13. Max Colby’s Beaded Sculptures and 125-foot mural at Rockefeller Center

Max Colby's beaded sculptures.
Max Colby’s beaded sculptures. Photo by Daniel Greer. Courtesy of Art Production Fund.

To kick off the 2022 Art in Focus public art program, Brooklyn artist Max Colby will present her new art installation exploring traditional gender roles in a series of beaded sculptures and a 125-foot mural. Located in the lobby of 45 Rockefeller Plaza will be three custom installations of works from Colby’s series They Consume Each Other, which consists of 27 sculptures sitting atop glass plinths in mirrored vitrines. In addition, a 125-foot mural featuring paintings from Colby’s 2020 series copying 18th and 19th-century Crewel embroidery onto contemporary sticker sets will also be displayed in the building’s concourse. Having once been popular in Colonial America and Victorian England, the “crewel” style is characterized by pastoral floral imagery, connecting ‘natural labor’ with gendered labor expectations.

Additional murals highlighting the imagery of the They Consume Each Other series will be placed around Rockefeller Center. At both 10 and 45 Rockefeller Plaza, visitors can also look forward to being greeted by several works from Colby’s Elegies series. Through her installation, Colby aims to reframe traditional notions of domesticity, power, and gender from a trans and non-binary perspective — allowing viewers to reimagine their relationship with gender, class, and the mundane.