Adding to Park Avenue’s hyperrealistic swimming sculptures, now hangs thousands of plastic water bottles in the shape of four chandeliers for a large-scale art installation from artist, Willie Cole.
Titled 3000 Buddha Chandelier, Liberty Lantern, Soul Catcher and Dirt Devil of 2023, the four chandeliers can be found between 69th and 70th Streets on the medians of Park Avenue. The installation is put on by The Fund for Park Avenue, an organization that works closely with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks Program to put on temporary exhibitions.
Cole consistently explores cycles, be it water, carbon or energy, throughout his work. With this installation, “Cole locates an intimacy between water bottles and cells; both consist of a modular unit that becomes a whole through repetition,” explains The Fund for Park Avenue.
The chandeliers are made from found objects such as irons, bicycles, water bottles, and shoes. Cole’s material choices reflect the installation’s commentary on gender, African American identity and consumerism.
According to NY1, the pieces came together with the help of New Jersey-based public art contracting company, JRAL. In total, the four chandeliers consist of 9,000 plastic water bottles.
Specifically, Buddha Chandelier features a Buddha image in every bottle used that’s printed with special ink on plastic. “I had a dream about a chandelier that had a Buddha in every bottle, so my first chandelier was a Buddha chandelier, and it’s actually my favorite,” said Cole to NY1.
Cole’s work has previously been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Knoxville Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou-Metz. His most recent commission, Jazz Bird, can be found at Kansas City International Airport.
So head over to Park Avenue to explore these mesmerizing chandeliers while they’re still hanging.