Recent favorites – Summer Public Art!
- Summer is the season for public art, but wait for the heat dome to cool off before venturing outside to check out these pieces in NYC!
- The latest installation in Madison Square Park, Martin Puryear’s Big Bling, raised many questions in my family during a recent night stroll. While my mother thought it was an elephant, the wooden framework and smooth curves brought to my mind a glorified version of the Coney Island Cyclone. My father, on the other hand, gestured to the description plaque instead, pointing out that the sculpture comes attached with no specific meaning, leaving itself open to interpretation. Though the sculpture’s Trojan horse-like grandeur is certainly most eye-catching during the day as the sun reflects off the brilliant gold shackle, at night it also exudes a sense of quiet power, appearing as an ambiguous silhouette softly lit by a green glow emitted by the surrounding fireflies. Skip the Shake Shack line, take a walk through the park, and see for yourself this puzzling yet captivating sculpture.
You’ve probably already seen Cornelia Parker’s installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but if not, be sure to make the trek to the rooftop garden on your next visit. Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Edward Hopper’s paintings, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) takes the model of a classic American red barn and deconstructs its meaning while physically reconstructing it in an urban rooftop setting using materials salvaged from a farmhouse in upstate New York that was originally scheduled for demolition. Though the house looks complete, albeit decrepit, when viewed from the front (as seen above), the façade is deceptively supported by a scaffolding structure behind it. The piece raises a series of contrasts and questions – complete vs. unfinished, authenticity vs. illusion, the physical placement of rural architecture in a hyper-developed, urban jungle, and the emotional tension of the eerie, haunted air of a building once symbolizing warmth and family. The installation closes on October 31st, so try to visit before the ghosts arrive on Halloween!
- – Nanase Shirokawa