Friday, June 27, 2008

Why does New York get all the cool stuff?

Olafur Eliasson’s “New York City Waterfalls.” (Photo: Vincent Laforet)

A $15.5 million piece of public art - Olafur Eliasson's "New York City Waterfalls" has just opened, and it's obviously a stunner. Powerful yet whimsical, inspirational yet gloriously pointless, the four-site installation is just about everything (temporary) public art should be - plus no fish were harmed!

Which leads one to view Boston's pathetic new "Greenway" with more dyspepsia than ever. How did that disaster happen? How come Chicago can get "Cloud Gate" (left) and New York can get "Waterfalls," and yet after a zillion-dollar - and literally killer - public boondoggle like the Big Dig, we get precisely nothing? I mean neither of these two pieces is actually all that interesting intellectually or artistically - they're just big and graspable and charming. Can't the Athens of America at least manage that? Doesn't somebody have Anish Kapoor's or Olafur Eliasson’s phone number?

1 comment:

  1. To be fair, the project did include a striking (and at the time very unusual) bridge.