FLOW.12: Nathan Gwynne
The Project: Famous Faces of Randall’s Island
Famous Faces of Randall’s Island enlivened the park’s southern pathways through a series of flat aluminum statues featuring images of important individuals from the history of the island. These life-size cutouts with the faces removed, like amusement park photo-op props where one can become a body builder, a bikini babe, or cartoon character, offered visitors the chance to pose as Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, Olympic medalist Jesse Owens and Jimi Hendrix, all of whom played a part in the history of the site. The installation played on conventions of memorial statuary and tourist attractions, while imparting knowledge of the island’s past. Gwynne also developed a forum for interaction, whereby visitors shared their photos and experiences.
The Artist: Nathan Gwynne
Nathan Gwynne’s collages and mixed media sculptures emerge from collisions and conflations of pastoral hippie utopianism, suburban punk rock idealism, and urban subculture. Forms, styles, postures, and paraphernalia of these social scenes are filtered through the geometry, repetition, and phenomenology of Minimalism as well as the anarchistic approach to Dada and the cut-up technique of Surrealism. He studied at Hunter College, New York, New York (MFA 2009) and Stanford University, Stanford, California (BA 2001).