If you’ve been in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn you’re sure to have seen the beautiful, stained glass-like water tower erected near the Brooklyn waterfront. To clarify, this piece of art titled “Watertower,” was done by Brooklyn artist himself, Tom Fruin. The project was one of his works from his Icon series—focusing on “everyday objects reimagined and reinterpreted in steel, colored acrylic glass, and specialized lighting,” mentioned a recent press release.
Furthermore, Fruin constructed “Watertower” with reclaimed, colorful steel and plexiglass, even though it appears to be made from stained-glass. He uses a self proclaimed process of quilting. This method “creates a map of life” by assembling fragments and discarded resources.
Consequently, Fruin consistently works with salvaged material. Fruin’s website shares that the “locally-sourced plexi came from all over New York City—from the floors of Chinatown sign shops, to the closed DUMBO studio of artist Dennis Oppenheim, to Astoria’s demolition salvage warehouse Build It Green!NYC.”
“Bombora House” Installation
Now with some of his latest work, Tom Fruin has created “Bombora House,” featured directly in Gansevoort Plaza. This is another addition to his internationally recognized Icon series. In fact, Fruin has partnered with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Public Art Program. According to NYC.gov, the program “oversees the installation of temporary public artwork on DOT property throughout the five boroughs and curates and manages programming at annual large-scale.”
The DOT Art Program’s mission is “to provide for the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods in NYC by installing temporary art and presenting event programming.” Furthermore, the DOT Art Program has been responsible for Garden City, On the Way to the Sea, and many more art installations that have taken place across New York City.
Understanding the Title
The title “Bombora House” pays homage to a neighborhood Fruin spent much time in. Additionally, it immortalizes an energy he found as an artist in his early beginnings, said a press release.
Melinda Brown, Fruin’s inspiring friend and fellow artist, named her very own house in Australia the Bombora House. She did so as a reference to an “outsider wave” that refers to an old surfers expression. She explains it as the wave that “brings the fish in.” Surfers in Australia will attempt to ride this wave, even though it’s dangerous: the risk is worth the feat.
The display features a house, similar in design to the aforementioned “Watertower.” Similarly, it is made with colored acrylic-glass and steel. “Bombora House” includes a main house surrounded by “smaller ‘satellite’ house-shaped sculptures.”
The installation plays with light and creates an interactive texting experience for visitors. As a result, onlookers can text the number 347-328-2636 that will trigger a light reaction to the display, designed by Ryan Holsopple.
The colored, reclaimed material plays with light as the sun hits the Meatpacking District. Likewise, at night the installation will light up with LEDs from within. The installation will be on display in the Plaza until April 2021, 7 days a week and all day long.
A press release shared that “today, Fruin’s ‘Bombora House’ symbolizes the wave that spurred the ongoing cultural artistic and architectural evolution for the Meatpacking District.”
The installation is definitely worth the visit so go check it out!
Find the display between Ninth Avenue and Gansevoort Street.
Featured image from Facebook: Matthew Pugliese Photgraphy
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