Quantcast

Elmgreen & Dragset, Van Gogh’s Ear, 2016. Artists’ rendering. Courtesy the artists and Public Art Fund, NY

For those of you familiar with the fake Prada Store that sits in the middle of nowhere outside Marfa, Texas (see photo below), you may be excited to hear that the same artists, Elmgreen & Dragset will be installing a sideways swimming pool, entitled “Van Gogh’s Ear,” at Rockefeller Center starting April 13th. The sculpture, organized by the Public Art Fund, plays at the urban dream, particularly of New Yorkers, for beautiful public swimming pools in dense, built up areas (+POOL is a possible reality, to be in the East River, the dumpster pools on Park Avenue a fleeting appearance for Summer Streets).

The sculpture will have a cyan blue interior, diving board, swimming pool lights, and a polished stainless steel ladder. As the Public Art Fund Press release states, “Conceived specifically for this site, where fashion, commerce, tourism, business, and art collide, the work playfully contradicts our expectations of both this familiar object and iconic site.” It also gives 30 Rock a cheeky run for its money, partially blocking the view of the skyscraper popular with tourists.

Elmgreen & Dragset, Van Gogh’s Ear, 2016. Artists’ rendering. Courtesy the artists and Public Art Fund, NY

Prada Marfa Store-Elmgreen & Dragset-Texas-Art InstallationElmgreen & Dragset, Prada Store in Texas

The vertical orientation, besides the element of surprise for the viewer, is meant to highlight the sculptural nature of a swimming pool, often hidden or overlooked when in its normal position. The artists want those passing by to notice the curves of the swimming pool from its varying depths, the diving board that protrudes from the sculpture, and the overall shape of the pool.

Elmgreen & Dragset, Van Gogh’s Ear, 2016. Artists’ rendering. Courtesy the artists and Public Art Fund, NY

Elmgreen & Dragset, Van Gogh’s Ear, 2016. Artists’ rendering. Courtesy the artists and Public Art Fund, NY

Elmgreen & Dragset are of course no stranger to incongruous artwork – and this piece makes the contrast between urban and suburban, West Coast and East Coast, art sculpture and city street life. The Public Art Fund finds that Van Gogh’s Ear “continues the idea of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades, which debuted a century ago and featured ordinary objects elevated to the level of high art by the choice of the artist. In contrast with these works, which were often only slightly modified, Elmgreen & Dragset have carefully designed and crafted each detail of Van Gogh’s Ear to mimic a garden pool.”

Van Gogh’s Ear will be on display at Rockefeller Center from April 13th to June 3rd, across from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Next, check out 10 art installations not to miss in this month in NYC.

Leave a Comment