Downtown Dogs - A Public Art Installation

Created by Malin Abrahamsson

Grand & Lafayette Streets, New York City - Opening Ocrober 2010

Downtown Dogs is an artwork inspired by the children’s game "Pass the Pigs", a board game using little pigs as die. Scores are left to chance and depend on the way the pigs land on the board. Using the game as a starting point, Abrahamsson substituted the figurines with dogs, an animal dear to her but also one that’s more commonly encountered in the city. Intended to liven up the streetscape with its playful graphics and vibrant colors, the work serves as a reminder to all hard-working New Yorkers to always leave some time for play, but also, of the infinite and unpredictable chances that the city offers.

"Commercial art, graphic design, and underground street art—originally three separate visual practices—become one in the playful and bold graphic creation Downtown Dogs," Abrahamsson said. “Not only do I enjoy to take my art practice outside of the studio, but the collaborative aspect of a project like this is incredibly rewarding as well, “I hope this piece will be a bit of a colorful surprise to those who happen upon it: that would be the ultimate reward."

The 250-foot mural is printed on mesh and covers a 12-foot-tall wire fence. 

“Hundreds of feet beneath the streets of NYC is one of the city’s largest capital projects ever undertaken—the construction of City Water Tunnel No. 3,” said Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway. “This vital project improves the entire water supply system for more than eight million city residents by providing an invaluable redundancy to our water supply. Though absolutely necessary, construction sites aren’t exactly pretty. But now, because of a new artwork installation—Downtown Dogs by Malin Abrahamsson—that covers the construction site of a shaft tunnel, residents and visitors alike will be treated to a colorful and unexpected “treat” that will no doubt give them “paws.” It all adds up to a more beautiful and vibrant Lower Manhattan Community. I want to thank Downtown Alliance for helping to bring this wonderful artwork to the site.”

Re: Construction is a public art program produced by The Downtown Alliance. The project is curated by Ayelet Daniele Aldouby and Elinor Milchan of ARTEA Projects.

About Malin Abrahamsson

Born and raised in northern Sweden, Malin Abrahamsson completed the 2-year Fine Arts Program at Sunderby Folkhögskola, Luleå, Sweden, in 1994 before she moved to New York City in 1995. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an Honorable Mention from the School of Visual Arts, in 1998. Since then, she has participated in numerous one-person shows and group exhibits in the US and abroad, most notably at the New York Transit Museum, New York, Sara Nightingale Gallery, NY, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, NY, and Konstens Hus, Luleå, Sweden. In 2007, she was awarded a large scale permanent public art commission by LIRR & MTA Arts for Transit, New York, which was completed in the fall of 2009. During that same year, she to China to complete a one month Arts Residency in Beijing. Grants include a travel stipend from Helge Ax:son Johnsons Stiftelse, Sweden, 2008, Premier Project Grant, funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and COAHSI, 2006; Skellefteå Kulturnämnds Arbetsstipendium, Sweden, and the Exhibiting Arts Award from JPMorgan Chase and COAHSI, New York, both awarded in 2004.

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