I’ve always been a fan of public art and was absolutely thrilled when I first went to New York’s High Line over the summer and experienced bits and pieces of their Wanderlust exhibit. An exhibit that focuses on walking, journeys, and pilgrimages it explores the theme through various installations by various artists scattered across the High Line. One of the most popular ones is the one pictured with this post — Tony Matelli’s Sleepwalker. Although I remembered it as being a powerful social commentary on consciousness, after taking a quick selfie with it, I never thought to consider any deeper meanings.
Seeing it on so many of my friend’s snapchats this Thanksgiving weekend, I was intrigued to read more deeply into it:
“Matelli’s work challenges preconceived ideas about traditional monumental portraiture, and questions the extent to which any one of us is ever fully aware of our own surroundings, especially considering the constant distraction of the screens that supplement our lived experience.”
After reading the artist’s intent, the message of the piece was so much more clear and the initial power of the message was also amplified.
I think it’s so important to hear the artist’s intent and creative process when looking at a piece to holistically understand it past just forming your own perception and opinion of it.
I encourage you to check out the other parts of the exhibit as well as the other art pieces all over the High Line!