Water Towers Brimming With Neon Messages to Fill Madison Square Park

By Heather Holland on November 18, 2013 2:07pm 

 Madison Square Park's upcoming art exhibit will be on display from Feb. 20 through March 30.
Madison Square Park's upcoming art exhibit will be on display from Feb. 20 through March 30.
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Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery

FLATIRON — Are you thirsty for some art?

A new exhibit slated for Madison Square Park this winter consists of three 8-foot-tall water towers filled with neon lights and mirrors that reflect the words “me,” “we” and “bed” to visitors walking beneath them, according to the Madison Park Conservancy.

Brooklyn artist Iván Navarro's installation, called "This Land is Your Land" in honor of a 1940 Woody Guthrie protest anthem, will invite visitors to walk under the massive towers and look up into each of them to see neon messages reflected inside.

“The wood water tanks from which [Navarro] creates art are a fixture on New Yorkers’ rooftops and represent a compelling translation from functional objects into sculptural symbols,” said Debbie Landau, president of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

The tanks, which aren't filled with water, are instead full of lights in the shapes of words and an image of a ladder in the third tower. An arrangement of mirrors inside the structures will repeat the words and images, creating a seemingly infinite vertical space, according to the conservancy.

“I like the idea of a reservoir of water,” Navarro said in a statement. “We must guarantee our water in order to survive.... These water towers metaphorically function as tall ornamental crowns on the top of the large buildings that dominate the urban landscape. They punctuate the glory of modern civilization while reclaiming its humanity.”

Navarro made the water towers, which are 7 feet in diameter, specifically for the exhibit.

The installation will be on view daily in the northwest section of Madison Square Park from Feb. 20 through March 30.

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