The iconic brash attitude associated with New Yorkers has been perfectly translated into a tangible art installation in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Commissioned by Two Trees Management company, artist Deborah Kass’ work entitled “OY/YO,” is an eight-foot-tall aluminum, pop art-styled sculpture that reads “YO” if you are looking at from Manhattan and “OY” if you are viewing it from Brooklyn. Kass, who describes herself as a “total, absolute, 100 percent provincial New Yorker,” says that the piece is “an open-ended question that people need to answer for themselves.” Yet, any New Yorker who takes a moment to look at the bold, yellow backronym will immediately understand its snarky and clever undertone representative of the temperamental relationship between the two boroughs; it might even make one laugh out loud.
In an interview with the New York Times, Kass said:
The sculpture might reflect Brooklynites’ ‘exasperation’ with the neighboring borough that many older residents still refer to simply as ‘the city’…and how much more succinct and iconic of a New York and Brooklyn phrase can you get than ‘OY’ or ‘YO’.
She also added that she hopes all New Yorkers can identify with the sculpture, and use it to find a way to relate with one another.
See “OY/YO” for yourself at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main Street lawn, on Plymouth St between Main and Washington St. in DUMBO, now through August 2016. Read Kass’s entire interview with the New York Times here, and find out more background on this artistic textual pun, here.