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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.”


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


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