On July 12 this past weekend, I visited Socrates Sculpture Park with some friends. I heard good things about this park so I wanted to see it for myself, and ventured all the way out to Queens to visit. Did I mention that it’s open every day for free ?!
This overhead piece by Meschac Gaba greeted us at the door.
When I took a closer look, I realized that all the colorful slivers are flags of the world. Now the title makes more sense, huh?
“This optically spectacular work presents a humorous image of idealism and optimism for resolutions to the difficulties and crises that divide our world.” (SSP)
I like how it’s the first thing visitors see and receive a welcoming message.
Next, the sculpture to the left of the entrance is a woodwork that reminds me of Noah’s Ark.
We were basically inside an upside down boat. And according to the artists,
It is “an imposing, fanciful, yet purposeless structure: a boat without water, a house without inhabitants, a simple hulking mass of a conflicted typology.” (SSP)
Now that was deep. Nevertheless, we had fun taking pictures inside the ark!
(Photocred to Junqi Zhai)
There was also a little farmer’s market. When I say little, I mean little – like four stands or so.
The third exhibition is by artist Žilvinas Kempinas.
In fact, it is the “largest installation in Socrates’ 28-year history.” “The sculpture is a 250-foot-long, thirteen-foot-high kinetic pathway composed of 200 stainless steel, mirrored poles connecting energetic slopes of silver Mylar ribbon overhead” (SSP).
The metallic streamers held between two poles on either end twist and turn in the wind. They especially glint brightly under the sunlight – I was pleased to see sun-stars in the picture above!
I quickly found out that this was a very small park. In twenty minutes we thought we were done seeing everything (aka all of the artwork mentioned above), but I spotted this giant in the distance hiding under the shade.
The “Queen Mother” was made of various bit of trash or treasure, depending on how you look at it.
You can climb inside of her and have a seat (as Christy did when eating her apple). There’s something very “Mother Naturey” about her and I felt like I was entering a preserved or even sacred place. The act of turning trash into art definitely lends to this feeling of preservation and the sculpture’s symbolism adds to her sacredness.
“Althamer’s sculpture is dedicated to and inspired by “Queen Mother” Dr. Delois Blakely, a U.S. Ambassador of Goodwill to Africa,who has been the Community Mayor of Harlem since she was sworn in by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 1995. Queen Mother of Reality serves as a call to highlight the numerous displaced and homeless of New York City – Dr. Blakely’s paramount cause.” (SSP)
Behind the Mother is this peaceful view of the city across the East River.
This place is definitely nice to come chill on a nice day, have a picnic, read a book, meditate, etc. But on that day, I wanted a bit more action and excitement to fill up the rest of the afternoon! We ended up visiting the Guggenheim (post coming up!), but the free LIC Art Bus is also a great way to shuttle between the park and other museums in the area.
Have you ever visited a sculpture park? Where would you suggest going?
Thanks for reading!