Water Tank Art Project Finally Hits NYC Rooftops

The Water Tank Project, Lorenzo Petrantoni, Water Means Life (2014), in SoHo, New York. Photo: courtesy the Water Tank Project.

Believe it or not, there’s finally been a development in Word Above the Street‘s long-brewing Water Tank Project, as at least four artist-designed water tanks have been officially unveiled atop New York City buildings, DNAinfo reports. The initial round of works are from Laurie Simmons, Lorenzo Petrantoni, Sigrid Calon, and Odili Donald Odita. It’s a far cry from the 300 water tanks initially promised, but it’s definitely a start.

The Water Tank Project is the brainchild of filmmaker Mary Jordan, who is hoping to raise awareness of the scarcity of water in developing countries—an issue that has been in the news of late due to the popularity of the Ice Bucket Challenge (see “Lady Gaga Turned the Ice Bucket Challenge into Performance Art” and “Jeff Koons Took the Ice Bucket Challenge“).

As reported by artnet News back in June (in “Is New York’s Star-Studded Water Tank Project for Real This Time?“), the public art initiative had been trapped in the art world’s version of development hell (presumably red tape from the Department of Buildings and the Landmarks Preservation Commission) since first being announced way back in February 2012. We were skeptical that it would ever actually come to fruition, but are happy to have been proven wrong.

“We picked water tanks that had the best visibility and that were in the highest traffic areas,” Mitra Khorasheh, the project’s curatorial director, told DNAinfo of the first few locations. Petrantoni’s tank is in Soho on West Broadway, while the other three are in Chelsea. DNAinfo also mentions a Financial District tank, but there is no evidence of one on the official project map.

The hidden locations of other tanks will revealed in the coming weeks, and they will remain on view through October. About 60 artists in total are said to be participating, including Jeff Koons, Terry Richardson, and John Baldessari.

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