March has finally arrived and venturing into the world suddenly seems easier. We’re exalted with joy, the aroma of bloom and blossom brim the air as our seasonal depression comes to a halt.
There’s a natural unparalleled beauty, the energy is contagious as vibrant colors rule every corner after the bareness of winter. Scattered all over our city is experimental pieces of art creating an idyllic setting.
It’s no secret that New York City offers an entire art world outside of our doorsteps, where we are free to roam and admire at any time.
Lucky for us, here are some pretty awe-inspiring and majestic public & street art pieces that we can enjoy throughout the spring and beyond!
1. “Two Orchids” - Isa Genzken (until August 21st)
Revealing that the whole world comes to life after winter is the eminent German sculpture artist Isa Genzken. Her latest work “Two Orchids” are installed in Central Park by the Public Art Fund.
These impressive stylized and delicate pair of orchids made from cast aluminum and stainless steel arrives just in time for the spring.
Similar to her 36-foot tall "Rose II" sculpture that was on display back in 2010 at the New Museum, the monumental orchids towering in Central Park meld the idea of art and environment.
In honor of Armory Art Week and the New York Botanical Garden Art Show, the two stunning 30-foot-tall enormous orchid flowers can be found in display near 60th Street and Fifth Avenue until the summer.
2. “UNDERSTANDING” - Martin Creed ( May 4th – October 23rd)
Another sculpture with an illuminating message will be unveiling at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. British artist Martin Creed is expected to illuminate the Brooklyn waterfront with his largest public art piece to date, a rotating, bright neon-red sign that reads, “Understanding.”
“‘Understanding’ is a simple word with complex meanings,” said Public Art Fund director and chief curator Nicolas Baume. This comes as no surprise as Creed is well-known for his use of existing materials or situations rather than bringing new material into the world.
The sculpture will spin at varying speeds and be visible from Brooklyn, the East River, Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. According to the Public Art Fund, the 25-foot tall neon-red sculpture Work No. 2630, “Understanding” will be on display at Pier 6 from May 4th until October 23rd.
3. “Audrey Hepburn” - Tristan Eaton
There’s no doubt that if you’ve walked along the streets of Little Italy, you’ve probably come across this captivating portrait of “Audrey Hepburn” by Tristan Eaton.
The notable art piece is apart of the L.I.S.A. (Little Italy Street Art) Project, a mural arts program that brings street artists from diverse backgrounds in Little Italy on historic Mulberry Street to create Manhattan's only mural arts district.
Creating a fusion between old Hollywood and the present, Eaton juxtaposes a black and white illustration with bold colors and abstract patterns. The art mural can be found on the side of Café Roma located at the corner of Mulberry and Broome Streets.
4. “Looking Up” - Tom Friedman (until July)
Reminding New Yorkers to look up every once in awhile, is American artist Tom Friedman. “Looking Up” is a 33-foot tall sculpture made of stainless steel and crushed aluminum foil.
The whimsical giant statue that gazes up to the heavens retains imprints and markings from its original materials. Filled with awe and wonder the statue overlooks a crowded and bustling part of the city.
Emblematically with this piece, Friedman prompts us to always keep our head up, despite the chaos around us. "Looking Up" is installed on Park Avenue and East 53rd Street until late July.
5. Paul Richard
Dear New Yorkers, if you’re not looking up, make sure to look down because if there's one thing about street artists, they’re always driven to post artwork or spread a message on our grounds.
Artist Paul Richard exhibits a casual yet playful style when capturing the facial features of his subjects on our NYC sidewalks. Creating a timeless effect, and with just a few drips of paint, his elegant sidewalk portraits of classy gentlemen come to life.
Many of his artworks can be frequently seen on the sidewalks of Lower Manhattan and different parts of Brooklyn.
6. #WhatLiftsYou - Kelsey Montague
Nothing screams Spring is almost here than Kelsey Montague’s classic black and white wings.
The mural art is part of a What Lifts You campaign, an opportunity for the public to share more of what inspires them through the hashtag #whatliftsyou. Montague shares on her blog, “I realized that people love the opportunity to become a ‘living work of art’.”
If you haven’t taken a picture with this beauty as of yet, what better time than now? Go ahead, show your friends and family just why you’re flourishing this season. #WhatLiftsYou can be found between 23rd Street and 3rd Avenue.
7. “Can Love Pervade Space?” - Ken Shih (until May 15th)
Ken Shih’s sculpture evokes patterns of human morphology, behavioral patterns in human nature, and the patterns and anti-patterns emergent from society and culture. The 50 bust portraits of adult individuals were carved and inspired from people who came and sat with him in person for a 3-hour session.
Displaying a form of an idealized community, each sculpted head is placed side by side on a 3-Dimensional wire frame made of steel pipe on a small grassy hill. The viewer is then asked to observe, analyze, and draw conclusions from the sculpted expressions.
Shih’s hope is that we set apart our differences and ultimately learn to love one another in these challenging times.
8. “Ruby Bridges” - Sharon De La Cruz
Prolific artist and activist Sharon De La Cruz’s “Ruby Bridges” is inspired by, “The Problem We All Live With,” a famous 1964 painting by Norman Rockwell. Ruby Bridges became a prominent figure of Civil Rights history when she was only in the first grade.
The iconic painting depicts the brave six-year old Ruby Bridges on her way into an all-white public school in New Orleans in 1960 during the process of racial desegregation.
A pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement, this powerful piece can be found in the Bronx’s Hunts Point. De La Cruz, who grew up in Hunts Point, chose the site in hopes that it will inspire conversations about the past and help beautify a dreary area crowded with trucks.
9. “Lenape Variations” - Ruth Hofheimer (November 16th)