Tag Archive | Public Art

Pink Thing of The Day: Giant Inflatable Pink Flower

Grown Up Flower Pink Close Up
All Photos By Gail

Grown Up Flowers is the name of a fun Public Art installation that you can see at several locations along Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Ave) in Midtown Manhattan. This Pink Flower, which is called Rose, lays prone in front of 1221 Sixth Avenue, and just a bit further on you can see her Orange friend, peeking out just a bit in the background.

Grown Up Flower Pink Long Shot

I found these guys by accident when I was heading to the train after checking out the Anselm Kiefer sculpture in Rockefeller Center, so it was a nice surprise!

A Sign in front of Rose provides a bit more back ground on the Grown Up Flowers Project. It Says:

Before it was Manhattan, the island was covered with wild and beautiful flowers. They’re still found in front of buildings, but they’ve never been able to complete with the scale of their surroundings, until now. Grown Up Flowers is a multi-site installation by Playlab, Inc. that imagines flowers inflated to many times their normal size, giving viewers a new perspective on these iconic and playful representations of beauty. Wander along Sixth Avenue to see these colorful flowers sitting, lounging, floating, standing tall, or even bending down to greet you.

Here is a map to all of their locations:

Grown Up Flowers Locations

The flowers are secured in place with cables and lit from the inside for nighttime viewing. Find out more about Grown Up Flowers at This Link.

Grown Up Flower Pink Close Up

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Uptown Rocker By Lloyd Hamrol in Downtown Los Angeles

Uptown Rocker by Lloyd Hamrol in Downtown Los Angeles
All Photos By Gail

This past Christmastime, I traveled back home to California, where I spent many days of wild abandon exploring the southland like I had not since I was a resident, nearly 30 years ago. On a day spent scouring the many wonder-filled features of Downtown LA, I looked down from an overpass I was crossing on Grand Street and spotted this magnificent beast. The curved concrete sculpture features silhouettes of painted steel cars roller-coasting up the structure’s  curve.

Uptown Rocker by Lloyd Hamrol in Downtown Los Angeles

Part of the Bunker Hill public art project to beautify the Downtown LA area, this monumental piece is called Uptown Rocker by artist Lloyd Hamrol. While initially it appears that you its located on one of LA’s crazy freeways, the sculpture is actual;y located on the very busy Fourth Street. It might be fun to experience the sculpture while driving by,  but I think that where I was standing (officially the South Grand Avenue bridge crossing Fourth Street) is the ideal Uptown Rocker) viewing location.

Uptown Rocker by Lloyd Hamrol in Downtown Los Angeles

Yinka Shonibare MBE: Wind Sculpture (SG) I in Central Park

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture
All Photos By Gail

I went up to Central Park on a recent Sunday to check out the latest Public Art Fund-sponsored large scale sculpture, which is  Yinka Shonibare MBE’s Wind Sculpture (SG) I, installed on March 7th in the Doris C. Freedman Plaza. Unfortunately, and likely in an attempt to keep people from climbing on the monumental artwork, the park had grouped a number metal crowd barriers around the base of the sculpture on all sides, which seriously hindered my ability to get really great photos. Still, I did my best.

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

One of Britain’s best- known contemporary artists, Yinka Shonibare (b 1962, London) spent his childhood between England and Nigeria. He settled permanently in London in the early 1980s, where he attended art school. Shonibare regards himself as a cultural hybrid, a product of complex and layered relationships forged by centuries of global trade, migration, politics, and cultural exchange. His work reflects these currents in ways that often playfully invite us to look beyond appearances and assumption about identity.

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Wind Sculpture (SG) I takes on the paradoxical task of manifesting the invisible. We can’t see the wind, but we do see its effects. Here, the dynamic movement of a piece of fabric in a gust of wind is rendered in solid fiberglass on monumental scale. Covered with an intricate pattern, the 23-foot-tall sculpture rises above the plaza, reminiscent of the untethered sail of a ship billowing in the breeze. Its unique, hand-painted pattern in turquoise, red, and orange — colors that the artist associates with his childhood on the beaches of Lagos  —  is inspired by Dutch wax batik print, which Shonibare has called the “perfect metaphor for multilayered identities.”

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Wind Sculpture is the first work in a second generation — thus (SG)1 — of his celebrated series and continues Shonibare’s ongoing examination of the construction of cultural identity through the lens of colonialism. The work creates an opportunity to reflect on social issues associated with our current moment, including the movement of people and ideas across borders and the role of monuments in heterogeneous societies.

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

This sculpture is unbelievably gorgeous and looks different from every angle. Next time I am in the area I will see if the eyesore barriers are gone, and if so I will add new photos to the post!

