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.
Installation View: Sculptures by Adam Parker Smith (All Photos By Gail)
One of our favorite Chelsea venues, the Mike Weiss Gallery, is currently hosting a group show called Objects and Everyday Goods, which features new works by artists that we were first introduced to at Mike Weiss — such as Cameron Gray and Tom Fruin — both of whom make art that is just insane, as well as some new favorites and a few artists we’ve not seen before. It’s fun to discover new art at Mike Weiss Gallery! Let’s take a peak at this eclectic show!
Tom Fruin Break Time 2 and Break Time 1
If you know the work of Tom Fruin you will instantly recognize these pieces as his. Fruin creates colorful “stained glass” mosaic structures — such as his famous Watertowers — out of panels that look like the above. He is a genius. This exhibit also has examples of Fruin’s Drug Bag Quilts series and other metal work.
Break Time 3
Adam Parker Smith, Ex
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, sculptor Adam Parker Smith has created a very narrative series of his crazy, mixed media structures that include everyday objects like small festive cakes, floral wreaths and balloons. This one, seriously, I just love it. LOVE IT!
Bold as Love
You might recognize Parker Smith’s very visually engaging works from when we last saw him on the Bowery as part of the Not a Painting group show at The Hole. It is good to see him in a nice place like Mike Weiss!
Hit or Miss
Any art that includes Cake, I automatically dig it. Cake Art!
(Far Right) Michael Zelehoski, Incomplete Cube Series, (Center Foreground) Liao Yibai, Zhulong Dragon, (Rear Background) Cameron Gray, Must Have for Summer
Are you wondering if Liao Yibai’s sculpture of an oversize bike chain, Zhulong Dragon is the BFD of the show? Yes, yes it is. It’s amazing.
Big, Shiny, Beautiful.
Cameron Gray, Our Unoffical Mascot for Fall
Last time we saw Cameron Gray, he had transformed the Mike Weiss Gallery into a fully immersive, psychedelic acid trip/fun house with his fantastic Gymnasty exhibit, which we went to about six times. That was lots of fun. Who knew Cameron could make realist paintings like these, which I think must be inspired by ready-to-wear fashion catalogs. Really nice.
Cameron Gray, Denim Done Right
Bes sure to add a day-brightening stop at Mike Weiss Gallery to your next Saturday art crawl!
Objects and Everyday Goods will be on Exhibit Through March 26th, 2016 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Oh, what fun it was to discover one of Tom Fruin’s Watertower sculptures inside an art gallery instead of out in DUMBO or somewhere off the BQE! As it turns out, Fruin’s current exhibit, Color Study, over at Mike Weiss Gallery marks the very first time that the artist’s architecturally-scaled public works have been shown in a gallery context. Super fun!
Watertower Close Up
The Watertower is constructed from found scrap metal and colored Plexiglas in a patchwork design that also incorporates facsimiles of cigar bands and the word “Ecstasy” repeated at intervals across it’s colorful and endlessly captivating surface, which is illuminated from the tower’s interior.
The wall sculpture above (of which there are several on display at Mike Weiss) will give you an idea of the grid that Fruin builds on for his colored Plexiglas creations. Check out the one below:
This patchwork of colors relates not only to the surface of the Watertower but also to Fruin’s earlier project series, Drug-Bag Quilts, in which the artist used found drug bags, stitched together with thread, to create quilt-like wall hangings. Talk about an interesting way to upcycle!
Color Study also includes a set of Swings with Cigar Band Seats which are suspended from the gallery’s ceiling (not shown) and the above lanterns, one electric and one powered by a small fuel tank.
And last but not least, Fruin has created this illuminated-from-within, Stained Glass replica of what looks to me like the cluster of flame from Lady Liberty’s torch. Astounding.
Stained Glass Flame Detail
Color Study presents enchanting and unique artworks the likes of which you aren’t going to see anywhere else in the Chelsea Gallery District, so don’t let yourself miss this one!
Tom Fruin’s Color Study will be on Exhibit Through October 18th, 2014 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Watertower, 2012 (Found Plexiglas, Steel, Bolts 20 x 10 x 10 feet) Photo By Geoffrey Dicker
It’s always fun to stumble upon public works of art. When I saw photos on the web of Tom Fruin’s Watertower – which looked like a Mondrian painting in the sky to me – I knew I had to see this gorgeous sculpture in person.
According to the artist’s website, Fruin, who often works with “reclaimed and discarded materials, has composed Watertower from roughly one thousand scraps of plexiglas. It includes such details as interior and exterior access ladders and an operable roof hatch. The locally-sourced plexi came from all over New York City — from the floors of Chinatown sign shops, to the closed DUMBO studio of artist Dennis Oppenheim, to Astoria’s demolition salvage warehouse Build It Green! NYC. Illuminated by the sun during the day and by Ardunio-controlled light sequences designed by Ryan Holsopple at night, this beacon of light is a tribute to the iconic New York water tower and a symbol of the vibrancy of Brooklyn. Watertower opened June 7th, 2012 with daily light shows beginning at dusk and continuing to morning.”
Geoffrey and I headed out to Brooklyn early yesterday evening with an idea to catch the sculpture both in natural daylight and perhaps also after dusk, since it is illuminated from within by artificial lighting and obviously looks amazing. We took the 8th Avenue line from Manhattan to the first stop into Brooklyn (High Street – Brooklyn Bridge) and walked north toward the water as Cadman Plaza turns into Washington Street, and Washington then Ts off into Plymouth street, where you’ll find the beautiful, riverside oasis known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, just adjacent to the Manhattan Bridge.
Viewed from the ground, the Water Tower can be best seen from the park, but be aware that you won’t be able to get as close to it as you would think by these photos, which were taken with a zoom lens. And because the Tower is on top of a building, it disappears as you get closer. But it’s totally worth the price of a round trip subway ride and there are tons of cool little boutiques and restaurants, as well a thriving gallery scene, in that neighborhood, so why not make it destination trip one day this summer?
Tom Fruin’s Watertower will be on display until June of 2013. Situated on the rooftop of 20 Jay Street, the sculpture is viewable from the parks and streets of Dumbo, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, FDR Drive and Lower Manhattan.