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OY / YO: Deborah Kass

Artist Deborah Kass’ first monumental sculpture OY/YO was installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s newly-renovated Main Street lawn from November 2011 - August 2016. The work was commissioned by Two Trees Management Company and presented in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park.

According to the artist statement: "Walking the line between respectful homage and brazen appropriation, Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass mimics and reworks the signature styles of iconic 20th century male artists —including Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Indiana – often with a feminist twist. OY/YO is sourced from urban and Brooklyn slang, the statement “I am” in Spanish, and the popular Yiddish expression, as a riff on Ruscha’s iconic word paintings."

OY/YO has been a significant and reoccurring motif in Kass’ work since its first appearance in 2011, taking form in paintings, prints, and tabletop sculptures. This iteration is a monumental scaled OY/YO, presented in yellow painted aluminum measuring 8 x 17 x 5 ft.

Set alongside the iconic bridges of Brooklyn’s waterfront and visible to viewers from Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street lawn is an apt location for a monumental installation of OY/YO. Similar to the City of New York’s “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!” sign at the Williamsburg Bridge and the “Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit” sign on the BQE, OY/YO references Brooklyn’s ethnic communities with whimsy and warmth.