritist. Check it out when you are in the neighborhood!