Chakaia Booker’s Eerie Sentinel Statues to Stand Watch on Broadway

Chakaia Booker, Take Out, part of
Chakaia Booker, Take Out, part of "The Sentinels."

There is no shortage of art in New York City this time of year, as evidenced by artnet News‘s spring round-up of other sculptures gracing the city’s public spaces. Now, New York-based artist Chakaia Booker is throwing her hat in the ring with a group of five sculptures crafted from her material of choice, recycled car tires. Titled “The Sentinels,” the suite of works will be installed on the pedestrian esplanade on Broadway between 36th Street and 41st Street in early June.

Booker has utterly transformed the old rubber tires, shredding them into long strips using power tools and attaching them to a stainless steel framework constructed by her fabricator, Alston Van Putten Jr.

The individual works, called Shapeshifter, Gridlock, One Way, and Take Out, with a fifth work still to be named, have a dark, Gothic quality that is reminiscent of the supernatural horror stories of H.P. Lovecraft, the grandfather of science fiction. One of his best-known stories, “The Dunwich Horror,” was largely set on the foreboding Sentinel Hill.

The Garment District Alliance has organized the installation through Arterventions, part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program. “The Sentinels” was chosen from some 70 proposals.

“Year after year our summer art exhibit along ‘Broadway Boulevard’ is attracting some of the best and most creative artists in New York,” said Alliance president Barbara Blair Randall in a press release. “Chakaia Booker is a world-renowned artist and we expect ‘The Sentinels’ will be the most highly-anticipated and talked about installation we’ve ever presented.”

The Sentinels” will be on view from early June through mid-November.


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