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.
If you’re looking for a fun way to get in your daily steps, while enjoying nature and discovering a bit of contemporary art, then head on over to Riverside Park and check out RE:GROWTH, A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park, and the New York Spirit, a summer-long public art exhibit which includes site-specific works by 24 artists and covers 100 blocks of the westside park and waterfront.
Among my favorites of these works is an entirely charming fantasy garden installation by New York-based Korean artist Sui Park entitled Summer Vibe. While not entirely accessible — it’s located behind a locked gate — Summer Vibe is easily spotted along Riverside Drive at 78th Street as long as you know what you’re looking for.
One of the great things about public art is how the viewer can have such a wholly unique experience of the piece depending on the time of day it is viewed. In the case of Day’s End, the new, permanent sculpture by David Hammons (b. 1943), I saw it up-close for the first time at, well, day’s end. Watching the sun set through the sculpture and dip behind the New Jersey skyline was a beautiful thing to behold, especially as many of us are only just now able to walk outside free of masks for the first time in over a year.
It is a fact that if my sister had not needed to visit the local Post Office during our recent stay in the funky little desert town of Moab, Utah, then I would not have had the good fortune to discover this fantastic mural of a Black Crow poking its head through a sea of cactus. The unfortunate presence of two trash bins is owed to the fact that the mural faces an alley between the Post Office and the town’s Main Street.
Entitled Keeper of the Garage, the 40ft x 12ft x 28ft scene adorns the back of the local coffee shop Moab Garage. The work dates back to October 2019 and is one of two town murals by artist Skye Walker from a commission by the Moab Arts council.
All Photos By Gail
If you don’t know already, it will soon became apparent from my posts that I was recently traveling (on vacation) in the beautiful state of Utah! Our first stop on a ten-day road trip was Salt Lake City, where I was able to see this ‘floating boulder,’ entitled Asteroid Landed Softly (1994) by Japanese artist Kazuo Matsubayashi, from my window at the Marriott hotel!
Aside from being a stunning public landmark, Asteroid Landed Softly is a working sundial that also suggests the image of Southern Utah’s landscape. The sundial works through a slit in the tower (seen in the above photo) as a beam of sunlight is cast on the plaza floor.
The mirrored column supporting the pinkish-brown rock also beautifully reflects the changing faces of the surrounding office buildings and fluctuating weather patterns to offer a limitless number of perspectives that can be captured in photos. I did not realize when I took this particular photo that I had also captured a resting pigeon!
The above photo was taken a bit later in the day, so there’s a complete shadow on the face of the sundial. You can read more about this beautiful and functional work of public art at This Link!
Photographed at The Gallivan Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
If you’re going to be visiting the Whitney Museum, walking on the High Line, or otherwise spending time in the Meatpacking District, make sure to find your way to Gansevoort Plaza, (located between Ninth Avenue and Gansevoort Street) to check out a new Public art installation, Bombora House, by Brooklyn-based artist Tom Fruin. An internationally known sculptor whose work has been featured across NYC, and written about here on The ‘Gig, Fruin’s work can be seen as a celebration of human behavior and everyday life.
“If you really want to understand what makes up the fabric of people and places, you often learn all you need to by looking at the floor,” says Fruin of his approach. Reusing collected fragments of street and retail signage, disposed theater props, plastics and metals, Fruin creates something beautiful from nothing. Fruin refers to this process as “quilting,” whereby discarded items are brought together to create a map of life. With Bombora House, Fruin conveys messages of hope, stability and joy in the sculptural interpretation of a home and a suggestion to look at our surroundings with a fresh perspective.
Post Continues, With More Photos, After The Jump!
On the Friday before Joe Biden’s electoral victory was officially announced, I had a late afternoon appointment near Madison Square Park. It was already twilight when I exited onto Fifth Avenue and 25th Street and I decided to walk home to take advantage of an unseasonably-warm evening and what I think of as the romantic atmosphere imparted by the newly-restored standard time. Darkness at night: what a concept. As I crossed Broadway I noticed a new piece of public art in the park which resembles the Statue of Liberty’s torch, entitled Light of Freedom. New York native Abigail Deville is the artist. I snapped a few photos and then continued on my way.
This past Saturday, I had the chance to check out Light of Freedom in the daylight, where it’s easier to see that the torch’s flame is comprised of disembodied mannequin arms; something which I find very appealing.
Let’s zoom-in for a closer look.
Here’s is an excerpt from Madison Square Park Conservancy’s statement on the piece:
Light of Freedom carries many cogent symbols. DeVille has filled a torch — referring to the Statue of Liberty’s hand holding a torch, which was on view in Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882 — with a timeworn bell, a herald of freedom, and with the arms of mannequins, beseeching viewers. The scaffold, which prevents access physically and metaphorically, recalls a work site, an insistent image on the urban landscape. But the scaffold is golden, summoning the glory of labor and the luminosity in the struggle that can lead to change. Formative to Light of Freedom are the words of the abolitionist, author, and statesman Frederick Douglass, who proclaimed in an 1857 speech delivered in Canandaigua, New York: “If there is no struggle there is no progress.” The torch refers to the light of democracy and its foundation in ancient systems of government by citizens.
DeVille has described working on this piece: “In my research, I have found that the first Blacks to be brought to New York City were eleven Angolans in 1626. That makes people of African descent the second-oldest group of settlers in New Amsterdam, after the Dutch. Unfortunately, history has erased the contributions and victories of this group. I want to make something that could honor their lives and question what it means to be a New Yorker, past, present, and future.”
Light of Freedom will be on Exhibit in Madison Square Park Through January 31st, 2021, so see it while you can!