Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A sneak preview of the world's largest rhino sculpture, coming to Astor Place early next year

[Photo Thursday by Derek Berg]

Last Thursday, EVG contributor Derek Berg ran into a group of people on Astor Place doing some preliminary planning for "The Last Three," what is being billed as the world's largest rhino sculpture courtesy of artists Gillie and Marc Art.

[Photo by DB]

Here's more about the project, which will be unveiled on Astor Place near the Cube on Jan. 10:

We're honored to announce that in early 2018 Astor Place will become home to the world’s largest interactive rhino sculpture that you can photograph, touch and hug.

Created by internationally acclaimed monumental sculptural artists, Gillie and Marc Art, the incredible 16-foot sculpture will depict the world’s last three Northern White Rhinos, Sudan, Najin and Fatu.

The sculptures unveiling at Astor Place will officially launch the “Goodbye Rhinos” project, which aims to collect one million goodbye messages from across the globe, forming a petition to stop the poaching trade and illegal sale of rhino horn, the cause of the Northern White Rhinos imminent extinction.

After the New York City unveiling the sculpture will then visit major cities across the world to raise awareness of the rhinos plight and conservation.

You can read more about the project here.

Gillie and Marc Art are investing $150,000 of their own money for the project. (There was also a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $50,000.) Cable network Nat Geo Wild is the main sponsor.


Anonymous said...

WTF? How absurd and tacky that is. Yuck,.

Anonymous said...

How exciting! A sign of the vibrancy of the East Village. I am sorry I will be away this coming week when the Astor Place Arts Festival arrives. I know the usual mantra on this blog is how the neighborhood has been ruined by the bros and the sorority sisters as they vomit their way through their college days. But that reality shouldn't be used to stamp out all activity in the neighborhood. Walking around Astor Place yesterday, I was pleased to see how many people were using the various parts of this renovated space--sitting reading, sipping coffee, talking to one another. A much better use of a public space then simply blocks to be crossed on the way to the train or a bus.

Anonymous said...

A truly good cause. But is it already too late? Man's greed, brutality and uncaring naturally aggressive behavior is the underlying problem for which there is no cure. There are no forces able to deflect the path of great animals like the Rhino from becoming our lifetime. Meaning it is our shame to bear. Perhaps when man himself becomes extinct, and if we are to believe Stephen Hawking, that will be in about 100 years when Earth's resources can no longer sustain the population, then the fauna and flora that have managed to survive us will start to grow in numbers. Where were you all for the last 60 plus years? I suggest you all read:
Under the Sea - Wind by Rachel Carson, 1941
The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson, 1951
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, 1962

For those of you who do not know, Rachel Carson is the Mother of our modern day environmental movement. If not for her you would never even have a chance to see a real Bald Eagle.

Wake up America!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

One rhino fine, but a stack of three. Rhinocakes LOL.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people taking selfies with this sculpture will even think twice about why it is there and what it represents?
The city is determined to expand it tourism footprint at our neighborhoods expense. The corporate makeover of Astor Place had nothing to do with improving safety for those going to and from the subway but to establish a platform to rent the space to Citi Bank, HBO etc... to shill their services and products. As for those that are thrilled there is yet another "coffee" option in the city, please tell me when is enough enough?

Anonymous said...

And my first thought was "maybe the tourists and the students will express a moment of concern for the planet, but then go home and order their deliveries from Amazon, Sephora, J Crew, Fresh Direct, Blue Apron, etc. without a thought about the use of fuel, minimum wage jobs, etc"

Jim Markowich said...

How long before some young man immortalizes an evening spent knocking back one too many vodka tonics with his friends by climbing on it, falling and impaling himself on a horn?

Anonymous said...

Your comment? Definitely.

cmarrtyy said...

The Village Alliance can't keep Astor Plaza clean. Rats are running around at night among the plant beds. The landscaping isn't finished. The dead trees are still dead a year later with no sign of a replant. And dog walkers are walking all over the plant beds with their precious pooches using them as toilets. Wow! And the best they can do is to continue the second rate circus?! A community based organization should take control of Astor Plaza. Maybe then the nonsense will stop and maintenance begin.

Anonymous said...

Rhinoverdoing it

Anonymous said...

9:59, if you want to take it on your shoulders that's cool but it's not "our" shame to bear. Just maybe the "underlying problem for which there is no cure" is, in fact, the cure. You know human beings came from the Earth right? Like, they weren't deposited here from another dimension of evil? There have been countless unknown species that have risen up and faded away on this planet without so much as a hair left behind; the error is in thinking that humans are somehow special, or different, and not subject to the same laws of Nature as everything else.

