Love Letters, by Soft-Firm, the winner of the 13th annual Love in Times Square Design Competition is now on view and open at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets. The installation curated by Reddymade and developed in consultation with worthless studios will remain on view until March 10, 2021.
These days many native New Yorkers tend to avoid the often chaotic tourist mecca of today’s Times Square except when they need to traverse the Midtown streets on their way to a Broadway play. But that would be a mistake considering they would miss Love Letters, one of the awesome art activations that happen on the streets of Times Square thanks to Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance. From a photo booth installation by French artist JR to Kehinde Wiley’s first monumental public sculpture, Rumors of War, Times Square visitors are treated to amazing art installations year round.
Perfect for February, the traditional month of love, Love Letters is an installation formed of two interlocked hearts. The work is comprised of curving walls of repurposed and donated plywood from building façades across New York City with alternating mirrored windows and safety net interwoven within the plywood. The structure serves as a lyrical armature for an outdoor respite. Love Letters invites viewers to interact with the piece both physically and within the context of alter like ritual by encouraging the public to participate in the installation by leaving their own love letters within the sculpture.
Talitha Liu and Lexi Tsien The Soft-Firm team atop Love Letters
Dress warmly and plan to spend some quality time outside with the installation. There are plenty of safe nooks and crannies to explore. Various parts of the outdoor interactive sculpture include the “Soap Box” outward facing seating that doubles as a stage for public speaking and performance. The “Love Seat” provides a more secluded bench for a pair, while the “Chapel” supports two tiers of seating for a small group to meet safely and view Times Square from an elevated perspective. The enclosure then rises to eye level in the “Wishing Well” as a space for meditation and reflection. Love Letters presents an outdoor respite that allows for visual connection from a safe distance. When viewed from above you see the sculpture’s double heart shape.
Suchi Reddy, Founder of Reddymade said, “Soft-Firm’s winning proposal for the 2021 Times Square design competition is a poetic exploration of the transformations that 2020 wrought on our understanding of our communities. Love Letters is a beautiful architectonic expression of the line dividing our private and communal selves, explored through the new significance that plywood as a material has acquired in our collective psyche.”
Love Letters will be the centerpiece of activities on Valentine’s Day in Times Square, including safe and socially distanced weddings, surprise proposals, and a (mostly) virtual vow renewal ceremony featuring a few select couples joining in person. For more information or for those who wish to participate, they can visit: www.TSQ.org/Love.
Next, check out 12 art installations to see this month in NYC.