Tied Down With Thick Ropes

Not me! The park. What are you thinking?


It’s another cripplingly cold morning so in an irrational fit of optimism, I’ve decided to post something that’s been sitting in my draft folder since last AUGUST. Maybe it’ll rekindle my long-abandoned dream of warm weather. Because at this point, I’ve pretty much lost hope.



One of the things I love most about summer are the big-space art exhibits that pop up all over the city. Some ideas and schemes  are so ambitious that they can’t be constrained by four museum walls. Some of the best ones can be found in Madison Square Park off of 23rd Street and 5th Avenue.


Last summer, they hosted contemporary American sculptor Orly Genger’s installation Red, Yellow and Blue.



Walls of undulating, layered nautical rope were constructed and then painted. It looks like it was tedious, hard work to mount but I liked the end result. When you turned a corner, it was a pleasant shock to see these bright colors pop out where you weren’t expecting to see them.

Genger1 Genger12

It’s a nice, warm environmental piece. The rope worked well with the surrounding flora, fauna and lawns.

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I didn’t intend for it to look this way–I’m not that clever–but the rope looks like it’s floating!



A little painting, a little sculpture, a little arts-n-crafts. I wonder what they did with all that rope at the end of the exhibit?


Did that whet your appetite for big art? Would you like to see another one? Here’s a really cool exhibit that ran at the Guggenheim last summer the same time this was up at Madison Square Park. What a great town!


Guess how much maple syrup is in this bottle of Aunt Jemima’s Original pancake syrup?



None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nil. Not a drop. Nada.


It’s all corn syrup + crap. My Bride brought home some authentic Vermont maple syrup and I’ve been so brainwashed over the years by consuming this rotten corn by-product that the real thing tasted kind of odd to me. And I thought it was thin, too. Thank you, Quaker Oats, for ruining maple syrup for me!

I am never putting this swill in my mouth again. You shouldn’t, either.

DON’T JUMP! Oh. Wait. It’s only a statue.

I love big art installations and New York has a fairly steady diet of them. They’re not like paintings, which can be viewed over and over again. Once they’re disassembled, that’s it. You’ll never see them again. I fondly remember taking 8-Year Old Daughter to see Christo’s Gates in Central Park several years ago. People complained about it but I thought it was fantastic. Now it only lives in photographs. If you haven’t seen it before, I encourage you to take a look at this post for Ernesto Neto’s anthropodino. It’s the best installation I’ve ever seen.

If you’re coming to New York this summer [Jo] be sure to visit artist Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon outdoor art installation at Madison Square Park. It’s a series of statues that are placed on the roof ledges surrounding the park. When it was being set-up, the NYPD took measures to assure the public that they were not jumpers on the threshold of suicide.

This statue stands at the apex of the Flatiron Building.


There are 31 statues in all, but only four are on the ground. You can spend time craning your neck trying to locate each statue or you can do what I did and printout the map that’s on his site and bring it with you.


This is my favorite picture because he stands in the shadow of the Empire State Building spire.


This guy…


…is way the hell up there.


Here’s one of the four statues on the ground. The statues on buildings are fiberglass but these four are iron. I was a little shocked about the genitalia. What do you tell the kiddies? For each statue, Gormley wrapped himself in saran wrap and then was covered with wet plaster. He had to remain motionless for about an hour while the plaster dried. I love artists and actors. I love their kookiness.


Here’s an article and interview from the New York Times that will enhance your visit.