James Yamada’s “Our Starry Night” at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

James Yamada's "Our Starry Night" at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

Thank goodness for the Public Art Fund, their latest work on Doris C. Freedman Plaza at the very prominent corner of Central Park (60th Street & Fifth Avenue), is a pretty fun work of art perfectly suited the the public corner…unfortunately most people will not realize how in tune it is with its surroundings.

According to the press materials:

Built from powder coated aluminum and punctuated with 1,900 colored LED lights, Our Starry Night is a 12-foot-tall sculpture that acts as an interactive passageway to Central Park. As visitors to the park walk through the sculpture at all hours of the day and night, it will illuminate in response to each person individually.

…Common everyday metal objects such as cell phones, keys, belts, jewelry, cameras, computers, and the like will trigger the lights; the luminosity and the light patterns seen in the piece will correspond to the quantity of metal detected. Our Starry Night is literally activated by the public, reinforcing the notion that art — and particularly public art — is dependent on the people around it. (source)

I was trying to figure out the origin of the monolithic form. I’m guessing its a liberal mix of a tree-like shape, 60s psychedelia, childhood craft (string art, spiralgraphs, etc.) and funerary sculpture (think the Ara Pacis). Now, why that is? I can’t quite say.

James Yamada's "Our Starry Night" at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

I particularly loved how the interior passageway clearly reflected the silhouettes of people that walked by.

James Yamada's "Our Starry Night" at Doris C. Freedman Plaza

I can’t wait to check it out at night. The only sad thing was that some of the LED lights were obviously busted by kids or troublemakers. The work is up until October 28, 2008.

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