12. Jordan Casteel Mural on the High Line

Jordan Casteel, The Baayfalls mural on the High LinePhoto by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy of the High Line.

On the side of a building along the High Line, a new mural went up at the end of December by Jordan Caastel entitled The Baayfalls. This high profile location has been the site of numerous previous High Line commissions, including the most recent by Dorothy Iannone, I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door. The Baayfalls is a based on a 2017 painting by Casteel, who is known for her larger-than-life canvas portraiture. She captures people she knows and also those she encounters in our daily routine around New York City, working from hundreds of photographs.

According to High Line Art, “The Baayfalls is a double portrait of Fallou—a woman Casteel befriended during her artist residency at The Studio Museum in Harlem—and Fallou’s brother, Baaye Demba Sow. The pair are pictured outside the museum at Fallou’s table, where she sold hats she designed. When Fallou’s brother arrived in New York from Senegal, Casteel asked the two to sit for a portrait. The title references Baye Fall, a sect of the Sufi brotherhood Mouride, of which Fallou’s brother is a member. The gesture Fallou makes with her left hand signifies Allah among members of Baye Fall. Casteel’s work for the High Line extends the Harlem sidewalk to the park, connecting public spaces of different neighborhoods across the city. Through her portraiture, Casteel adds deeply nuanced expressions of human experience to the expanding collection of images we see every day.” The Baayfalls will be on display until December 2020.