I Confess. At First blush I struggled to call this art.

I tripped across an article from The Gothamist today, about Katharina Grosse

who unveiled an installation called ‘Rockaway!”: a decaying Fort Tilden military building transformed by layers of white, red, and magenta paint. The abandoned beachside structure will be torn down later this year, but it’s ending its days in a bright flash of raucous color inspired by the Rockaway sunset.


To back up a bit, a history of Fort Tilden written by The National Park Service page on the Fort:

The Rockaway peninsula’s first fortification came much earlier than Fort Tilden. Records indicate that a blockhouse was constructed during the War of 1812. This represented the 2nd system of defense.

It was not until over a century later that fortifications once again took shape on the peninsula. A large parcel of land was purchased that bordered the land already being used by the Treasury Department as a Coast Guard Station. On August 1, 1917 Fort Tilden was officially named for former New York Governor, Samuel J. Tilden.

The building and fortification construction began 1917. The emergency fortifications being built for World War I represented the Taft system of defense.

From the end of World War I through the 1930s, Fort Tilden was occupied only by a caretaker detachment.

A building construction period began in mid-1930s with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) completing many buildings. World War II began in Europe in 1939 and troops arrived at Fort Tilden in 1941. Approximately ninety new buildings were constructed for the war effort.

Katharina transformed the abandoned building, splashes of reds that at first I thought was really hideous – like what a way to ruin the building and the poor Tilden family members still alive have to see this??



But then I watched the YT video and I saw the work in a whole new light. Her approach is fascinating, her concept and thought process ring true. So maybe it’s not for everyone but at least now I get where she was going and don’t find it objectionable anymore. I came around to calling it art.

If nothing else, before the building gets torn down, Fort Tilden will stand in some more glory than it did covered in graffiti and falling down.

Do I hear Yay or Nay?

17 thoughts on “I Confess. At First blush I struggled to call this art.

  1. Yeah from me.
    Last 15 minutes of fame…Selection of murder scene reds…
    Lots of concepts to keep the mind busy
    Oh! Oh! Could all the current demolition projects have this kind of Last Hurrah?

  2. Yay but if you didn’t know about the artist or see the video, a casual walker-by of the painted facade would presume graffiti. Hard to tell the difference.

    OT: It’s being reported that HRC emailed classified info after she left SecofState office.

    1. Good point Jane about the casual observer to the red paint. I am sure I would NOT know it as art. But then again, I’m really art dense.

      I’ve seen a couple of tweets re the Hillary email, but until it becomes breaking news on CNN or NBC, I’m going to go about my day as if nothing happened. And I’m sure Hillary will too.

  3. They can call it whatever they want, it’s not to my taste.

    I am mentally preparing myself for the reality that I live in a third world country:

    and then there’s this:

    I guess if you like your dictator (or not), you get to keep your dictator.

    1. Ya know, I saw both those utterly depressing and scary stories and didn’t know whether to cry or to scream. Or leave the USA now. Irony alert: Hillary is giving a speech on American exceptionalism. What’s exceptional about Hillary’s America is that she isn’t in jail next to Obama, Jeh Johnson (who is named Jeh??), Loretta Lynch. All lying scheming crooks in on the plan to radically transform America. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  4. Florida West Coast Weather Report–

    Clearwater just got nearly 5 inches of rain. It seemed like the world was ending this morning.

    Tampa moved the Bucs game to tonight to avoid TD9 tomorrow. Too late for that.

    West Coast Florida is shutting down for the duration.

    Hope your weekend is dry, but high level steering says this is coming to you next, talkin’ to you, RI.

    1. Thanks for checking in. Send pix if you want to replicate the famous Lester Holt/Al Roker moments standing against the wind with waves smashing.
      Be safe. Stay safe. Good luck.

  5. Busy at the moment setting up shelters for flooded families. This is going to get really rough.

    Greenwich has not seen a rainfall exceed the 25 year predicted storm in over 25 years, which is now rated at 6.25 inches in 24 hours.

    The 100 year storm is rated as a 9-inch rainfall.

    A TD (tropical depression) has weak steering, that if it comes up against a high-pressure blocking ridge, such as now sits over New England, causes a stop in place.

    That is the westward hook in the spaghetti plots that will park this rainfall over some unlucky community in the NE for your Labor Day.

    See: http://www.ryanhanrahan.com/2016/08/30/tropical-depression-9-were-watching-it/

    1. What a great place to grow up and sorry that your family house is now gone. Would you go back to see this art installation and see where your house used to be or are you content to leave those memories behind?

      Thanks for stopping by.

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