Monday, January 20, 2014

Expedition Real World


The Real World, Tom Otterness 1992 Nelson Rockefeller Park #NYC
The Real World :: Tom Otterness (1992)
I did not set out today to find the art of Tom Otterness.  Today was about walking along the Hudson River with my friend Kate and getting to my 3-4 mile goal for the day (thanks to Kate for helping me make it).  We found his sculptures as we were heading in from the river in search of a hidden little gem of a park that sits between the buildings that make up the North End of Battery Park City.   So I almost missed them.

A close up of one of the tableaus in The Real World, Tom Otterness 1992 Nelson Rockefeller Park #NYC
Spanking (My Title, a close up of The Real World :: Tom Otterness 1992)

The sculptures, that is.  I almost missed the bronzes that make up The Real World, a 1992 installation by Tom Otterness that occupies a corner of Nelson Rockefeller Park at Warren Street.  I think my face lit up like a little kid's when I spotted them.   I'd been wanting to see some of his work up close and personal for a quite some time and there it was!  I guess my peripheral vision is not quite as bad as I thought it was.   It is quite the collection of small, large, and -- in some cases -- anatomically correct (sort of) figures that inhabit ate this little section of the park.  Everywhere you look there is an unexpected tableau to puzzle over.

A close up of on of the tableaus in The Real World, Tom Otterness 1992 Nelson Rockefeller Park #NYC
Robbery (My Title, A Close up of The Real World :: Tom Otterness 1992)
The Battery Park City web site says that this is one of the most popular public art pieces in #NYC.  I find that a bit ironic since it seems to be chalk full of mayhem (including robberies, spankings, fat cats tied down and gagged, and a strange-looking creature about to feast upon a bound animal and drink up a little human).  There is a man being smushed by a giant penny that others are rolling towards a very strange looking idol.  Not to mention the dog that is stalking the cat that is stalking the bird that is stalking the worm that is being held up by a small man as if serving dinner on a platter while not realizing that he is quite likely to be eaten by the bird along with his worm (shades of Alfred Hitchcock).  There are captains of industry toasting each other as a woman hangs on for dear life to the edge of the building beneath them.  And everywhere there are pennies -- stacked, piled, and embedded in the pavement.

As much social commentary as it is art, The Real World is a bit mad in a satirically splendid sort of way.  Just the kind of art I like.
Close ups of figures and tableaus in The Real World, Tom Otterness 1992 Nelson Rockefeller Park #NYC
The Real World Collage (My Title, Bits and Pieces of The Real World :: Tom Otterness 1992)
To see more art from Otterness, visit him on the Web.

A close up of one of the tableaus in The Real World, Tom Otterness 1992 Nelson Rockefeller Park #NYC
Fat Cat (My Title, A close up of The Real World :: Tom Otterness 1992)


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