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OY/YO Sculpture by Deborah Kass Rises in Brooklyn

Art & Design

Deborah Kass Sculpture OY-YO

Is it OY or YO? Well, that depends on how—or, more accuately, from where—you see it. A massive bright yellow sculpture installed alongside the Brooklyn Bridge this past week reads as either YO or OY, depending on whether it’s viewed from front or back, from the Brooklyn side, or across the river from Manhattan shores. A creation of the New York-based artist Deborah Kass, OY/YO is due to stand its ground through next summer, which means New Yorkers, warily bracing for the onset of winter, will have at least a sunny word (or two) with which to assuage the chill.

One of many contemporary artists who incorporates language into her visual vocabulary, Kass’ OY/YO iconography dates back to 2009, when the artist applied the word OY to canvas, paying homage to Ed Ruscha’s 1963 painting, OOF—an ‘appropriation’ of nearly literal proportions, down to the color scheme. This iteration, a painted aluminum construction, measuring 8 ft high and 17 ft wide, relegates vernacular from two New York communities—the Yiddish expression, oy, juxtaposed with yo, Spanish for ‘I am,’—to outsized proportions, making it a decidedly New York work of art in every sense of the word.

OY-YO Deborah Kass Sculpture

OY/YO, Painted Aluminum Sculpture in Brooklyn, by Deborah Kass

Via Two Trees

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