I had always read about the High line in books or magazines as one of the “must see” sights of New York City. I have been to the city too many times to count and yet I had never visited this “must see” location.
Our Macaulay Seminar trip was my first time there and I was overwhelmed by the sheer awesomeness of the high line. It wasn’t as I had expected but the unexpected surprises are usually the best ones and this time was no different.
Just the layout, nature above the ground, which is almost like nature taken out of context, was a very cool and different idea. As was the term “park.” this new depiction an idea of park as sights to see rather than area to play was a nice change for me. One of the aspects that I think of when I think about New York City is the art and graffiti that is painted on to the buildings. So, of all of the pieces that I saw, Damian Ortega’s Physical Graffiti series was my favorite because of the idea of graffiti out of its context which, in my opinion, almost embodies the essence of the high line. These pieces were of metal graffiti suspended above the platform and in two of the three cases, against a plain white wall, which gives the appearance of true graffiti that is painted on plain building walls. And yet these pieces stand on their own, a new representation of graffiti. The third though, is suspended not in front of a plain white wall, but over the city, making the suggestion that the graffiti is a representation of the essence and creativity of New York City. This piece doesn’t look as natural as the others and almost fades into the background of the city but I think that it makes the biggest statement and is most representative of the message Ortega intended to send.