PHYLLIS ODESSEY

ZIPPITIE DOO-DAH

FLAMING CACTUS
Astor Place

I use zip ties everyday to put up fencing, coil hoses, make trellises, create bamboo gates and fix stuff.  When I alighted from the subway at Astor Place the other night, my first impression was totem poles. 

If you’ve been to Astor Place just once in the last 30 years, you know it for the black cube,

a sculpture created by Tony Rosenthal in 1967.  It’s an icon.  This 15 foot black CorTen steel cube can be rotated and you often see one or more people actually moving it.

In addition, artist, Jim ‘Mosaic Man’ Power, now 60 years old has been covering the lamp posts at Astor for years.  The 80 mosaic lampposts comprise the ‘Mosaic Trail’ which runs from the Lower East Side to Eighth Street to Avenue A to Fourth Street.  “I’m trying to take the anxiety out of the city with beauty.”

 How did these come to be?

ANIMUSART
Flaming Cactus was debuted at Figment 2011 on Governors Island.  “It’s awesomeness caught the eye of the NYC’s Department of Transportation…12+ Flaming Cactuses will sprout up in and around Astor Place.

 We wanted to show that “making art doesn’t require a lot of resources, formal education, or even money.  Art and creativity are things we’re capable of.”

 In the Big Apple, street life is pretty interesting without any additions.  But they can still make a difference.  A lamppost is one of the more ugly utilities on the sidewalk.  These color sidewards stalagmites add color, texture and fun to whatever kind of day I am having.

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