In Central Park, Spencer Finch Has Them Lining Up for Soft-Serve Watercolors

THE DAILY PIC: A sun-powered truck serves sun-colored ice cream, as free art.

Spencer Finch, Sunset (Central Park). Photo: Blake Gopnik.


THE DAILY PIC (#1320): With the piece called Sunset (Central Park), by Spencer Finch, you get to have your conceptual art and eat it, too. Thanks to a Creative Time project called “Drifting in Daylight: Art in Central Park,” every Friday and Saturday through June 20 visitors to the park’s north end can enjoy a cooling soft-serve ice cream, free, served out from Finch’s artistic food truck. Gluttons who make several trips may notice that the color of their treat changes over the course of the day, to match the color of sunset skies that Finch has witnessed from the park. (Those colors are also reflected in his van’s paint job.)

Because the food truck’s machines are solar powered, there’s some sense that the sun that we all depend on for life – and that we head to parks to enjoy – is being condensed direct into a sun-colored treat. But maybe my favorite thing about the piece is its generosity, and fairness: Instead of simply demanding the time and attention and patience of its audience, as most conceptualism does, Finch’s art offers something concrete in return.

Too much art in public places can feel like an imposition from on high; Finch’s feels more like a gift exchange – as though J.M.W. Turner had arranged a trade with misters Baskin and Robbins. (Photo by Lucy Hogg)

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