8. Higher Goals, David Hammons (1986)

David Hammons, Higher Goals, 1986, Mixed Media. Photo by: Pinkney Herbert / Jennifer Secor, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY

In 1986, artist David Hammons covered five telephone poles with net and over 10,000 bottle caps, and then topped them with a basketball backboard to give the appearance of extremely high basketball nets. The poles were located in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn for a period of time in 1986. The Cadman Plaza Artist-in-Residence Program was an ongoing project of the Public Art Fund and The Rotunda Gallery, and was produced in cooperation with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation with support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Hammons’ three-story tall “basketball hoops” were a statement commenting on the highly unlikely aspirations of escaping inner city ghettos by way of athletics. On his art, Hammons stated, “It takes five to play on a team, but there are thousands who want to play- not everyone will make it, but even if they don’t at least they tried.”

Overall, Higher Goals took Hammons eight weeks to construct.