Not your average coordination meeting in the ECOSOC Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters! The Mission of Malta to the United Nations in collaboration with the Malta Arts Council organised an after-work concert to mark the launch of Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. A tenor and a pianist interpreted works from European (with emphasis to the Maltese) and American composers. An unlikely combination with fairly good acoustics but horribly strong lighting; and Dialogos, the vivid curtain by Swedish artist Ann Edholm, an excellent symbolic backdrop during negotiations, was rather overwhelming on this occasion.
Any criticism however was quickly dismissed, replaced by a quiet excitement when on our way out through the – by then – empty corridors of the General Assembly Building, we spotted these familiar, functional yet almost sculptural armchairs. I would totally arrange my living room around a couple of them!
Censored at first by the NYC Department of Parks, the noose was considered ”problematic and a disturbance to the park’s visitors”. The artist was asked to come up with a replacement piece but before long, the Department reconsidered and agreed to display the artwork in its initial form. It was on display in Riverside Park until May 2017.
We were walking down Broome Street looking for Pi, a Greek bakery for a taste of nostalgia (it was approaching Christmas), when this shiny happy-creepy art display caught our attention. There were no accompanying tags, hence the working titles:
*From ”The Dancer”, a poem by Khalil Gibran
The cookies were good, if I may add. Provided Manhattan prices are not an issue or Astoria seems too far away just for a trip to the baker’s, Pi has your Greek phyllo-pie cravings well covered.
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)