For the moment, Rachel Feinstein is the darling of the art world. Her work for the Madison Square Park Conservancy, called Folly consists of three structures constructed of powdered coated aluminum and graphically printed. Feinstein sites Ballets Russes, Commedia dell’arte, Fellini movies, Piranesi prints, and Meissen porcelain as the historic influences for this work.
“I imagined my sculptures to be stage props on a large theatrical set
that was the park, with its trees as the first background layer on the stage and the buildings and city as the final painted backdrop”. Rachel Feinstein
I am a big fan of follies in the landscape. Feinsteins’ sculptures struck me as ornamentations, but not follies. The diameter of the fence around the follies, separates the viewer from the sculptures.
The above sign is across the street from Madison Square Park advertising a new tower. In a funny way, the white Rococo silhouettes of the signage bear an uncanny resemblance to Feinstein’s sculptures.
I understand why Feinstein thinks of these sculptures as theatrical backdrops. Even though they are three dimensional, they have a flatness that makes them feel like scenery on a stage. The fact that you cannot get close or interact with the work magnifies the detachment. The lawn acts as the proscenium.
What is really amazing about the Follies are their paper cutout character. There is a hand-drawn quality, which gives the work an impromptu quality, like looking through an artists sketchbook. You have until September 7 to see if you can get emotionally involved in the work.