Sunday, July 31, 2011

Times Square National Debt Clock

This is the marquee-sized national debt clock in Times Square, located at 1133 Sixth Avenue at 44th Street, hanging near the entrance to the city's Internal Revenue Service office in midtown Manhattan. The clock keeps a running tally of the U.S. national debt, which has reached more than $14 trillion as of today, as well as the portion of that debt owed by every family, which is about $122,000. The late real-estate developer Seymour Durst was obsessed with the national debt. In 1989, he had the 8-by-11-foot digital counter installed to remind Americans how much the government had put them in the hole.
"If the debt stops, the clock will stop. If the debt goes up, the clock goes up. If the debt goes down, the clock will reverse itself, said Jordan Barowitz, spokesman for the Durst Organization, which owns the iconic ticker. 
In recent weeks, the US national debt crisis has grabbed the headlines. Tonight, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders reached an agreement on a legislative package that would extend the federal debt ceiling while cutting spending and guaranteeing further deficit-reduction steps.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Romero Britto's "SQUEAEKI" And "BULLDOG" At Time Warner Center


Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto is known for hi use of vibrant colors and bold patterns that are a visual language of hope, happiness and optimism. His two limited edition sculptures, Squeaki and Bulldog are no exception. These pieces are currently on display at the lobby of the Time Warner Center. Britto's works, which reflect his optimistic faith in the world around him, are characterized by his use of intense colors, pop themes and commanding compositions. 

About Romero Britto

ROMERO BRITTO is an artistic activist for charitable organizations worldwide and most of all an artist who believes art is too important not to share. Britto donates to over 300 charitable organizations a year. He has met with Presidents, Ambassadors and dignitaries around the world facilitating programs through his art to promote literacy and peace. Not a silent activist, for four years, Britto has been an invited to be a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Romero Britto was also named an inaugural founding benefactor of the Harvard International Negotiation Program. Britto is committed to developing and supporting the powerful role art will continue to play in world issues.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LOVE By Marisol (Marisol Escobar)

LOVE (1962) is a sculpture made of plaster and glass (Coca-Cola bottle) sculpture (6 1/4 x 4 1/8 x 8 1/8" (15.8 x 10.5 x 20.6 cm) created by Venezuelan artist, Marisol Escobar. This piece is now on view at the Museum of Modern Art. Marisol was born in France in 1930.

Monday, July 25, 2011

FIGURATIONS: Fashionably Nude Female Sculptures In The Fashion District's Broadway Plaza

Figurations: The Fashion District Pilings Project is a new exhibit on the Broadway Plazas in the Fashion District from 36th to 41st Street. Joan Benefiel created 30 translucent resin female nude sculptures that "provoke and encourage narrative interpretation." The glowing pieces are installed on tall wooden pilings. Although I think the figures are too small for the venue, they appear simultaneously confident and pensive, thoughtful and restless, carefree and precarious. They glow beautifully, the intensity dependent on the amount of light around them. The work was selected by the Fashion Center. The display continues through the end of August.

Joan Benefiel describes the work as follows: “The awkward beauty of these figures in this unlikely environment is symbolic of the balancing act we perform as we make our way in a challenging and changing world. And that includes making our way up and down the packed Broadway blocks in the summer sun. The figures simultaneously convey a sense of precariousness and joy.”

Sunday, July 24, 2011

First Day of Marriage Equality in New York: Manhattan Gay Weddings Photo Album

Long line of gay couples waiting outside the Office of the City Clerk 
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
The cast of Avenue Q, the Tony Award winning musical showing their support
Press Conference
Family and friends of newlyweds

Today, 484 gay and lesbian couples made history by legally exchanging vows for the first time in the state of New York. In Manhattan, the couples patiently lined up first thing in the morning at the Lower Manhattan City Clerk Office to get married. The atmosphere was very festive and joyous. New York legalized same-sex marriage in June. The Marriage Equality Act was a priority for Gov. Andrew Cuomo after winning election in November. The law was passed under a Republican-led Senate after days of delays and negotiations between the two parties.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the legislators who voted for marriage equality, and called this a proud day to be a New Yorker: "This is a statement that we should all feel good about. New York has always been about equality and bringing people in. New York has always been about acceptance...This state has always been at the progressive lead in making statements of equality, that this is a land of opportunity. This is a land of equality," he said today.

For portraits of some newlyweds, click here (from the New York Times).