Brooklyn Bridge Park Sculpture Ties Together Two New York Expressions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two letters of the alphabet are bringing two distinctly New York expressions to life in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Artist Deborah Kass told CBS2’s Elise Finch she was inspired by her New York Jewish upbringing to put her twist on Edward Ruscha’s 1962 painting of the word “OOF.”

“It just came to me, ‘OY!’ So I made a painting that said ‘OY’ and it was up in my gallery — Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea — and a friend said ‘I passed by the gallery and I saw the painting. You know the reflection said ‘Yo.’ And I said I think I should paint that,” Kass said.

And so she did. Eventually, she wanted to see the two words together and in 3-D, so she created a small OY-YO sculpture.

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Recently, Kass was commissioned by Two Trees Management company to create a larger, 8 by 17 foot aluminum version of her piece.

It was erected on Monday and is already a hit among parkgoers.

“It is very clever, but it’s typical of life. It’s what your perspective is,” said one man.

“I think it’s a good conversation piece,” said another.

Kass said it doesn’t matter which side you see the sculpture from or which word resonates more with you, she just hopes people identify with her artwork.

“I think that’s what we want out of our culture and what we want out of art and what we want out of the world around us: to see ourselves,” said Kass.

The sculpture will be on display through August.

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