This new interactive sculpture in Union Square wants you to be a part of it

Can you contort your body into the letter E?

Ian Kumamoto
Written by
Ian Kumamoto
Staff Writer
outdoor sculpture
Photograph: By Jane Kratochvil / Courtesy of Shutterstock

If you find yourself around Union Square any time soon, head over to the park's center lawn to see a brand new interactive sculpture by artist Pasha Radetzki. There is a catch, though: you have to complete the statue yourself, with your own body.

The public installation consists of three eight-foot-tall interlocking letters made of colored plywood that spell out "LOV" and invites New Yorkers to form the letter "E" at the end to complete the word. Can you contort your body that way? 

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The latest addition to the park is part of a series called "Love-Ego=LOV," which is inspired by notions of egoless love, unity, freedom and the bond between all humans in a chaotic and violent world. 

From the artist's perspective, the letter 'E' represents one's self and ego, which is in juxtaposition with the meaning of the sculpture's completed word. 

The public art piece also features a miniature garden called "The Three Sisters-Americas," which is inspired by the concept of Abya Yala, a term used by some Indigenous communities to refer to the interconnectedness of the American continent, including its plants. 

Together with the garden, the interactive sculpture explores several themes that will invite you to pause and reflect on your surroundings in a hectic city.

“Creating ‘Love-Ego=LOV’ has been a deeply personal exploration of unity in the lively tapestry of our urban NYC environment,” Radetzki said in an official statement. “This project represents my journey as an artist and a first-generation American to find connection and collaboration in my new home."

Union Square has hosted several avant-garde works of art in recent years, including “N.Y.C. Legend,” a bronze statue that paid homage to a beloved folktale at Triangle Park, street murals by Queens-based artist Talisa Almonte, Vanesa Álvarez, Ji Yong Kim, and the street artist team GERALUZ and WERC.

The latest work of art will be on display for the next six months. 

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