NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City artist has lassoed a small public park, creating a whimsical landscape of bright red, yellow and blue enclosures out of recycled lobster rope for visitors to explore.
Madison Square Park, the city's "museum without walls" opposite the landmark Flatiron Building in Manhattan, is the site of the latest monumental installation by Orly Genger, a Brooklyn artist known for her rope creations.
Using miles of the thick and rigid rope from old lobster traps, Genger uses a crochet stitch to give it a braided look, then paints, twists and stacks the rope before wrestling it into intriguing and continuous shapes. In one area of the 6.2-acre park, a red undulating wall spills out on the grass. In another, the rope creates a blue, hedge-like feature. Elsewhere, tall waves of yellow form a pleasing space that cascades at one end like spilled water — or paint.
The rope looks a bit like chainmail, some of it winding around the blossoming trees.
"I wanted the installation to interact not only with the public but with the elements that are already there" in the park, said Genger. "I wanted to create spaces where people could feel they could go and be held."
Genger "takes the domestic art of crocheting to a masculine level," said Madison Square Park Conservancy President Debbie Landau, noting that Genger uses only her hands to create the shapes.
"When you look at the rope you could think they're nautical knots but it's repurposed lobster rope," Landau said. "It's scratchy. It's hard. You have to use muscle to tame it. She takes what we think of as traditional knitting to a very different realm of wrestling an unforgiving material."