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'Negative Energy Absorber' Rock Proposed as Art for East Village Park

By Serena Solomon | October 3, 2013 12:11pm
 Rudy Shepherd is proposing to install one of his “Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers” in First Park.
Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers
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EAST VILLAGE — An artist wants to install a large rock-like sculpture in an East Village park as a way of drawing negative energy from those who view it. 

Harlem-based artist Rudy Shepherd has submitted a proposal to put part of his 2006 sculpture series "Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers" in First Park, between East First and Houston streets near Second Avenue. The goal of the sculpture is to draw dark energy — “in the form of prejudice, racism or even quotidian disdain” —  from those around it, freeing up viewers to be more compassionate, according to the proposal from Shepherd on the Community Board 3 website.

"The 'Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers' are a group of sculptures with a magical function: to expunge negative energy from viewers...and allow them to respond to life with the more open, compassionate and positive aspects of their personalities," Shepherd wrote in his proposal for the exhibition.

The sculpture, which will tower 10 feet with four appendages jutting out from the top, will be constructed from wood, metal and colored concrete and take three weeks to install, Shepherd wrote in the proposal.

On his website, Shepherd said that the "madness" he witnessed on the subway in the 12 years he has lived in New York City partly inspired the "Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers" series.

First Street Green, a nonprofit that oversees artistic programming at the park, is sponsoring the sculpture. CB3's Parks, Recreation, Cultural Affairs, Landmarks & Waterfront Committee will weigh in on the proposal at a meeting on Oct. 10, and then it will go to the Parks Department for final approval.

Shepherd hopes to install the sculpture in May 2014 and have it on display in the park for six months.

First Park, formerly a vacant lot overrun with rats and trash, was transformed into a public space with the help of the Guggenheim Museum, which brought its traveling "lab" there in 2011.