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You have one weekend left to meet this giant Picasso lawn gnome

Written by
Howard Halle

Summertime means cutting the grass, so what better way to celebrate that weekend ritual than this 10-foot-high sculpture of Pablo Picasso harnessed to a lawnmower? Located on a patch of green at the corner of Degraw and Columbia Streets, The Spanish Gardener, as the piece is properly titled, makes a comic addition to the current lineup of NYC outdoor art (which has been particularly strong this summer with projects like Erwin Wurm’s Hot Dog Bus handing out free hot dogs at Brooklyn Bridge Park).

Picasso is the creation of artist Elliott Arkin, who’s made a reputation for himself as a gadfly poking fun at the elitist art world with works like his lawn-gnome renditions of famous artists—including Louise Bourgeois, Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei. But that’s only part of a colorful career, which has included working as a real estate agent, and also doing animation for the 2008 film version of Dr. Suess’s, Horton Hears A Who. He was also commissioned by opera superstars the Three Tenors (Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti) to create the official sculpture commemorating their 1996–1997 world tour.

These side jobs have allowed Arkin to create his work regardless of cost: He reportedly spent $120,000 out of his own pocket to build the Picasso installation. But if you want to see what that kind of money can buy in the flesh, you’ll have to hurry: The piece is slated to come down Sunday, so check it out while you still can.

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