Anne Pasternak Tells Us Why New York City Is Nothing Without Art and Artists

Eight artists surprise Central Park visitors this summer.

“Drifting in Daylight,” the latest public art project from Creative Time, is a sprawling, ambitious series of works by eight artists, scattered across New York’s Central Park.

When the Central Park Conservancy approached Creative Time director Anne Pasternak about creating a project to celebrate its 35th anniversary, there was no turning down the opportunity to show art in one of New York’s most-loved landscapes.

Pasternak looked at “how we use the park, whether it’s eating an ice cream cone, or listening to music, or having a private conversation in a very public space,” she told artnet News in the video above.

Each of the eight artists has responded directly to the location. Karyn Olivier was inspired by its history, creating a billboard referencing the park’s glacial past and the residents of its short-lived Seneca Village, while Spencer Finch’s sunset-colored ice cream cones, based on the evening sky over the park, predictably, have been a big hit. The artist’s truck distributes as many as 1,500 on a single day—provided the sun cooperates, as the whole operation is solar powered.

At noon, a crowd has already gathered on the banks of the Harlem Meer awaiting Ragnar Kjartansson’s S.S. Hangover, a 1930s Icelandic fishing boat carrying a brass sextet. For six hours a day, the musicians play a soaring composition by Kjartan Sveinsson, the former keyboardist for the band Sigur Rós.

David Levine’s restaged movie scenes are also a treat to behold. For anyone simply wandering through, the performances may blend into the hustle and bustle of a busy summer day in the park. For example, an iconic, intimate scene from Cruel Intentions takes place in Sheep’s Meadow, where countless couples are engaging in PDA on any given day.

The majority of the action, however, is focused on the northern end of the park, which is not as frequented by tourists. It’s a celebration of underappreciated treasures as the Meer and the Conservatory Garden, and acts as a special treat for locals who already know what the rest of New York is missing.

“Drifting in Daylight” is on view Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., May 15–June 20, 2015.

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