By Sabina Mollot
Last summer, the installation of nine anatomically correct male statues into a storefront in Gramercy raised a few eyebrows, with neighborhood residents wondering if it was an art exhibit or a marketing gimmick. It didn’t help anyone’s confusion that there was a neon sign in the window indicating the space was for rent.
As it turns out, the answer is it was a bit of both. On Monday afternoon, workers emerged from the storefront at 281 Park Avenue South and 22nd Street, moving out the larger-than-life-size sculptures. Asked where they were going, a worker at the scene said the naked men were headed to storage, since the ground floor space had been leased to a restaurant. However, Dan Turkewitz, one of the brokers marketing the space, later said nothing was finalized, so he wasn’t sure why the statues were being evicted. “We’re talking to a lot of different people,” he said.
The installation, “Terminal Stage,” was created by artist Richard Dupont with the nine men being self-portraits, all manipulated in different ways to make them distorted except when seen from a particular vantage-point. The statues, which stand at around 80 inches tall and were fashioned out of cast polyurethane resin (then sanded and finished by hand), were created in 2007 and 2008.
A call to Dupont’s studio for comment was not returned. UPDATE: However, a rep from Tracy Williams, a gallery that represents the artist, said the statues came from the private collection of Aby Rosen, the co-founder of RFR Holding. RFR is the real estate firm marketing the space, along with JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle).