Skip to main content

Giant sculpture with "gritty vibrancy" arrives at Barclays Center, gets big promotion from Times Arts section (looks like mesa, flames, or gyro?)

Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times
Well, you can't blame the New York Times for glomming onto an exclusive, coverage of the new sculpture at the Barclays Center plaza, headlined (on the first Arts page) today, All Eyes on Her: ‘Ona,’ by Ursula von Rydingsvard, Arrives in Brooklyn, complete with an eight-photo slideshow.

After all, the Wall Street Journal got the exclusive preview in August, and it is worth explaining to the public.

But it's curious how the Times finds it easy to prominently cover this uncomplicatedly promotional story while ignoring, say, the impact of the MTV Video Music Awards on Prospect Heights neighbors or parent Forest City Enterprises' self-serving Corporate Social Responsibility report.

Or, as I wrote in April, distracting from the delays in delivering benefits such as subsidized housing or the jobs that were supposed to come with the office tower looming over the arena.

Consider: the sculpture likely cost less than $1 million, the upper end for one of von Rydingsvard's works. How many millions did developer Forest City Ratner save on real estate for the project, such as the cost of Pacific Street near the parking lot? Surely much more.

What does it look like?

From the article:
The piece has a bumpy, richly textured surface flecked with earth tones, and its shape can evoke the rocky outcroppings of a Western mesa or stylized flames, depending on your point of view.
Commenter Eric McClure suggests it looks like a gyro.

Some excerpts

From the article:
Just before midnight on Thursday, a truck pulled up in front of Barclays Center in Brooklyn with a nearly 12,000-pound delivery: a monumental cast-bronze sculpture called “Ona,” which means “she” or “her” in Polish.
A crane was standing by, and, as dozens of people looked on, it lifted the 19-foot-high abstract sculpture into place, right under the Center’s distinctive “oculus” overhang. By sunrise on Friday, “Ona,” by the artist Ursula von Rydingsvard, was greeting surprised passers-by.
...Ms. von Rydingsvard, who was born in Germany to Polish and Ukrainian parents, said that this prominent new public art was meant to be “democratic,” and that it was placed to face people as they emerged from the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center transit station.
“You don’t have to pay a fee or enter a museum, and no guard will tell you not to touch it,” she said, adding: “I would actually love people to touch it. The acid from fingers polishes it, like the Buddhas getting their bellies rubbed.”
...Like the Brooklyn brand, which has become famous the world over, it is self-consciously and deliberately rough-edged, and yet still something of a luxury product. (Barclays Center executives declined to disclose the project’s cost.)
The article goes on to discuss the evolution of Brooklyn as a place for public art, how Ona was built, and whether visitors will pay attention. And Forest City General Counsel David Berliner, the arena's art maven, was on message:
“It’s also the work itself,” Mr. Berliner said. “It is very powerful, it has an elegance, but it is very tough, and that is also very reflective of Brooklyn — it’s got a gritty vibrancy.”


Comments

  1. Looks like a big thing of gyro. Yummy.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…

Former ESDC CEO Lago returns to NYC to head City Planning Commission

Carl Weisbrod, Mayor Bill de Blasio's City Planning Commission Chairman and Director of the Department of City Planning, is resigning,

And he's being replaced by Marisa Lago, currently a federal official, but who Atlantic Yards-ologists remember as the short-term Empire State Development Corporation CEO who, in an impolitic but candid 2009 statement, acknowledged that the project would take "decades."

Still, Lago not long after that played the good soldier at a May 2009 Senate oversight hearing, justifying changes in the project but claiming the public benefits remained the same.

By returning to City Planning, Lago will join former ESDC General Counsel Anita Laremont, who after retiring from the state (and taking a pension) got the job with the city.

Back at planning

Lago, a lawyer, in 1983 began work as an aide to City Planning Chairman Herb Sturz, and later served as the General Counsel to the president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Weisbrod himself.