As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
CopyrightAll images and content on this site are copyright ©GothamGirl 2009 - 2013, unless stated otherwise. If you'd like to use one of my photos, please give proper credit and link back to this blog.
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Category Archives: Public Art
Regardless of how many times friends arrive in my city and no matter how many times I see the same sites…I’ll never tire as things in this city constantly change. A friend of mine from Delhi, India was visiting New York City for his very first time. Even though we only had a few hours together…well…much was seen and experienced. (And he’s a photographer too!)
Since it was such a warm spring afternoon, the High Line was on my list for him to see. An atmosphere where you can talk, walk and absorb the city views, the spring blooms, and lots of public art work. So we’ll start with Blue Falling by New York based artist Ryan McGinley. I’d read the write-up in the New York Times and was eager to see what was termed “figurative and abstract” by the writer. McGinley’s dream-like photo certainly leaves you with various impressions. Imagine at the age of 23 having a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Now the whole world sees his art on this billboard. Amazing! (Check out his photography here. Love, Love, Love his work.) As the evening continued on it was fun to watch the light casting some cool shadows on Blue Falling. Wonder what treat is in store for us on the next billboard coming up in May?
Between West 21st and West 22nd Streets is an incredible wall sculpture made of pressed tin and mirrors, titled Broken Bridge II, by artist El Anatsui. Anatsui is a Nigeria-based artist whose work typically involves metallic bottle caps from discarded Nigerian liquor bottles and woven together with copper wire. But more recently he has turned to installation art and from what I read he wanted to reflect the fabric of the city and the High Line’s landscape as it changes throughout the seasons. This is a massive piece at 37 feet high and 157 feet wide. So fun to play with the reflections of the surrounding buildings. Once again…wonder what will replace this sculpture at the end of this summer!
At another section of the High Line (around West 29th Street) a new mural was being painted on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum as part of their “One Met, Many World’s” campaign. It was fascinating to watch the painters at work. One second looking at the photograph of what they’re painting and the next blending the colors just right, all why tethered as they painted this five story tall mural.
Of course taking my friend to Grand Central Station and Rockefeller Center was on the list too. Perfect by night, a palette of color floating on top of a water fountain on Fifth Avenue was begging to be photographed. (As well as the lights on the trees in the Rockefeller Plaza area.)
Now this is what comes to mind when I think of Gotham!
So that was my evening in New York City! It was amazing to also see the amount of police presence in the city as a result of the recent events in Boston. A big thank you to our NYPD for keeping an eye on things!
What can I say…I ♥ street art and Buenos Aires did not disappoint!
Thanks for coming along with me to Argentina! Now that I’m back in NYC…the next few weeks will be captures from my city! There’s so much to share….just from the last eight hours!
It was nice to finally get out and enjoy the sun and bike along Manhattan’s Waterfront Greenway. Approaching Battery Park a number of city workers were overseeing a large operation furiously pumping water from the underground subways back into the Hudson River where it belonged. It was a captivating operation and one that required a closer inspection. Amazing, for whatever reason the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial had never caught my attention before. Perhaps it was the water gushing out and a small group of people that had gathered that encouraged a closer look.
Here, sculptor Marisol Escobar, one of the most significant artists of the Pop era and a long-time resident of Greenwich Village, depicts merchant marines on a sinking lifeboat. The scene stopped me dead in my tracks. Not only did the position of the mariner in the water provide emotion to the scene, but the rushing water from the subway system heightened the drama…all a representation of potential rescue or possible loss of lives. The synchronicity of it all took my breath away…
Incredible views…a prime location…a statue in your living room?
Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi provides an experience we all could only dream about as his installation allows us to experience the statue of Christopher Columbus like never before. Nishi is brilliant in providing an up close and personal interaction with one of New York City’s best known landmarks right in the heart of the Upper West Side…Columbus Circle. After climbing six stories you’ll enter a modern living room filled with sofas, chairs, and of course a TV along with Mr. Columbus himself. Not to mention the incredible views of Central Park and midtown Manhattan! It’s free, but you will need to reserve passes in advance through the Public Art Fund. A must if you’re in the city, but only through November 18th!
