Shared joy is double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow. — Swedish Proverb
Monumental public art has historically been constructed of cast bronze. Usually the monuments are solid, sombre portraits rendered realistically and set upon a stone pedestal.
Thomas Schütte’s United Enemies sculptures are indeed large, and bronze, but instead of securely resting on pedestals they appear to teeter on tripods of bundled poles.
The figures are fictional but they represent political adversaries. Although in opposition, they are united by their common interest and forced to work together in order to stand.
I think the work is meant to serve as inspiration to politicians everywhere.
New York cares about the fish too! It used to be that you would see a fish motif spray painted on the pavement near storm drains to remind people not to dump anything down them. Here the message is built right into the drain, and has been for years.
Spotted on 5th Avenue, and elsewhere.
Mellow Yellow by Cheryl Farber Smith has landed in Tribeca Park for the summer.
The lively aluminum sculpture was chosen for this location because of it’s bright yellow colour. Although the park is relatively small, it is well treed and it becomes heavily canopied in the summer. Mellow yellow will brighten the place up!
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Striver’s Row in Harlem is a very well preserved piece of New York’s history.
West 138th and West 139th Streets between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. and Frederick Douglass Blvd. are lovely tree lined blocks boasting Georgian and Neo-Italian townhouses built between 1891 and 1893.
It wasn’t always this way. The houses were built speculatively to attract upper middle class whites and were named King Model Houses. But the development failed as the intended buyers were already moving out of the area. The houses sat empty and fell into disrepair until the 1940’s when hard working blacks, or Strivers, bought them and moved in.
Today, the elegant houses are beautifully restored and maintained, and no doubt command a very high price.
It’s nice to see relics of the past retained.
Roundabout Theatre Company has successfully brought the glamourous and corrupt Hollywood studio system of the 1940’s to life on Broadway.
The Big Knife was first produced in 1949 and this is its first revival after over 60 years. That in itself is remarkable.
Bobby Cannavale, of “Boardwalk Empire” and “Glengarry Glen Ross” fame, appears as the central character Charlie Castle. Mr. Cannavale is recieving much acclaim recently and it is well earned. He portrays the handsome Hollywood star with a buried secret intensely. Richard Kind and Chip Zien, both incredibly accomplished actors from TV, film and stage, bring amazing authenticity to the production.
The main conflict in the narrative is between integrity and success. Hollywood and the studio system that created it is driven by money, of course, but gossip, rumour, and extortion made it a very corrupt business.
Stars had all the glory and the studio executives had all of the power. How different is it now?
As compelling as the play is, the best part is the set. Since every scene takes place in the same room - Charlie’s luxurious living room - the set could be built very elaborately. The room feels incredibly real and seems accurate with many details that effectively recall the period. The lighting is especially inventive, as the very subtle reflection from a swimming pool can be seen outside the windows in one corner of the room. The stage is big and bold but nothing is exaggerated and the effect is gorgeous.
Photos by Joan Marcus