Plexiglass Watertower (Brooklyn)

(Tom Fruin Watertower, salvaged plexiglass and steel)

Spotted this brighly bejeweled “watertower” by accident the other day in DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn (Down Under the Mahattan Bridge Overpass). Most of the website and blogsite postings for this work includes pictures with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. I prefer the less advantageous and less obvious position at street level from which I took these pictures. The sculpture looks all the better without having to compete with an American icon, whose presence just mucks up the shot. Maybe I should not like this thing, this bit of gentrification, transforming something gritty and real like a watertower into cute little sparkle box. But I like the non-function of color, the found character of the plexiglass, the way it catches and refracts light, the architectural gesture, and the incidental, haphazard placing, at least when viewed from this angle, on a riverside rooftop, which actually does nothing to call attention to itself to the casual pedestrian.

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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