Kitsch Fixes, Love

Kitsch Fix #21: Concrete and Roses

Steel rose sculpture on Park Avenue with a taxi cab and church door in the background

While kitsch is often defined as something that panders to lowbrow/popular tastes, it can also simply mean art that appeals strongly to sentimentality and emotion. Going off this latter definition, I’d say Will Ryman’s current public-art instillation on Park Avenue is the most glorious display of kitsch I’ve seen in a while. The installation features 38 giant rose sculptures that loom on steel stems about two stories above this famous Manhattan street, and the artist himself calls the work his “love letter to New York City.” The roses crawl with painted insects and there are also 20 larger-than-life petals scattered along the Park Avenue Mall between 57th and 67th Streets. It really is a sight to behold on a chilly winter’s day, and I loved the contrast between the biting New York cold and the surreal images of blossoming springtime. If you find yourself in the big apple before March 31, I highly recommend checking out these steely blooms.

Array of short-stemmed roses on the Park Avenue Mall

Beetle atop a pale pink rose

Rose sculptures winding against the skyline

Who cares if they’ve got a red light when there are giant roses to gaze at?

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