Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Posts that involve the Arts.

Tom Otterness’ “Real World”: A Public Art Display

Readers of the PiercingMetal.com website might recall a not too long ago concert report for the band Renaissance in which the band performed outside on a hot Summer night down at Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City.  While a little unbearable under the setting sun, the night was a wonderful one in the end and the adventure down to the actual concert something entirely different and interesting in its own right. The reason for this was based on our discovery of another public art installation by Tom Otterness, the American sculptor whose work really shines in my humble opinion. We had explored the artists work after another concert with his “Life Underground” pieces that are set up under the streets of NYC on the 14th Street & 8th Avenue subway line.  Interested folks can click that link to check out the full views and images captured for that experience and we cannot recommend enough that you check this out but totally watch your step as you wander the platform.  Anyway, while heading down into the actual park where the stage was set up, we found the installation of what is called “The Real World”.  The display was commissioned of the artist in 1986 and installed in 1992 and oddly enough I never even knew about it since I rarely get down to this part of the city and the parks.  I guess I need to change that course of action since I am usually finding amazing things to share with the world.  Anyhow, this installation is a fascinating one and is set up around a beautiful playground area.  I photographed a number of the pieces as I wandered down to the show for your visual enjoyment.  Read on.

tom otterness, the real world sculptures

The first piece we see is a couple of monkeys and apparently a mother and her baby based on the bottle that is visible in the hand of the larger one.  I love the derby’s.

tom otterness, the real world sculptures

I’m actually wrong, as the piece above is at the entrance walkway to the playground area while this guardian monkey is ready to welcome you down into the fun.

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Walking Next To The “Sidewalk Catwalk” Fashion Display

You really never know what you are going to see in New York City at any given time and how a simple walk to the office of a friend can find you stumbling upon something interesting and really cool.  Such was the case that I would find while heading over to a publicist’s office to pick up some new review materials for PiercingMetal.com.  I was in Times Square, and the day was nice, so I decided to walk down Broadway even though their office was a good mile down the avenue.   As I began the wander I realized that as far as my eye could see, how mannequins dressed up in very detailed designs were positioned along the same path I was going.  This was New York’s Fashion District and I had accidentally come upon a public art project called “Sidewalk Catwalk”.  Walk with me for a few minutes.

Designer: Catherine Malandrino

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Tom Otterness’ “Life Underground”: A Public Art Display

“Life Underground” is the title of a public art project that was commissioned by the city of New York and done by sculptor Tom Otterness.  Made of bronze, the humorous figures depict scenes of what goes on down here and gives some insight as to what might go on when there are only a handful of people around.  Recently I took a ride over to the 14th Street and Eighth Avenue station via the “L” train and wandered around the platform and just above it to see how many images I could snare of these citizens of the subway system.

tom otterness, life underground sculptures

The first one I caught site of was this snake and since this is one of the “supposed” things we would find down here I am just glad that he wasn’t real.  We’ve all seen rats scurrying about on the tracks but luckily no snakes.  I guess if there were any of those around there would be less rats eh?  Are you thinking what I am thinking?  Nevermind, let’s continue.

tom otterness, life underground sculptures
Continue reading Tom Otterness’ “Life Underground”: A Public Art Display

“The Gates” Project for Central Park NYC (2/2005)

In February of 2005 for the span of a few weeks, a large art project was presented to the people of New York City and all of her visitors.  The artists behind the project were Christo and Jeanne-Claude and their masterpiece was entitled “The Gates”.

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