Once again the Broadway Mall Association has brought in more fantastic art work to beautify the malls of Broadway here in Manhattan. This year they teamed up with Brazilian sculptor Saint Clair Cemin to debut his concrete and abstract work. The first sculpture is located near Columbus Circle (in my hood) and is a monumental mirrored stainless steel sculpture called Vortex. It happens to tower 40 feet high and according to Cemin…Vortex embodies mankind’s desire for transcendence, whisking up into the clouds all that reflects on its surface. So thought I’d share a little abstracted abstract from Vortex as it reflects the buildings and sky around it! And speaking of Columbus Circle…wait until you see what’s happening around the Columbus monument. Stay tuned!
Looking for a unique Philadelphia destination? Head to the famous South Street and check out the Magic Gardens created by visionary and award-winning mosaic mural artist Isaiah Zagar. I just couldn’t get over how Philly has embraced the arts and certainly Zagar has been instrumental in helping to create this city into a thriving creative community it is today.
The garden includes a fully tiled indoor space and a massive outdoor mosaic sculpture garden that spans half a block. Thousands of glittering mirrors, hand-made tiles, folk art statues, bicycle wheels, colorful glass bottles to name a few. As you make your way through the maze there are a number of sightings of Zagar’s personal experiences. I’ll leave it at that…you can find that out when you visit!
As you walk along South Street mosaic tile work is everywhere including the building that houses Zagar’s studio. And guess who just happened to be working with a bunch of students that afternoon? Yep, Mr. Zagar himself. What a treat to meet him and chat with him and his students. A character in his day – no doubt – and dearly loved by his students as they continued to mention how giving he was of the information he’d learned about the process over the years. This is a must-see while in Philly!
Coming up…a session at Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School with two of the foxiest drag performers in Philly and the infamous Naked Bike Ride! (and no…I didn’t partake in the ride…but trust me…it’s on the bucket list so one day it’ll happen!)
Before leaving for Virginia, I was eager to see the new installation of the large scaled sculptures placed along Riverside South, at the Hudson River, like they did last year. The Art Students League of New York, for the second year, presents the Model to Monument Program (M2M), a collaboration with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. A total of eight new sculptures have been placed along the river to be viewed until June of next year. You can learn more about the program and sculptures here.
After returning from my trip, a stroll along the river was in order just to catch my breathe and regroup…and I was immediately drawn to Damien Vera’s sculpture titled Cope. Beautifully written, here’s his inspiration behind his work:
Change is inevitable and necessary for progress and innovation. While we humans are affected greatly by the constant flux in our environment, most of the change in our lives comes from ourselves. A significant part of change is processing the new information presented and adapting to a new situation. Sometimes these events are fortuitous, other times it can be a tremendous personal, emotion, or physical loss. Gain, loss, and adaptation are the very nature of flux. I designed Cope to incorporate this idea with the feelings of solitude and reflection that I sense in the site itself. The monument’s towering pillars evoke these primal elements to create a personal, visceral experience.
How poignant coming off a week of many experiences and emotions!
Happy Fourth of July everyone!
Walking the streets in an area of Brooklyn called DUMBO, short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Underpass…I always find myself drawn towards a particular block filled with street graffiti!
Just can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked around Union Square in NYC and wondered what the heck this smoking thing was all about. So curiosity got the best of me and I finally looked it up. Good ol’ google to the rescue!
Looks like we have a couple of incredible artists Kristin Jones and Andew Ginzel working together since 1985 on many private and public commissioned projects. After reading more about their works, it seems they’re all over NYC, the United States and the world! Who knew?
Now what I also didn’t know was that at noon and midnight the hole erupts with a huge plume of steam that is accompanied by an explosion of sound like a noonday whistle or a public clock that marks the time. Cool! I guess I’d never been in the area at those exact times to hear it. Every component from the brick, the gold leaf, the massive piece of bedrock, the thin long cone, the hand sticking out…they all have meaning and a reference to time. You can read more about this particular project called the Metronome here. The burning bunghole is just a portion of the exhibit. So fun!
P.S. I didn’t come up with “burning bunghole.” Just happened to come across the term and thought how fitting! No pun intended. <smile!>