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The streets of New York are always in constant flux — and so is the art. Over at Hudson Yards, the cows have made way for extravagant flower displays and a 4,766 pound gorilla has swapped places with a Big Apple. Also, mysteriously, a Shadowman has appeared on W37th Street…
This week, the team at Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance (HYHK) unveiled their latest art installation in Bella Abzug Park. BIG APPLE by Canadian artist Félix Marzel is an interactive apple-shaped sculpture. It will be on W34th Street between 10/11th Avenue for 11 months.
“You can take in 360° views of the park through the cutout apple slices. The BIG APPLE has been envisioned as a space where one can dream,” said HYHK’s Nikkole Mojica. The installation was made possible with funding from Amazon NYC and the Québec Government.
Previously, HYHK’s ambitious public art program had hosted King Nyani, a sculpture by renowned artists Gillie and Marc Schattner. Although the huge interactive gorilla has now taken up a permanent home at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, there’s still the chance to see more work by Gillie and Marc just a couple of blocks away at the new Peloton One HQ on 9th Avenue between W34/35th Street. The sculpture They Were The Last Three shows the only remaining white rhinos in the world — Fatu, Najin and Sudan — at play.
Meanwhile, at Hudson Yards, the Cow Parade has been replaced by Fleurs De Villes: Rosé — an immersive flower show featuring 10-foot high mannequins styled by over 20 of New York’s top florists. The installation is in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Walk a few more blocks to W37th Street and you will discover a true New York street art mystery. On the railway bridge between 9/10th Avenue, in the middle of the established mural, a man has appeared. Next to his striking figure is a small statement “Money looks better in my possession!”
There’s a small QR code that gives a hint to the art’s provenance — Richard Hambleton. Canadian-born Hambleton is known as “the godfather of street art” and his “shadowman” is his signature work. However, he died at the age of 65 in October 2017.
Walking along W37th, another “shadowman” appears in the old parking lot of CC Rental. Research on fake Hambleton art brought us to the story of Californian artist Jason Harrington who will be sentenced next week after he pleaded guilty to selling $1.1m in forged artworks to at least 15 galleries and individuals between 2018 and 2020, according to the US Department of Justice.
So who is the shady creator of these new Shadowmen? Let the mystery unfold…