And tell Stephen Hawking not to quit his day job, whatever that is. Frankly no one would listen to him if he weren't such a freak and talked out of a See 'n Say. 100 years? Rubbish.

Well, that would be a disaster but the reports of our sudden, impending demise are highly exaggerated. Still, I remember fondly these words from Charles Manson:

"Humans are pretty stupid. Humans won’t survive. Humans ain’t gonna survive, not the way they’re going. They’re going to destroy every fucking thing. If you sat down and you started thinking “people,” it would take you ten weeks to think up two-hundred million people. Do you know how many people that is? Now you run out of food with two-hundred million people, you run out of oil with two-hundred million people, you run out of thought with two-hundred million people; that’s a lot of meat to deal with."

Anonymous said...

The whole Astor Place project is about real estate - 1. they closed down Astor Place(between Lafayette and 4th Avenue) which is an Indian trail, and made it into a front yard for the green Related Company building, 2. They narrowed all the streets giving additional space to Cooper Union. There was supposed to be more GREEN SPACE. I don't see any more green space, all I see is more concrete. What about the trees they destroyed next to the subway 3ntrance? Why was that necessary? Is this for the community? I don't think so. This is all about Silicon Alley. Do you think that we, the community, will be able to get into the Shake Shack, opening soon?

Anonymous said...

@11:54am: EXACTLY! This "art" (ha, ha) is a lawsuit waiting to happen. And of course it's all about "concern for wildlife" ... NOT. It's all about concern for the almighty dollar.

But wait, if National Geographic is behind this, do we have room to make that whole area into a sculpture park with lots of animal sculptures that don't belong there (b/c the only thing that DOES belong there is The Cube)?

How about a kiddie sculpture park, so the little ones can clamber all over the sculptures while their nannies watch? Of course, that'll require rubber matting on the ground so nobody gets hurt. Oh, and a fence - it'll definitely need a fence!

Hmm, what else might we need in that area? Oh yeah: NOTHING!

Put this rhino sculpture in Times Square if you REALLY want people to take notice of it. There's a great pedestrian seating area with lots of room for it.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely more green space in Astor Place itself than there was before. There is also definitely more green space next to the Astor Place #6 stop, and along Cooper Square and 3rd Ave down to 4th street. Most of it is thriving. A fraction of the trees did not live, and where there are drainage cutouts it's been harder for plants to thrive -- not surprising given the toxic mess that gets washed there from the streets during a storm. Otherwise maintenance appears to be pretty good. I see trash being removed from the planted areas regularly. The new wildflowers blooming in Cooper Park at different times have been gorgeous.

That's the *actual* reality, not the EVGrieve crank commenter version.

Anonymous said...

@4:25pm: I'm not sure if you're a shill for anyone, but I reserve the right, as a resident of this area for over 40 years, to "call out" my OWN sense of what's happening to our neighborhood, esp. around Astor Place. And IMO what's happened & is continuing to happen there is NOT an improvement over what was there before.

It's simply a corporatization of public space, with our "betters" telling us what's good for us & how much we ought to appreciate what they do for us. I, for one, am not stupid enough to buy into that hype, maybe b/c I have lived long enough to recognize hype for what it is.

This neighborhood may be better for *some* people, but I assure you that anyone who's lived here awhile is not among those people. The "benefits" (such as they are) flow to those who can afford glassy condos that cost multi-millions, or who rent glassy apartments for multiples of what most of us earn in a month.

cmarrtyy said...


Outrageous lies. Except that after this post appeared I passed by the Astor Park down the Bowery and lo 'n behold it was cleaned for the first time in a week. Thanks, EVG, for the opportunity to embarrass the Village Alliance into cleaning up our park. THE PEOPLE SPEAK. VOX POPULI!

DrGecko said...

Pretty pointless placement, considering that it's illegal to keep a pet rhino in the city.

Anonymous said...

Movie idea:

All of Earth's animals descend on Manhattan and wreak havoc as revenge against Man's endless plunder of their ecosystems.

Deer, rhinos, tigers, all of 'em.

Title: Animal Time

Genre: Science Fiction

Tagline: What was once theirs is theirs again.

Plot: Animals all around the globe descend on Manhattan to wreak havoc in retaliation against Man's neverending plunder of their ecosystems.