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Reading the Streets

Reading the Streets: 'Solar Reserve' by John Gerrard

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Written by ILANA NOVICK, Auction Central News International   
Thursday, 04 December 2014 13:54
‘Solar Reserve’ by John Gerrard, New York City. Photo via publicartfund.org

NEW YORK – If New York City in the winter is getting you down, consider a trip to the Nevada desert. Can't afford the airfare? No worries, it's accessible by the one train. Well, not the Nevada desert but “Solar Reserve,” a new installation in the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center by John Gerrard.

“Solar Reserve” is a digital simulation of a Nevada solar thermal power plant, and its accompanying desert landscape, all projected on a 28-foot-by-24-foot LED screen. Watch the screen and you can see the movements of the moon, sun and the 10,000 mirrors that make up the power plant, over a 24-hour period, sunrise to sunset.

Come at 10 p.m. and “Solar Reserve” looks like a satellite image of a distant planet, impressive, like Mars through a telescope, but remote. Your imagination does most of the work of shaping the circles of light into something tangible. Visit a little earlier and it’s a completely different story; you can see the plant itself, glowing like a lighthouse in a sea of black sand.

Come back a few hours later when the sun is up, and you can see sweeping desert landscapes, with mountains just over the horizon. It feels close enough to touch. At one point I thought I was seeing a rare form of shiny, square-shaped flowers but it turned out to be a field of mirrors that help capture the solar energy.

No matter what time of day you show up, it’s a different light show every time. Not bad for a subway ride.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
‘Solar Reserve’ by John Gerrard, New York City. Photo via publicartfund.org ‘Solar Reserve’ by John Gerrard, New York City. Photo via wnyc.org\ story/nevada-solar-tower-comes-lincoln-center/ ‘Solar Reserve’ by John Gerrard, New York City. Photo via wnyc.org\ story/nevada-solar-tower-comes-lincoln-center/ ‘Solar Reserve’ by John Gerrard, New York City. Photo via lincolncenter.org
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 14:18
 

Reading the Streets: Centre-Fuge Public Art Project

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Written by ILANA NOVICK, Auction Central News International   
Monday, 01 December 2014 15:20
Mr. Prvrt at Centre-Fuge Public Art Project, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick

NEW YORK – East First Street between First Avenue and Essex has been plagued by construction for most of 2014, which makes the Centre-Fuge Public Art Project even more of a welcome blast of color. The colorful MTA trailer gives artists much needed legal space and neighborhood residents a welcome blast of color to drown out the reality of plywood and orange cones.

It was Mr. Prvrt’s gray and black raccoon on the North Side of the trailer that hooked me. Putting aside the 14-year-old boy inside me that giggled at the idea of an artist named Mr. Prvrt painting a beaver, this creature was undeniably adorable, with its little paws clasped together and longing blue eyes. I wanted to give it a cookie.

The panel next door by Marthalicia Mattarita features the face of a baby with what is either purple octopus arms growing out of its head, or just a hat I need to buy immediately.

Speaking of hair related inspiration, there’s a piece by Australian artist Vexta, a woman standing against a gray background, whose hair, messy and brushed to the side, dissolves from the roots into a group of birds. It made me want to ask for her hairdresser’s number, because mine never does that when it’s messy.

Centre-Fuge will be on East First Street between First Avenue and Essex Street through 2015.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Mr. Prvrt at Centre-Fuge Public Art Project, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick Vexta at Centre-Fuge Public Art Project, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick Dasic Fernandez at Centre-Fuge Public Art Project, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick Marthalicia Mattarita at Centre-Fuge Public Art Project, New York. Photo by Ilana Novick
Last Updated on Monday, 01 December 2014 15:40
 

Reading the Streets: Danh Vo's 'We the People'

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Written by ILANA NOVICK, Auction Central News International   
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 14:32
Danh Vo, ‘We The People,’ City Hall Park. Photo by Ilana Novick

NEW YORK – When I was little, there was a restaurant called America on East 18th Street that featured a bright green miniature Statue of Liberty. She was a beacon for tiny diners like myself; when I couldn’t sit still, I tried to climb her.

This memory was my first, though, when I heard about Danh Vo’s We the People, the replica of the famous statue now on view in City Hall Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park., through Dec. 5. It takes artistic chutzpah to create a full-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty, but it helps that Danh Vo’s We the People is no mere imitation.

