ALLEN STREET — A scrubby plot on the Lower East Side will get a little more inspirational by the end of the month.
A new sculpture by artist Kent Henricksen will be installed in the Allen Street mall near Grand Street on April 25. It will remain there until October as a 7.5–foot-tall tribute to human experience, says the artist.
The piece, a 500-lb porcelain sculpture of a tree-trunk is etched with Oscar Wilde’s: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
The sculpture, according to Henricksen, is in part about “keeping people’s experience and memory alive." He said he used to carve his own name into tree trunks as a child and that the act was his way of “marking my existence.”
The Oscar Wilde quote comes from Lord Darlington, a character in the play “Lady Windermere's Fan” who won’t give up on pursuing a married woman. Carved on the tree trunk, its meaning is more ambiguous and left up to the viewer to interpret, said Henricksen.
Henricksen also has three similar pieces on view in the Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection.