Monday, September 17, 2012

Roosevelt Island's Roadwork Art

While we're on the topic of Roosevelt Island public art, how about some that appears to be unsanctioned?*

Near the tram stop right now, there's a collection of roadwork art, including a totem pole made out of plastic traffic barriers.

Someone also took white tape and made some creative street markings.

Clearly they meant the work to be viewed from above.

Here's what it looks like from the tram.

I'm not sure what it all means, but I admire the effort. (The stop signs, meanwhile, remain in pristine condition.)

*UPDATE: I guessed wrong. This art IS sanctioned. The work is by Brazilian artist Bel Borba, who was invited to New York to do this sort of thing.

From the New York Times via the Roosevelt Islander blog:
An unusual monthlong public art residency...will take Mr. Borba all over New York City and allow him to work in whatever medium strikes his fancy. On Saturday he created a painting of a lizard and a spaceman on the asphalt on Roosevelt Island; this week he is in Red Hook, Brooklyn; Howard Beach, Queens; and other neighborhoods. Starting on Oct. 1, a short film he made with two collaborators will be shown every night for a month on 15 jumbo signs, some with multiple screens, at Times Square. 
Mr. Borba, 55, is from Salvador, in the state of Bahia and the third largest city in Brazil. Its streets, walls, plazas and beaches have been his canvas since the late 1970s. He is a well-known, even beloved, figure there, regularly greeted on the street by residents who encourage him to come and work in their neighborhoods; his output there led to a documentary about him that will open in New York next month. But he said he was delighted to receive an invitation to work in New York, so far from his comfort zone.

Nice to see him push New Yorkers out of their comfort zone as well. Or at least make us do a double-take.