Monday, April 02, 2012

Koons on the Line

I'm surprised I didn't blog about this before.
I guess there were too many intriguing stories from around the world, and the tale of a proposed monumental sculpture that's meant to hang over the High Line in NYC just slipped through the railings.
For those of you who aren't familair with the High Line, it's a nifty rail trail that winds above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It's a gorgeous and varied place for walkers from around the world who are looking for a unique view of the Big Apple.
Like all public parks (as that is what it is...) it's just ripe for public sculpture.
From the beginning, the High Line has welcomed artists to interpret the park in a variety of ways and some of them are pretty inventive- sound installations with soothing messages, an 11 hour video of the Hudson River, artfully camo-ed storage containers.
The usual 21st century jazz...
Enter Jeff Koons and his multi-tonned sculpture "Train" that's meant to dangle over the peaceful walkway by a crane- stablilized by a gyroscope apparently so that it won't sway too threateningly in the wind.
Now I don't consider myself a total wimp when it comes to public art, but this piece is about as counter-productive as it gets.
Imagine chatting, laughing, and dreaming as you walk along high above Manhattan's busy streets. Suddenly- up ahead, a shadow falls, and then this monster blocks out the sun.
Holy crap! It's a falling train.
I'm sure the kiddies will be shelling out to their therapists for years after their first encounter.
The High Line Folks assure the public that the $25 million art piece would be perfectly safe (with its spinning wheels and occasional whistle blasts, according to rumors) and is just at the beginning of the planning stages.
There is a fine line between a city park and an amusement park, guys.
Perhaps its best to keep that in mind when installing your public art.

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