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The Roses Are Still in Bloom

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Despite the recent snowfall, Will Ryman’s The Roses continue to bloom along Park Avenue. Reflecting Ryman’s flair for the dramatic and absurdly wonderful, roses painted in shades of pink and red have blossomed in vibrant contrast to the bleaker winter months preceding spring in the artist’s large-scale love letter to New York City.

Envisioned for the unique setting of Park Avenue, The Roses present viewers with a fanciful sculptural tribute to the larger than life qualities of New York City. The site-specific public art installation features 38 giant pink and red roses that climb between three and 25 feet in height, dwarfing the neighboring streetlights and avenue traffic. Colossal blossoms ranging from five to ten feet in diameter at the bud spring up from steel stems in eight clusters of four to six rose buds each. Drawing inspiration from nature’s cycles and seasons, each cluster is complete with an inhabiting brass ladybug, aphid, beetle or bee for an element of both reality and humor in reference to the viewers’ own bug’s-eye-view of The Roses’ gigantic blossoms.

In addition to Ryman’s octet of blossoms, the installation presents 20 accompanying sculptures of individual rose petals, the majority of which are scattered along the Park Avenue Mall between 63rd and 65th Streets. The Roses will be on view from winter’s dormancy through spring’s regeneration, suggesting the cycle of nature, as well as the eternally changing landscape of New York.

“With these roses I wanted to do something that was larger than life and site-specific. In my work I always try to combine fantasy with reality. In the case of The Roses, I tried to convey New York City’s larger than life qualities through scale; creating blossoms which are imposing, humorous, and hopefully beautiful,” comments artist and native New Yorker, Will Ryman.

While The Roses provide whimsical relief from the cold and snow, we can’t help but look forward to seeing them blooming among the real-life blooming tulips and cherry trees of spring. We’ll have our camera ready then, too.

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