Volume 18 • Issue 39 | February 10 - 16, 2006

Photo by Don MacPherson

Heavy metal encore

Soho public art lovers fought for six years to bring Bob Bolles’s 10 metal sculptures back to the intersection of Broome, Watts and Thompson Sts. In November, their wishes were, at least partly, granted, when Parks Department workers re-installed three of the rusted creations. The pieces include a cactus sculpture, above, in the middle of what is now called Sunflower Park, while two other sculptures — one resembling a large anchor, the other a bookend with filigreed cutouts — were plopped down at the two corners of the triangular park’s western side. When the park was created, the metalwork was summarily carted off to a shed on Randall’s Island much to Soho residents’ chagrin. Don MacPherson, with the help of attorney Larry Goldberg, both Community Board 2 members, put pressure on Parks to honor a Community Board 2 Parks Committee resolution that stipulated the sculptures’ return. Bolles was a Gypsy and sculptor whose medium was iron and whose chisel was a blowtorch. Back in the 1960s when he plopped down his sculptures Soho had cobblestone streets, a few stores and luncheonettes and paper warehouses. “A lot of it was what is called guerilla art, because there was never any approval for it to be here,” MacPherson said of the iron pieces.


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