Day 46

That's the title of this series of photos displayed along a corrugated metal fence on Vernon Boulevard beneath the Queensboro Bridge. The description of this work (copied from a sign mounted on the fence) is a wonderful example of overblown artspeak:

Six photographs transpose the concealed environment behind the fence onto its face. These images of the existing environment were then re-photographed with cut emergency blankets and blue latex gloves captured in a falling state, suggesting precipitation, celebration and elusiveness — a fictive space. Neither the images nor the scene can ever be viewed in entirety, partially obscured by the flurry.

Day 573


July 25th, 2013

Confirmation is the name of this Melvin Edwards piece sitting in front of the Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building, home to a Social Security service center. According to a nearby plaque, "the arch, the circle and the triangle are combined to express the positive social relations affirmed in ideas and structures created in life between birth and death."

The NY Times, in its review of the building's artwork, said that the "large stainless steel circle, arch and triangle . . . play off the architecture around them and create a sense of continuing entry and movement."

My opinion: "Oh, big metal shapes. That's pretty cool."

Day 1008


October 3rd, 2014

Some classic barf-inducing artspeak: "To install Ground, Sanders created ten sculpted earth chairs, in a variety of forms . . . The installation offers an unmitigated phenomenological experience, the opportunity to interact with a living material in a simultaneously nostalgic and atypical way."

Day 1020

Cantilevered cop house

October 15th, 2014

This Rafael Viñoly-designed structure was Staten Island's first new police station in over 50 years when it opened in the summer of 2013 as the home of the nascent 121st Precinct, the youngest of the island's four precincts.

My first thought when I saw the building was "Whoa, that's cool!" But then, as is often the case with such things, the designer's description of it ruined it for me:

The second floor cantilevers ninety feet toward Richmond Avenue in a symbolic gesture of community engagement that defines the main entrance and creates a visual link between the main lobby and the street.
A symbolic gesture of community engagement? Come on. This is a giant stapler of doom looming ominously above anyone who dares make the 200-foot trek from the sidewalk to the entrance. It's intimidating, not engaging.

Day 1335

Small horse, tall chair

August 26th, 2015

This intriguing Herb Rosenberg piece, whose not-so-intriguing title — A horse named NSA - Keeping an eye on you — sounds like a description of a bad political cartoon, is part of an exhibition in Highbridge Park called Oh Sit! 14 Sculptors Consider the Chair.

The exhibition consists of the work of — you guessed it — nine sculptors "respond[ing] imaginatively to the notion of sitting or using a chair." (As it turns out, 14 Sculptors is not a tally of participating artists, but the name of the group to which they belong.)

From the Parks Department's website, some more great artspeak: "Oh Sit! is framed as an imperative, a command—a way of asking the viewer to look and really consider the concept 'chair' both objectively and subjectively."