There have been several interesting art projects on and/or soon to be under the water around New York harbor. Late last month a Harvest Dome built of discarded umbrellas was unexpectedly shipwrecked on Riker’s Island in New York’s East River. A day or two later, the folks at the fast food restaurant, Burger King, unveiled the world’s largest aluminum sculpture on a barge in honor of the 125th birthday of the Statue of Liberty. Whether a crown celebrating fast food is an appropriate symbol to use to honor the anniversary of the Statue of Liberty or whether it even qualifies as art, I will leave to the reader to decide. It did however set a Guinness World record. Finally, just a bit South of the harbor, a group known as Art as Reef is building a 50 by 23½-foot horseshoe crab sculpture to be sunk on the Axel Carlson Reef outside Manasquan Inlet. The sculpture will provide habitat for many marine species.
The Harvest Dome was a lovely, ephemeral dome built of the steel webs from cast off umbrellas. The dome was being moved on canoe pontoons from the Bronx to a public display in Inwood Hill Park in northern Manhattan, where the dome was meant to be on display through mid-November. A storm blew up, the dome broke free and was blown to Riker’s Island, the site of New York City’s main jail complex. The jail guards were not sure what to make of the sculptural dome, which landed on their shores. Sadly the dome was too damaged in the shipwreck (domewreck?) to be save. So the art that grew from refuse and trash was returned to its original state. The New York Times noted: “For sheer noble failure, the Harvest Dome of 2011 will be hard to match.” Thanks to Bowsprite for passing the story along.
Burger King, the fast food restaurant giant, fabricated an aluminum crown 15 feet high by 19 feet wide, 60 feet in circumference, in honor of the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. They floated the crown on a barge next to Lady Liberty in the harbor. Whether a symbol of monarchy or an icon of crash commercialism and high cholesterol is an appropriate tribute to the Statue of Liberty may be an open question. The crown did receive a Guinness World Record as the worlds largest aluminum sculpture.
A bit down the coast near the Manasquan River, Chris Wojcik, an artist working with the group known as Art as Reef, is building a forty-foot long, scale model of a horseshoe crab, which when completed will be sunk as an artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean off Manasquan Inlet.
From their website: The horseshoe crab was chosen because it is a perfect shape for a reef, containing a large area of protected habitat beneath and a shape that is designed by nature to withstand ocean currents and waves. The piece represents my belief that the oceans are a fragile place and that if a “living fossil” like the horseshoe crab, having thus survived longer than practically anything else on earth, is in trouble then it does not bode well for the sea as a whole.