Street clocks once dominated the sidewalks of New York City. First introduced in the 1860s, the clocks quickly became popular with businesses looking for novel ways to advertise and with the general public who appreciated the convenience.
At one time, there were several hundred sidewalk clocks throughout the five boroughs, in the estimate of City Landmarks Preservation Commission officials. Few of these clocks exist today, however. But we have new clock!
16-foot-tall version of the classic New York City street clock, installed in Central Park this fall, simultaneously run backward and forward, while still managing to keep the correct time. This clock is the work of Alicja Kwade, a polish artist who lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Kwade was born in Katowice, Poland, in 1979. The daughter of a cultural scientist and former gallery owner knew at age five that she wanted to be an artist. She studied art in Berlin mostly because, she jokes, “New York and London were too expensive”.
In 2008 she won the prestigious Piepenbrock Förderpreis für Skulptur with a show at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art.
'There's a double take when a passerby glances up to check the time and all of a sudden realizes that the clock is functioning in a way that no standard clock should,' points out Nicholas Baume, Public Art Fund Director.' We like to keep it moving—this is New York,"