It’s hard not to be awed and sobered by a work of beauty created from discarded materials—it’s both a reminder of our wastefulness and our failure to assess value accurately. And it’s impossible not to be wowed by the recent installations of New York artist Tom Fruin. Fruin, whose work has long been informed by found materials, has devoted much of the last few years to a series of city-specific public art projects made from salvaged pieces of plexiglass and steel. These structures, straddling the line between sculpture and architecture, pay homage to iconic elements found in each city’s architectural vernacular.
His first such piece, 2010’s Kolonihavehus, installed in Copenhagen, was a shimmering multicolored 14-foot ‘house,’ echoing the shape of the kolonihavehus, basic shed-like homes ubiquitous in the city. And for the past 11 months, New Yorkers typically inured to the sight of rooftop water towers—mandatory rainwater receptacles on buildings taller than 6 stories—have been seduced by the 25-foot Watertower, the prettiest water tower the Brooklyn skyline has ever seen. As he has elsewhere, Fruin has presented New York with a sight at once familiar and magical, re-imagined, remade, and bathed in dazzling new light.
Photos: Tom Fruin