People queue in order to get photographed touching the bull’s balls, can you believe it. Like this fellow who ran the New York City Marathon the previous day; here, holding his medal with one hand and the bull’s balls with the other. This little ”good luck” ritual is repeated by all kinds of people all day long. Well what can I say – some people are born lucky, for others it takes balls!
No, I didn’t… (in case you were wondering)
This diva is part of A Fancy Animal Carnival, a series of eleven bronze animals by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi. Every animal is painted in colourful folklore patterns and represents a narrative, expressed through traditional Taiwanese symbols and motifs believed to bring luck.
I didn’t know that giraffes bring good fortune, did you?
Artwork on 37th St. & Broadway (until April 15th, 2017)
This magnificent gilded bronze relief graces the entrance of La Maison Française, part of the Rockefeller Center. A token of friendship between France and the United States, it depicts the two Cities – Paris and New York – reaching towards each other, showered with the gifts brought by the Three Graces, underneath.
According to Greek Mythology, the Three Graces were daughters of Zeus and the Oceanid (daughter of the Ocean) Eurynome. They were:
For the purposes of said friendship they became Poésie, Beauté & Elégance, an unwittingly apt transformation judging by their strategic location, watching over Saks Fifth Avenue right across the street.
Sculpture by Alfred Janniot, ca. 1934 (more reading here & here)
I (mis)took it for a Pokémon Go-ers meeting point until I discovered that it is actually Joan Miró’s Oiseau lunaire (Moonbird), or rather an enlarged version of the sculpture the artist created in 1966. I still think it is the perfect meeting spot for Pokémon Go-ers, although I haven’t seen any crowds appear from nowhere around it yet. It mostly gets ignored in favour of the nearby actual Pokémon hunters’ spot at the Grand Army Plaza or – for the rest of the world – the dazzling 5th Avenue shop windows.What
Midtown Manhattan, Solow Building on 58th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Standing Julian is a portrait of Urs Fischer’s friend and fellow artist Julian Schnabel. The massive sculpture is also a wax candle: lit every morning and extinguished each night, Standing Julian will slowly melt over the course of the exhibition. Although this candle will eventually burn down and be discarded – a process that evokes the inevitable transience of life – the sculpture can also be recast and lit anew. As Fischer explained, his waxworks allow ”materials and images take on their own life.”
That was Julian, captured in September. Is there anything left of him today, I wonder. Is he still turning into a puddle of soft wax? Has a new Julian taken his place?
Would I know if nobody told me?
Standing Julian, 2015
Wax, pigment, steel and wicks
Whichever way you look at her she seems as real as the woman next door. Well, perhaps not Manhattan next door but a smaller city or town like, for instance, my other adoptive home Brussels. She could definitely be the lady that runs the bakery on the ground floor in my building in Brussels.
And yet, although the artist worked on real models making casts directly from their bodies, his sculptures are not really images of specific people. For example, the letters on her lap are addressed to Minnie Johnson, but the model was someone else who lived near Hanson’s studio in Florida. Woman with Dog is therefore a hyper-real figure constructed from different features and, because of that, doubly real in my eyes.
Woman with Dog, 1977
Acrylic and oil on cast polyvinyl with clothing, hair, eyeglasses, watch, shoes, upholstered wood chair, dog hair, leather collar, woven rug, postcard, letters, and envelopes