New York, NY – When Tom Callahan moved into his apartment at 11 East 17th Street, he assumed the two-story scaffolding outside was for a temporary construction project. Six years later, the scaffolding rises ten stories, enveloping the entire building in steel support piping.
“It’s like living in a cage,” Mr. Callahan complained.
That, it turns out, is precisely the point.
The scaffolding is the brainchild of the controversial artist known as Stroganoff. Stroganoff exploded onto the art scene several years ago when he placed pasta mannequins in parks around the city. The “Pasta People” were nibbled and dismembered in what art critics called a searing statement on humanity.
Stroganoff’s scaffolding delivers another artistic vision: “The Bars.”
“We are all imprisoned,” he said. “Within the cold gray lattice of life.”
Building owner Ray Zalinsky agreed on the exhibit to “jazz up the joint.” But residents have had enough of the eyesore. “That’s art,” Mr. Zalinsky explained. “Different strokes for different folks.”
There are currently no plans to remove the scaffolding. “It is a living beast,” Stroganoff said. “We give the skeleton bones and the beast grows.”
As for Mr. Callahan, he’s canceling his lease. “I’m breaking out of here,” he said. “Call it performance art.”