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Thursday, June 11, 2020

"The Horses" (A Jean-Marie Apprio Exhibit)

Yesterday, I had to go for a diagnostic test for an impending procedure that needs to be done in my mouth. Re my walking trip to the medical testing facility, the walk to get there wasn’t too stressful and I’m happy to report that after only being out of my home due to lockdown restrictions and recommendations since March) to attend an appointment with the orthopedist and then to attend therapy, that walking fourteen city blocks south (city blocks are relatively short) and then ten crosstown blocks (crosstown are relatively long), I wasn’t phased, which means on some levels I am in good physical shape.

It was very hot and humid too but most people on the streets were wearing face-masks and social distancing. However, it was sad to see so many other stores and office buildings boarded up (I published information re places being boarded up on the UWS in a fairly recent entry here on Blogger). Even some high-end Eastside condos had their lobby entrances boarded up.

However, my travel route did cause me to come upon an art installation at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza (near an entrance to Central Park at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue ), known as  The Horses, featuring the works by Jean-Marie Apprio. A banner for the exhibit can be seen in the photograph atop this entry.

Additionally, a few photo-ops of the exhibition can be seen directly below.

A web-page for The Public Art Fund (who curated the exhibition) has this to say re the artist and the pieces featured in this installation.

"Jean-Marie Appriou’s massive equine sculptures stand like surreal sentinels at the entrance to Central Park. The artist was inspired by the horses nearby who pull tourists in carriages through the city and by Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s gilded monument of William Tecumseh Sherman on horseback just opposite this site at Grand Army Plaza. However, Appriou’s sculptures poetically reimagine the species. The artist carved clay and foam models to cast in aluminum, emphasizing the tool marks and fingerprints of his tactile process. The works’ jagged textures and silvery surfaces create a dynamic play of light and shadow as we move around them, emphasizing the hallucinatory qualities of their composition and imbuing them with a dreamlike energy.

Appriou (b. 1986, Brest, France) has fashioned the forms of The Horses as fantastical beasts with hybrid characteristics and human qualities, placing them in a long tradition of mythological animal artworks. With their curious compositions and titles, these horses suggest: a daunting gateway formed by an armor-clad warrior (Le Guerrier/The Warrior), a forest of legs of entwined lovers (Les Amants au Bois/The Lovers in the Woods), and a sphinx-like mystic seated on its haunches and draped in an embellished cape (Le Joueur/The Player). They encourage us to make our own imaginative associations and to reconsider how civic sculpture addresses its public. Rather than an equestrian statue upon an elevated pedestal, these horses invite audiences through them, under them, and around them – bringing us closer to the formal dynamism and psychic mystery of these majestic creatures."

Moreover, there is additional this event within a video that's posted on Vimeo.

If Doris C. Freedman Plaza sounds familiar to you, dear reader,  I have referenced it in prior posts here on Blogger, including a time when I discussed an exhibition that Yinka Shonibare, another artist, had in this very location.

I also referenced this location in a March 2018 blog post where a copy of the following photograph featuring a pigeon is included.


Pigeons are just one of many bird varieties that are included in my three volume book series, Words In Our Beak.


And to reiterate what I've been saying here on Blogger, "During this time where many people are confined to their homes due to lockdown restrictions (re the coronavirus pandemic), these books (whose stories are set in my rooftop garden) are great to have around as a reminder that there is still so much beauty in our fallen world."

It's also good to note that these books make for a great gift to anyone who is a dad, and with Father's Day coming up later in the month, order your copies now to insure delivery in time for the holiday.

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