Vo deconstructed the Statue of Liberty into approximately 250 pieces, now dispersed among 15 countries. The scattered pieces are intended to give viewers a chance to interact with an icon on a human scale. I appreciated the sentiment, but couldn’t place the inspiration without the help of signs at the front of City Hall Park. Fortunately, the design, the placement, and colors of the sculptures are fascinating in and of themselves, whether or not the Lady Liberty link is clear.

The gleaming copper structures look like abstract sunbathers, relaxing and burnishing their tans in the Indian summer sun. Getting closer, I noticed intricate curves and draping, an aspect of sculpture that never fails to amaze me. Vo takes tough copper – also the original material of Lady Liberty – and turns it flexible as fabric, with life-like creases and folds. How Vo and other sculptors do this with stone and metal is an ever-fascinating mystery to me, and even more than the historical connection, makes We The People worth a visit all on its own.

And unlike when I was 5, I didn’t even try to climb any of it.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Danh Vo, ‘We The People,’ City Hall Park. Photo by Ilana Novick Danh Vo, ‘We The People,’ City Hall Park. Photo by Ilana Novick Danh Vo, ‘We The People,’ City Hall Park. Photo by Ilana Novick Danh Vo, ‘We The People,’ City Hall Park. Photo by Ilana Novick
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 14:59
 

Reading the Streets: Hearts rain down from Gilf's copters

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Written by ILANA NOVICK, Auction Central News International   
Monday, 29 September 2014 16:09
Gilf, 'To Tehran With Love,' New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick

NEW YORK – Neon pink hearts are the attention-grabbing part of Gilf’s Mott Street mural, To Tehran With Love, but look closely and you’ll see they’re falling from a helicopter, as if bombing the black backdrop and the sidewalk below. The helicopter is painted olive green, eerily like a real military aircraft under cover of the night.

Helicopters with anything raining down from them conjures thoughts of war and bombs in my mind, even if the copter is on a wall next to a cupcake shop. When my anxiety meter calmed down for a minute, I saw what was obvious to most viewers, that the neon pink items raining down from the helicopter are hearts, not bombs. Countless Little Cupcake Bake Shop customers pose in front of it, frosting covered pastries in hand. I wonder if they notice the helicopter too.

But that’s the best part of To Tehran With Love; the hearts and the helicopter are paired to make the viewer consider what else a helicopter could deliver, besides violence. Gilf reimagines a military helicopter as not an agent of destruction, but one of love.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Gilf, 'To Tehran With Love,' New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick Gilf, 'To Tehran With Love,' New York City, photo via folioleaf.com, http://folioleaf.com/art/gilf Gilf, 'To Tehran With Love,' New York City, photo via http://ronniespirit.com/eye/are-your-eyes-closed-the-interview-with-street-artist-gilf
Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 16:36
 

Reading the Streets: Tony Cragg's bronze works

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Written by ILANA NOVICK, Auction Central News International   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 15:30
Tony Cragg, ‘Caldera,’ New York City, photo by Ilana Novick.

NEW YORK – Tony Cragg’s sculptures, the latest in Madison Square Park’s Mad Square Art series, defied my mind’s futile attempts at categorization. At first I thought Caldera, the bronze behemoth that greeted me as I entered Madison Square Park from 23rd Street was a giant, solid beard, like that of an ancient king whose sedentary life eliminated the need for shaving.

Cragg aims to make bronze a more malleable material, less imposing, more flexible and open minded. I neglected to remember this as my mind performed gymnastics trying to categorize and label what I was seeing. All that thinking was preventing me from the best part, which was walking under, in and around the sculpture, looking up to the leaves and the sun on a beautiful fall day.

Sense regained, I walked east to Points of View, three swirls of twisted bronze sitting ever so calmly on the Oval Lawn, like waves plucked out of the ocean, The lawn was closed when I visited, but I imagined kids and dogs running around them, and me, just sitting in the grass enjoying the sculpture’s company.

At the northern end of the park is Mixed Feelings, also made of bronze, but painted blue, which resembles series of loosely tossed Frisbees, possibly neglected park- goers, realizing it might soon be too cold for a game.

Tony Cragg’s sculptures will be on view in Madison Square Park through Feb. 8. I’m looking forward to seeing how they look in the snow.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Tony Cragg, ‘Caldera,’ New York City, photo by Ilana Novick. Tony Cragg, ‘Points of View,’ New York City, photo by Ilana Novick. Tony Cragg, ‘Mixed Feelings,’ New York City, photo by Ilana Novick. Tony Cragg, ‘Caldera,’ New York City, photo by Ilana Novick.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 November 2014 16:52
 
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