Uliks Grika’s Sisyphus Stones

(clique aqui para a versão em Português)

Someone created a true sculpture park in Manhattan, by the Hudson River. At first I took some phone pics thinking ‘Instagram’, but before long I came to my senses – phone pics alone don’t do it justice.

I asked the man who seemed to be always on site, are you the sculptor?

“I am the stone lifter”, he said with a smile. He was surprised when I asked for his name so that I could credit the work when posting. “People don’t usually do that.”

His name is Uliks Gryka.  According to a New York Times article, he had the whole thing rebuilt once after vandals toppled them all, and then again after someone from the Parks Department took an opportunity to meddle.

While I was meandering (with my clunky film camera) between balanced stones, I heard something fall on the river with a big splash. It wasn’t me. “Yeah, I knew that one was about to come down”, he said. The sunset that particular evening had been magnificent, with perfect-drama clouds framing the pieces. I felt surrounded by a crowd of magnetic fields; every where I turned there was purpose and beauty and mystery and gravity. I couldn’t get enough of it, and as it turned out I didn’t get any of it at all: that roll of film had been badly loaded, operator deficiency. 

Having to go back was all I wanted, though. Didn’t get the same fantastic clouds, but with hindsight I think in B&W the sculptures fare better this way – less interference. And there where new pieces too. “It’s getting there”, Uliks said. Where is there, I asked. “By the trees”, he said vaguely.

Be it because of the trees or some vandals or the parks department or a mighty storm, something is sure to draw a line and change the place after the place has been changed by the skill of a human hand. Sounds like art?

I can get to see as much art as I want in the city, but I don’t get to see as much truth as I want. This work was so truthfully humbling, I can only feel proud to share.

 

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