Arts & Culture

New Greenway Commissioned Sculptures by Street Artist Aakash Nihalani

News from the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy:

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy has announced the installation of a new public art commission. New York-based artist Aakash Nihalani has just started installing the first of two sculptures on The Greenway, the final artworks installed as part of the 2017 year long curatorial theme of Playful Perspectives.

Nihalani’s playful sculptures, jointly entitled Balancing Act, depict tilting and toppling blocks caught in a state of suspended animation. Balancing Act II, installed December 14, depicts haphazard blocks precariously piled up, seemingly just a nudge away from collapse. The sparring undercurrent of structure versus disorder in both works reflects the contrast of The Greenway against the surrounding urban landscape, as well as the delicate relationship between nature and industrialization in our world today. In Balancing Act I, which will be installed in January 2018, a tower of six cubes appears to fall over as the middle block is pulled out of alignment. This center block serves as an invitation to the viewer to become an active participant; by posing with their hands on the sculpture, they become the catalyst for the impending narrative. The works are located on The Greenway in the Fort Point Channel Parks between Summer and Pearl streets.

“Nihalani reinvents our shared environment and public spaces through the use of the simplest of forms: the rectangle, square and the line. Aakash has a unique perspective in creating unexpected and sometime implausible situations that turn the passersby into active participants.” – Greenway Public Art Curator Lucas Cowan

With past use of a variety of mediums, from masking tape to metal, Nihalani specializes in creating minimalist geometric forms on two-dimensional planes that simulate 3D interactive experiences. Exploiting the malleability of human senses, Aakash’s site-specific artworks create playful interactions with the viewer, provoking surprising and humorous moments that interrupt the routine of our everyday life.

Playful Perspectives is The Greenway’s exhibition of large-scale, site-specific commissioned works by artists with rising careers whose works playfully and delightfully expose the vulnerability of one’s sense of perspective. These works manipulate visual perception through the use of scaled objects and optical illusions, blurring the boundaries between art and everyday life, and between expectation and reality. Nihalani’s new works will join four already on display on The Greenway: Spaces Of Hope, painted by artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo, the fifth Greenway Wall mural at Dewey Square Park; Make and Take by Chris Templeman, an in-park 3D-printer running 24 hours a day in Chinatown Park to manufacture over 2017 tiny plastic roosters to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Rooster; We The People II, painted by local artist Mia Cross, telling the story of Boston’s Leather District through the eyes of locals; and Ways of Wood by Daniel Ibanez of Margen-Lab that tells the story of the log milling process. The Greenway recently de-installed two works, The Meeting House by Mark Reigelman and Far from this setting in which I now find myself, by Meredith James that were staples of public interactions and photographable moments on The Greenway throughout 2017.

“The Greenway has become a place where the public is invited to interact with contemporary art. With this December installation of playful sculptures, park visitors will enjoy art year-round and be encouraged to get outside this winter to see how snowfall and the winter landscape change this piece.” – Jesse Brackenbury, Executive Director for the Greenway Conservancy

This installation, like all Greenway art, is paid for with grants, philanthropy, and other private funds. Major funding for the Conservancy’s contemporary art program is provided by the Barr Foundation, The Boston Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts.