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MAN OF STEEL (AND ALUMINUM)

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MAN OF STEEL (AND ALUMINUM)
artist Charlie Hewitt
Recently, we stopped by Equity Residential’s luxury Ten23 in Chelsea, where artist Charlie Hewitt was installing “Urban Rattle,” a 23-foot-high, 650-pound sculpture on the building’s second floor. (He had help; he wasn't just lifting it up the stairs himself.) We snapped him with a mini-rendering of the piece, the first permanent art sculpture installed along the High Line. Charlie, who lives in Maine but lived in NY for four decades, says when he was a boy, the backs of buildings were just graffiti-covered cinderblocks, and now they’re a “second front door,” particularly along the High Line. The aluminum sculptures, which are encapsulated in different materials, are perched on light poles and sway in the wind.
Urban Rattle at Ten23
The finished sculpture. Art consultant Emily Santangelo, who worked closely with Equity Residential in selecting the artist, told us it was important that the artwork addressed not only the building’s residents but everyone walking along the High Line (you can see it for yourself just south of the West 23rd Street entrance). Charlie is known for “doodling in steel,” and the piece captures NYC street art. (The diamond plate and rivets, particularly, are a nod to fire escapes and rail tracks—even the title conjures a rumbling train.) Charlie’s also no stranger to the neighborhood—you can visit his gallery at Jim Kempner Fine Art on Tenth and 23rd (and pieces at the Whitney, the Met, and Brooklyn Museum). "Urban Rattle" is his first residential installation.
Related Topics: Brooklyn Museum