New York City's Best Public Art Installations - Summer Edition

Kant Smith's "Ghost House" at Randall's Island Park

Kant Smith's "Ghost House" at Randall's Island Park

New York is constantly in motion, shedding layers, sometimes too, too fast. I, of course, enjoy immensely seeing public art installations rotate all over the city.  This summer, there is a particular influx of extraordinary art by extraordinary artists across the five boroughs.  Some of these installations will be up for an extra month, some will go on until 2015.  I think they are all worth seeing, exploring and interacting with. The beauty of public art is that it triggers reactions and teaches something new without confining works to the limitations of any particular physical structure. Here is my selection:

1. Jeff Koons's Split Rocker at Rockefeller Center

This has been pretty much Jeff Koons's year. With his extraordinary Whitney Museum retrospective and several collaborations including that cool limited edition handbag released a few weeks ago with H&M, Koons has had a phenomenal come back in 2014. And in the public art sphere, he isn't behind. Supported by the Public Art Fund, his gigantic flower-made "Split Rocker" sculpture right in the middle of Rockefeller Center is delighting New Yorkers and tourists alike. Everyone without exception "oooohs" and "aaaaahs" once in front of it. Until September 12, 2014

2. Rachel Feinstein's "Folly" at Madison Square Park

Rachel Feinstein has had many exhibits but this is her first public art commission. Comprised of "follies" or rococo structures made of thin metal (which amazingly and exquisitely look like paper) the three structures are taking up an important area inside Madison Square Park and evoking Fellini in the center of one of Manhattan's most beloved parks.  Until September 7, 2014

3. Katharine Grosse "Just the Two of Us" at MetroTech Commons in Brooklyn

Another hit of the Public Art Fund, German artist Katherine Grosse, created a mash-up of technicolor sculptures that embrace trees and completely changes the landscape.  The large scale pieces juxtaposed against the tranquility of the Metrotech Commons are like having an incredible maze of curious giant toys in a sandbox for adults. Until September 14, 2014

4. Ed Ruscha's "Honey, I Twisted Through More Damn Traffic Today" at the Highline

I love Ed Ruscha and this is his first public art installation in New York City.  Of course, he is poetic and smart but also ironic and knows that sometimes, the traffic in Manhattan, can be an experience from hell. This mural presents a rare opportunity for New Yorkers to interact with Ruscha's work (who has been living in Los Angeles since the 1960s) and whose public installations are quite infrequent.  Until May 2015 

5. Flow.14 - Group Show at Randall's Island Park

FLOW is an annual summer outdoor art exhibition put together by the Bronx Museum and Made Event. The show is at Randall’s Island Park and the objective is to encourage appreciation of the shoreline through artistic expression inviting the interaction of the spectators while encouraging the conservation of the park. The four emerging artists of this year are Dean Monogenis, who did the City Pillars installation in the picture above; Robert Raphael, who created a poetic yet architectural piece called "Folly"; Jessica Sanders, who sculpted chairs made of grass called "earth chairs) and Kant Smith who built an incredible house made of chainlink mesh. Until November 2014