Thursday, February 4, 2016

Looking up on Park Avenue

There are many parks in New York.  Every park is not only park - it    is also a outdoor gallery featuring  works of temporary public art.  Hundreds of artists have exhibited their works in New York City parks, demonstrating an astonishing array of styles, forms, materials and conceptions. Through collaborations with a diverse group of arts organizations and artists, New Parks brings to the public both experimental and traditional art in many park locations.  The Park Avenue malls provide a unique opportunity to display works of art.

Last year   seven sculptures  by Santiago Calatrava,  a Spanish neofuturistic architect were installed  on  Park Avenue. Santiago Calatrava  designed   World Trade Center transit terminal and will rebuild St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church on Ground Zero.
This year a   Looking Up, a 33.3-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture by the  New York-based artist Tom Friedman is installed on Park Avenue.
 Born in St. Louis, Massachusetts in 1965, Friedman has had numerous solo shows over his career including ones at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the South London Gallery.


 Friedman uses all kinds of everyday material — sugar cubes, masking tape, toothpicks — to make hyper-real objects like a piece of white sandwich bread or a pizza made of styrofoam.
The work, called "Looking Up," features a steely figure with elongated limbs and its head tilted upward, meant to evoke the complex relationship New Yorkers have with the world above them.


 The foundation of "Looking Up" was created using a 3D-printer and then Friedman and his crew texturized the form by pressing frying pans and other household items into the foam material before casting it in stainless steel.
The first example of this edition is permanently installed at the Laguna Gloria Campus of The Contemporary Austin in Texas.