Bearden 100

#10 Untitled
By Romare Bearden

Selected by Tom Otterness

Public Mural, Ceramic Tiles - 1974 PS 346 in Starrett City, Brooklyn NY By Romare Bearden

I love how Bearden delivers this non-European history in a classic WPA style.

Tom Otterness

Public Artist
Brooklyn, NY

Silver Tower Playground - 2010 42nd Street between 11th and 12th Avenues, NYC Photo by James Dee

Tom Otterness is considered one of the premier public artists working in the U.S. A true storyteller, Otterness’ stylized bronze figures combine into sculptural ensembles that explore the range of human experience, from grand ambition to common foibles, plucking imagery and themes from popular culture and subtly transforming them into humorous commentary.

In 2005-6, Tom Otterness had major exhibitions in four cities, Tom Otterness on Broadway in New York City and Tom Otterness in Indianapolis, Tom Otterness in Beverly Hills and Tom Otterness in Grand Rapids: The Gardens to The Grand. He created an animation and audio feature which was screened at the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway. Otterness is also the first contemporary artist to be invited to create a helium balloon, Humpty Dumpty for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The balloon was first used in 2005 and will appear in future parades as well.

Some of Tom’s recent commissions have been Another World, San Jose, CA, Wild Life, Connell, WA, the Silver Tower Playground, 42nd St. between 11th and 12th Avenues, NYC, and an installation in Seoul, South Korea. Other commissioned public art projects include the United States courthouses in Minneapolis and Sacramento, an extensive installation at the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City, and Life Underground in multiple areas of the MTA 14th Street A-C-E-L subway station in New York City.

In 2004, Tom Otterness’ renowned sculpture, Head was included in the newly renovated Museum of Modern Art Sculpture Garden in New York City. Installed along the North Sea near The Hague, The Netherlands is Otterness’ large-scale installation for the Beelden aan Zee Museum in Scheveningen. This project includes some of his largest bronzes to date, including, Harringeter (Herring Eater) which stands forty-five feet creating a striking silhouette against the Dutch horizon.

Sculptures by Tom Otterness are in the collections of numerous museums including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, among others. In 2006-2007, Otterness had one-person exhibitions at Marlborough Gallery in Monaco and New York. His newest one-person exhibition opens at Marlborough Gallery on February 23, 2011.

Otterness hails from Wichita, Kansas and has been a New York resident since the 1970s. He works from a studio in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn.