When walking down Avenue B by 2nd Street in Alphabet City, you may notice a garden with a rather unusual sculpture collection. Upon first glance, it seems akin to the Cathedral of Junk in Austin. However, this garden, entitled 2Bn2C, is the work of Ken Cro-Ken, a self defined eco-artist who aims to harness the power of nature in his art. We recently had a chance to talk with him amidst his unique creations.
As Cro-Ken tells us, he is “riding nature’s coattails” using paint “to show how nature works.” The aim of the garden is perhaps best encapsulated by his own writing, “My pursuit is constant: to remain connected to nature, a sense of play; and all that results from it.” In a comment to a post on EVGrieve, Cro-Ken continues, “the garden is in the spirit of the 1980’s and before; when art and found objects was an equal partner to nature’s display. ”
Ken, pictured here, named these two sculptures constructed from spray foam, “F.R.E.D” and “F.R.E.D.A” (for free reactive environmental design artwork).
Outside of 2Bn2C, Cro-Ken is a painter whose work has been honored by Hayden Planetarium, but he applies these same ideas to his sculpture gardenm which is more of a casual space for him to play around with different mediums. Cro-Ken calls it “reactive improvisation” in response to the balance of art history and nature.
The name is a play on the location of the garden on 2nd Street between avenues B and C. He welcomes the graffiti in the garden as simply part of the progress of nature, and even appreciates the added color in contrast with the green mats of the garden.
2Bn2C Garden also hosts events, such as an oboe concert as reported by EVGrieve. Interested in other sculpture gardens? Check out these spaces in San Francisco and New Jersey. Also, for more on Alphabet City, look at our Alphabet city tag.