I have no idea how long this pastel-hued NYC Skyline mural by San Framciso-based street artist Dirt Cobain has been up, but my guess is that it’s a couple of years old, based on its relatively decent condition.
This identifying banner sits at the west end of the mural, which covers the service door of a local business at the southwest corner of West 24th Street at Sixth Avenue.
Next time I walk by this street, I’ll try to a get photo from across the street, when business has its door shut.
Ah, a pink-hued water tower, what a pleasant object to spot on the skyline. I shot these photos from the 9th floor patio of the Flag Art Foundation, which is located at 545 West 25th Street (Between 10th and 11th Avenues), so this tower is also going to be somewhere on the south side of West 25th Street, in that same block.
You can see it in the background of this photo, which is of an Elmgreen & Dragset sculpture called Watching (2016).
I must not be looking up very often when I am in Union Square, because I just noticed the mural painted on a water tower at 127 Fourth Avenue at 13th Street, which is by the UK-based street artist STIK. Apparently, it’s been up there for two years already. Gee Wiz.
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.