New York artist Orly Genger has taken over Madison Square Park with her art—which is made with recycled lobster rope. Genger crocheted miles’ worth of the rough and heavy rope to create a braided landscape of colors throughout the park. Red-, yellow- and blue-painted rope has been strenuously arranged to form enclosures for kids and adults alike to enjoy.
Genger’s art is like crocheting in the extreme—the rope is heavy and hard to shape, and she must muscle every crook and curve into place by hand. This latest installation took a whopping 1.4 million feet of rope, which is almost enough to cross Manhattan twenty times. After 9,000 hours of intense labor and 3,000 gallons of paint, Genger was ready to install her 100,000 pounds worth of rope art. That’s a feat indeed.
“She takes the domestic art of crocheting to a masculine level,” said President Debbie Landau of the Madison Square Park Conservancy. “When you look at the rope you could think they’re nautical knots but it’s repurposed lobster rope. It’s scratchy, it’s hard. You have to use muscle to tame it. She takes what we think of as traditional knitting to a very different realm of wrestling an unforgiving material.”
The new installation in Madison Square Park is appropriately called “Red, Yellow and Blue,” and was commissioned by Mad. Sq. Art. Besides the fact that people can interact with and touch Genger’s art, it’s also using repurposed materials. Lobster rope can only be used for one year because after that it can harm the environment. All the rope Genger uses has had its one-year tenure. It’s wonderful to know that rather than going to the landfill, it’s creating art for everyone to enjoy.