The 2020 Met Roof Garden Commission by Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour. Photo courtesy of the artist.
September offers a resurgence of new public art installations throughout New York City — quite the contrast to the subdued year it has been so far due to the coronavirus pandemic. New works started to appear in the month of August, as you may have discovered in last month’s public art guide and now the city is buzzing with significant new works. From the delayed Met Roof Garden Commission, which usually opens earlier in the year, to the world’s largest bronze gorilla, to the highly anticipated Women’s Rights Pioneer Monument in Central Park to the return of the Frieze installation, there’s a lot to see. So without further ado, here are the public art installations on display in New York City this September:
1. King Nyani at Hudson Park
The largest bronze gorilla statue in the world has arrived in New York City. Since last week, King Nyani has been on display at Bella Abzug Park in Hudson Yard. The statue is designed to raise awareness about the endangered mountain gorilla species, of which only around 1000 remain worldwide, and to change the perception of gorillas among New Yorkers. Instead of terrorizing New York City atop the Empire State Building, this gorilla will be giving out free hugs to any willing New Yorkers. In fact, its giant hands are designed to hold 2 to 3 people at a time.
King Nyani is a continuation of a series of works by Gillie and Marc, donated to place around the world, which have highlighted endangered species as part of their initiative Love the Last. Their statues of the last three northern white rhinos were on display in Astor Place in 2018 (now only two of the rhinos remain). King Nyani is based on an actual gorilla, the head of a family of mountain gorillas that Gillie and Marc met on a trip to Uganda. It is almost 23 feet long, 8.5 feet high and weighs 4,766 pounds. See more photos here.