Yinka Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture (SG) I Will Be On View Through October 14th, 2018 at Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Located at the Southeast Entrance to Central Park (5th Avenue and 60th Street), NYC.

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Stations of The Cross: Station 13 at Trinity Church

Station of The Cross #13
Photo By Gail

Stations of the Cross is a public art project, weaving through 14 religious and secular art spaces from The Cloisters museum to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to Trinity Church and the 9/11 Memorial. The series breaks open the journey of Jesus, inviting people of all faiths to consider injustice across the human experience with a focus on the plight of immigrants and refugees. Station 13, Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross, is realized in Stations, 2016-18 by G. Roland Biermann, which can be found at the side courtyard between Trinity Church and Cemetery at Broadway and Wall Street in the financial district.

Station of The Cross #13

Sleek minimalism and gritty reality are seen in Biermann’s sculpture, in which two guardrails slice through the air, forming a fallen cross. Jesus‘ deposition finds a contemporary echo in the everyday tragedy of a car crash. Oil barrels suggest automobiles, but we might also think of olive oil, used in the Bible to anoint priests and cure the sick. Painted 14 shades of red — suggesting blood that runs, congeals, and quickens anew — the barrels evoke the Stations of The Cross as a whole. There might be consolation in the symbolism of Holy Blood and Holy Oil. Alternatively, we might think about the blood spilt in the pursuit of fossil fuels: our eagerness to import barrels of crude from the Middle East but unwillingness to accept refugees from that region. This sculpture is equal parts sacred and profane, ancient and contemporary.

Stations of the Cross Runs through Easter Sunday, April 1st, 2018. Visit a map of all fourteen installations, and plan your own journey at This Link.

Marguerite Humeau’s Sphinx Joachim On The High Line

Sphinx Joachim
All Photos By Gail

I haven’t walked much on the High Line this winter, and I specially try to stay away from it at night, when there could be hidden ice or slippery conditions, or when isolation could make for unsafe circumstances. But this past week I was at an opening on 28th Street and decided on the spur of the moment to just walk the few blocks along the elevated park until I reached 23rd Street and could walk down to a bus. What scary fun it was to come upon this sculpture waiting in the semi-darkness at 24th Street!

Sphinx Joachim

This imposing figure is called Sphinx Joachim, and he is creation of artist Marguerite Humeau (b. 1986, France). Humeau is fond of using her artworks to weave factual events into speculative narratives, enabling unknown, invisible, or extinct forms of life to erupt in grandiose splendor. For the High Line, Humeau has proposed a sphinx as a winged lion that protects the site against potential enemies. Equipped with motion detectors, Sphinx Joachim roars as an alarm every time it senses a human presence. Scary, especially in the dark!

Sphinx Joachim

Sphinx Joachim is part of the High Line’s Mutations series and will be on display through March, 2018.

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 with a wood privacy fence.

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!

Pink Thing of The Day: Dale Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower in Union Square

Rose Crystal Tower Daytime Uptown View
All Photos By Gail

I first noticed the Rose Crystal Tower, a new public art installation from globally famous glass artist Dale Chihuly, as I rode past it while I was on the 14th Street bus. The eye-catching pink sculpture was unveiled on October 6th, 2017 and will stay up for one full year, as part of the NYC Parks’ program Art in the Parks (which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year). Art in the Parks is responsible for many notable works of art in public green spaces around the city, including the OY/YO installation in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Rose Crystal Tower Daytime

Rose Crystal Tower Daytime Park View

While it maintains a semi-translucent quality, the Rose Crystal Tower is not actually made of glass, but rather  is composed of Polyvitro crystals and steel. According to an announcement from the Parks Department, Polyvitro is “the artist’s term for a plastic material which he casts into individual chunks which resemble glass, but are lighter and more resilient.” There is a similar sculpture at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle, and you can see a bit of that piece in this photo, which I took when I was there several years ago.

Rose Crystal Tower Daytime Park View

I have walked by the Rose Crystal Tower a few times and have taken photos of it from many different angles and in different lighting. It is always gorgeous.

Rose Crystal Tower Daytime Park View

Check out the difference in the way the individual crystal groupings look in the daytime, as compared with how it looks at night, in the shots above and below.

Rose Crystal Tower at Night Detail 2
Detail of the Sculpture at Night

Here are more nighttime shots, where you can really apreciate the interior illumination.

Rose Crystal Tower at Night

Rose Crystal Tower at Night

Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower is located on the east side of Union Square Park, on the traffic triangle at 15th Street and Park Avenue South. The work will be on display through October 2018, so you have lots of time to see it.

Rose Crystal Tower at Night

Rose Crystal Tower in Spring

Here’s the Tower on a beautiful spring day (April 29th, 2018) with the cherry blossoms in the background!