1.5 miles of bamboo, 200 gallons of tar and enamel, 600 yards of burlap and 16 tons of steel = Analogia, the new installation by the artist, Ben Tritt at Bryant Park. According to the PR information, Analogia is the largest free-standing structure of its kind. It’s composed of two 60-ft towers located at the Fountain Terrace in Bryant Park (41 st and 6th Ave.) . The paintings are inspired by sculptures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tritt’s painting shares a tactile quality with a Jackson Pollack. The narrative elements emerge from the paint as the figures in Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase.
Half the cost of the installation was paid for by selling Tritt’s work. Tritt and his producer, Jodi Kaplan, intend to fund the rest of the work with a kickstarted campaign. I found the painting wonderful.
The actual construction of the structure did not work for me. The paintings are launched on a scaffolding of bamboo. It’s hard not to compare it to Big Bambu by Doug and Mike Stern. In that piece, the medium was the message. Perhaps the actual structure of this piece is irrelevant. Analogia is billed as a “temporary gateway to Bryant Park”. The one-dimensional nature of the installation, make it seem more stage set than architectural object.
For the opening of the piece, Tritt and Kapan organized a series of performances. Each artist was asked to interpret the artwork.
These performances were amazing. Luckily, the weather cooperated. The mild temperatures felt like Spring might actually arrive. The only disappointing aspect of the opening: Ben Tritt and Jodi Kaplan sitting front and center, eating hamburgers, munching on potato chips and playing with their phones. If I had put the time and effort to organize this amazing production, I think I would have held off my hunger pains and watched respectively as the dancers and singers performed.
For the opening, chairs and tables were corralled around the installation interrupting Analogias’ impact as a gateway and a sculptural/painted architectural construction. I intend to go back and take another look.
Installation at Bryant Park, March 8-18, 2014