Wake by the artist Mel Chin is a 24-foot-tall installation that evokes the hull of a shipwreck crossed with the skeletal remains of a marine mammal. Adjacent to the shipwreck is a 21-foot-tall sculpture.
Mel Chin was born is Houston, Texas and moved to New York in 1983. Chin places art in landscapes, in public spaces, and in gallery and museum exhibitions. In 1984 Mel Chin was Artist-in-Residence in Bryant park, then suffering from criminal activity and lack of use.
|MYRRHA P.I.A in Bryant Park
Chin once stated: “Making objects and marks is also about making possibilities, making choices—and that is one of the last freedoms we have. To provide that is one of the functions of art.”
The sculpture on Times Square based off of a figurehead of 19th-century opera singer, Jenny Lind.
Nicknamed the ‘Swedish Nightingale’, Jenny Lind (original name Johanna Maria Lind) was a soprano whose voice was admired by Chopin, Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann.
People loved her, and she became one of the most adored singers of the 1800s. Lind made her debut at Stockholm in 1838 , first appeared in London in Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable in 1847 and in 1850 toured the United States under P.T. Barnum’s auspices. From the moment of her arrival in New York, Lind was a sensation. The New York Tribune summarized her popularity: “Jenny Lind’s first concert is over; and all doubts are at an end. She is the greatest singer we have ever heard”. All told, Jenny Lind’s tour is believed to have netted Barnum close to a half-million dollars, an astonishing sum in 1850.
After the War, the Nightingale was the flagship for the Western Union Telegraph Company’s Pacific project.
Nightingale`s last homeport had been Kragerö, in southern Norway. The figurehead was lost . It was rediscovered almost a century later and ended up in the hands of a Swedish antique dealer in 1994. He spent 13 years researching its history. In January 2008 f ship's figurehead once used as a scarecrow on a Swedish farm has been sold at auction at Sotheby's in New York for $100,000.