“Just in time for the holidays, three of New York City’s greatest communities come together in peace, love and OY,” said Brooklyn artist Deborah Kass, whose new work of art sits proudly on the Main Street lawn of the Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, in NYC.
The art she is referring to is a yellow aluminum statue that is over 8ft tall and it reads, very loudly “YO” or “OY” depending on where you are standing. The artists’s sculpture is cute innuendo for both the popular Yiddish expression “OY” along with the conversational and urban (and mostly street boy) greeting of “YO.” En Espanol Yo means ‘I am’ and in Yiddish Oy expresses ‘dismay.’ This new innovative art installation was commissioned for the park as a spectacle like the LOVE piece on the Avenue of the Americas in the city (if unfamiliar with that artscape, go on Instagram, type in those four pretty letters and you’ll see all the love you need this Christmas, I can assure you.) All of these letters of the alphabet in the art form create a three dimensional experience. That must be seen in three dimensions of the universe at this point, thanks to Instagram.
From the water, Kass’s art will look like ‘I Am’, and I was – in fact, I got in it, but from the park, the yellow monogram may look woeful, and I wasn’t, I stayed in it. Without any orderly direction I ran over to it one day – just abandoned my run and jumped the mini rope hurdle and had a little fun posing in the O. I’ve posed in the O in the LOVE sculpture in the city, but this child’s play day was a lot more entertaining because the tourists hadn’t gotten there yet. Probably were on line to feel the LOVE across the river.
These two stunning yellow letters, which have helped out many a worn scrabble player – those with only a few letters left to make any word at all (and the Y is always a 4 pointer at single letter score) can be seen from my office building, and it has been fun to watch all the “don’t walk on the grass” smartphony cats, taking their chances and running for a chance to get a double letter score. They come to find, as I did, that the grass is indeed greener on both sides of the grassy knoll under the artists installation. It is a virtual win/win pin. I’ve checked, Pinterest has interest.
The holy grail of this special spot on top of a small rolling hill between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, is where the magic stands tall. The sunlit neon yellow metal looks like it just dropped from the sky and onto this cultural melting pot lot that is NYC. In almost every neighborhood, in nearly every borough, there is beauty just by living in a fabulous metropolis where multiple views are welcome, encouraged and definitely worth taking into consideration. Who would give up the chance to witness all the wonderful creations that make NYC this phantasmagorical oasis, unlike any other city in the world. Kass concurred.
This artist and these pieces were commissioned by Two Trees Development (and partnered with Brooklyn Bridge Park) which underwrites and develops these DUMBO art pop ups and exhibits, to celebrate creativity, confusion and conversation, which continues to help bring the sculpture to life. And OY Vey what a job that must have been.
Deborah Kass’ art is on view at the MoMA, the Whitney, The Jewish Museum and the Guggenheim. She is now represented as a part of the new NYC waterfront promenade, a place to relax, take in the view or just read between the lines. Or run, which is what I started out to do in the first place. I stopped at the corner of OY and YO and decided not to go. Until, I saw the Sunday Selfie scene entering the greens.