Thursday, August 14, 2014


Finally someone credible stepped forward to claim responsibility for switching out the flags on the Brooklyn Bridge. German artists Mischa Leinkauf and Mattias Wermke sent a short video to The NY Times, showing the installation of the white flags. The Berlin based duo have a long history of public work in high places throughout Europe and even a previous balloon piece on the bridge. These guys have the cred. and the history. I believe them.
   This piece takes it's place in public art history along side other famous European works in NYC. Two pre-9/11 works come to mind. The first is by another German duo Hans Winkler and collaborator known as "Paint the Town Red" covered the spotlights, lighting the Statue of Liberty, with red gels, washing the lady in red. A photographer waiting in a boat in the bay snapped the money shot.
   The granddaddy of all illegal art acts took place in one of the World Trade Towers. Back in the day there was a studio program available to artists at WTC. Artists like E Team had access to space high in one of the towers. An Austrian architectural group Gelitin was granted a residency. The first thing they did was pile large cardboard boxes in the space, making a giant wall, allowing them to work in private. They then proceeded to remove a window, cantilevered a long plank out the window, stood on the plank (90 floors above the city) and hired a helicopter to take the shot. As a post script, a year later the Austrian team was to show the documentation at a NYC gallery, the Port Authority threatening arrest. The opening was Sept. 11, 2001.  


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