With museums in New York City shut down through the majority of the summer and with the city’s citizens starving for a cultural respite, outdoor art installations have become our only temporary sources of aesthetic joy. With this in mind, depending on your political affiliations, Hudson Yards might strike you as either a glimmering new source of innovative real estate in Manhattan or as a luxury retail-obsessed eyesore.
Regardless, through the week of August 17, Hudson Yards is introducing new outdoor art to its square footage with a public art exhibition entitled #HYxOffTheWall. Produced by the art activation agency Muros and featuring work by the artists Key Detail and Elle, the artworks will occupy 5,000 square feet of space along 11th avenue.
Another key aspect of this installation is that from Monday through Saturday of this week, from 9 in the morning to 7 at night, the mural artists themselves will be visible to the public and working on their creations. This feature is certainly in keeping with the themes of the artwork, which revolve around inclusion, togetherness and social interaction; three things that have decidedly been kept from New Yorkers in recent months. Specifically, the artwork will be visible around the Public Square and Gardens in Hudson Yards, meaning that interested citizens should visit as soon as possible if they’re cooped up and bored inside.
“HY is one of my favorite places in NYC,” Key Detail told Observer on Thursday. “I’m so honored to be a part of this massive complex and neighborhood. I want to showcase the people of the community because they’re the ones who make it what is. I also live in this neighborhood and want to capture the energy of it in my art.”
When it comes to outdoor art, there are several feasible options in the city: you could go with Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge Park or Storm King and feel totally satisfied with every visit. But there’s something post-apocalyptic about Hudson Yards that attracts just as much as it raises questions, and when that energy is coupled with fantastically-rendered mural art, something interesting is likely to be produced.
This piece has been updated to include a quote from Key Detail.