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A cool new art installation is coming to Central Park’s entrance

Written by
Howard Halle

Expect a little more color this spring thanks to a new addition to New York’s considerable trove of public art and outdoor monuments.

On March 7, the Public Art Fund is unveiling a new sculpture for the Doris C. Freedman Plaza at the southeast entrance to Central Park. Covered in a colorful, hand-painted pattern, Wind Sculpture (SG) I, as it's is called, is the handiwork of British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE. (MBE stands for Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which was awarded to the artist in 2004.)

The piece consists of an undulating fiberglass form measuring 23 feet high. Its pattern is based on batik print fabric, which the Dutch began to produce in Indonesia to sell in to the African market during the 1800s. According to Shonibare, the story of this export embodies the legacy of colonialism, a subject he's focused on in his work. The artist has also said that the color scheme—turquoise, red and orange—was inspired by his childhood on the beaches near his home in Lagos, Nigeria. The shape of the work, meanwhile, is meant to suggest a ship representing “a migration borne aloft on the cross currents of colonial history.”

Catch it before it sails away on October 14. 

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