Wednesday, September 16

Exploring Public Art in Central Park

I must admit that public art in our public parks is one of the biggest benefits of living in a city...especially in a city like New York.

I finally got an appreciation for public art when I experienced "The Gates" in 2005 by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. You could say I was a late bloomer. Their exhibit featured 7,500 orange fabric "gates" that spanned 23 miles around Central Park. It was a sight whether you were on the ground, in a high-rise, or on a plane. It was a feat of artwork.

The latest installation that I experienced over the summer reminded me of "The Gates." While it didn't have the scale, it was impressive in its expression of the paths and walkways of Central Park. It's called "Desire Lines" by Tatiana Trouve. The exhibition is several racks of spools of colored rope, each spool representing a different walking path in the Park with rope measured to the exact distance of the walkway. Very impressive, all 212 of them.

What I enjoyed about "Desire Lines" is that it encourages you to not only explore the exhibit, but to also explore the vastness of the Park, which in and of itself is public art. Central Park is a public sanctuary made available for all of us to enjoy, including these kinds of public art installations.

I believe that is the point of "The Gates" and of "Desire Lines," and the point of public art in general. Go out and explore!

I have profound appreciation for it, even more so now as an adult.

I recently did a podcast with Jeffrey Shaw from Creative Warriors...where we talked about Central Park right at the onset. Click here if you'd like to give it a listen.

And then go out and explore!

What's your experience?  JIM.

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