by Bethany Whiteman


New York is a city where you can get lost. It’s large, loud, and doesn’t stop for anyone. At times, the constant hustle can be overwhelming and almost lonesome. So, what exactly makes New York City the perfect location for so many people to call home? Perhaps the reason can be found in the art installation at the Brooklyn Bridge Park that everyone is Snapchatting, Instagramming, and buzzing about.

Held up high on a 25-foot rotating steel beam, with a gorgeous view of the city as its backdrop, are neon letters that spell, “Understanding.” Wildly thought-provoking, its an installation that immediately opens up dialogue amongst its viewers. Created by artist and the 2001 Turner Prize winner, Martin Creed, Understanding is part of his ongoing series of rotating text sculptures built around the world.

So, what exactly should we understand about this particular piece? Public Art Fund Director and Chief Curator, Nicolas Baume, said that “Understanding’ is a simple word with complex meanings. But is this a celebration of understanding or a challenge to us to understand more? Either way, Martin Creed’s disarming eloquence captures our imagination.” In New York City, everyone has a unique story, different beliefs, and a voice to be heard. People flock here from all over the world to find themselves— understand themselves—and search for new meanings and purposes. Regardless of Creed’s end-goal in creating this piece, his installation could not be more fitting to this city.

See Understanding at Brooklyn Bridge Park and read more about Creed’s installation, here.

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