Iriquis Walk

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Fate unknown

The Disappointed Tourist: Iriquis Walk, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 24 x 18″ (61 x 46 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

This sculpture stood at the corner of Jay and Tech Street. The artist Allen Mooney was the chair of the Art and Art History Department and a professor at SUNY Cortland from 1987 – 2006. I tried to reach Allen Mooney but was unsuccessful so if you know him, please let him know that I painted his artwork.  The painting is based on an uncredited photograph.

The orange sculpture was a tripod of sorts, made of I-beams with a Bert-like tuft of metal hair on top. It was positioned in an awkward, in-between buffer zone designated for landscaping, sandwiched between the New York City Technical College building and a street in downtown Brooklyn. A bit too small to be monumental, and a bit too large to relate to the people walking by, it stood slightly above them, uncomfortable with its height, like a tall pre-teen. . . In January 2002, New York City Technical College underwent an external renovation, and a blue scaffolding “skirt” was built around the perimeter of the building. Now, it looked like the sculpture was forced to slump in order to fit under this new structure. The scaffolding had been chopped up in awkward ways to accommodate the top of the sculpture. Large construction vehicles and dumpsters were brought onto the side street to cart away debris, and for several weeks a garbage truck was parked with its rude, gaping rear-end provocatively facing the sculpture. A few days later, a long streamer of yellow caution tape was anchored to a lamppost on one end and the sculpture on the other. The I-beams, which before had perhaps reflected the artist’s interest in the sculptural qualities of industrial materials, now seemed merely part of the language of demolition. Nina K.