Housing News

This One’s a Masterpiece!

Realty-inspired artwork is showing in NY

If you get the chance to be in New York City, don’t forget to visit the Queens Museum of Art at Corona Park – where artist and urban designer Damon Rich has an exhibition entitled “Red Lines Crisis Housing Learning Center”. The museum’s website explains, “…(The exhibit), a large-scale installation of models, drawings, photographs, and videos by artist-designer Damon Rich, melds Sesame Street graphics with do-it-yourself investigations into the intricacies of real estate finance… Explore the threatening spikes and troughs of interest rates in the form of a plywood construction 40 feet long and 14 feet tall; enter a ghostly looming bust of Frederick Babcock, pioneer of real estate appraisal; and walk through photographic panorama of houses in Detroit and its suburbs. Photographs and video interviews with players in the field—from community activists to investment bankers—transform abstract financial markets into networks of, if not humane, then clearly human positions.”

Rich used an architectural model from the 1964 World’s Fair and placed neon pink triangles that each represent a block where there have been three or more foreclosures. The New York Times writes, “..Hundreds of these pink stigmata cover Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, East New York and Canarsie in Brooklyn like an invading army. In Queens most markers are camped out in Ozone Park and Cambria Heights, as well as in parts of Jamaica and Corona. As for Manhattan, there are precisely two… The smaller numbers in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island are due to a combination of income (too rich or too poor) and building type (apartments instead of single- or multifamily homes).”

From the photos, the expanse of pink is quite interesting. Who would have thought that in the midst of a crisis, something appealing and depressing at the same time (economically speaking) can be made?

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