Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Took this back in December while waiting for my son to finish his admissions interview at a nearby school.

This is a big steel rusted sculpture on the campus of what used to be called Martin Luther King, Jr. High School. Chris Rock had a routine where he commented on the fact that anytime something is named after Martin Luther King, a man who stood for nonviolence, there's sure to be problems. This high school was a chronically troubled place and ceased to exist as a single high school a few years ago. In its place Mayor Bloomberg's gimmicky small schools project took over, meaning the "campus" now houses several different schools.

The whole campus has a drab, depressing feel to it. Although I can appreciate the sculpture as art, it has a heaviness and dreariness that seem inappropriate to a high school setting, where I would prefer a more optimistic, light, and welcoming atmosphere. The pictures of the campus posted in the wikipedia article do not convey the actual feel of the place when you are standing outside - or inside.

It can't help that this school, which still pulls kids from poorer neighborhoods around the city, is literally across the street from Laguardia, which is selective in its admissions, prestigious, and pulls kids from wealthier neighborhoods around the COUNTRY (Madonna's daughter goes there). The contrast is jarring.


  1. What a great contrast. Well balanced. Great composition.

  2. SC said it the best Mike awesome contrast and composition ... excellent job

  3. After seeing your photo & the wikipedia entry I have to agree. You've aptly described my reaction to the sculpture as well. And again, you've created a composition that combines two very different elements in an interesting way.

  4. I also checked out this artwork in the wikipedia. It looks huge, heavy, dark and cubist! You've managed to show it in a better light. I actually like the forged iron lettering though; I like the way it has oxidized over time.

    Your picture is a good example of contrasting styles and materials.