When Art Sucks

The rumbling, roiling waters of Anish Kapoor.

In general, I consider whirlpools something to avoid.  But this spring I trekked out to Brooklyn's Pier One for the express purpose of finding a whirlpool. And find one I did.

It's an installation called Descension from the mind of artist Anish Kapoor. And it's wonderful. The confined, endlessly churning turning water is mesmerizing, even hypnotic lulling the viewer into a state of calm.  That calm however seems dangerous as you feel the ground beneath you vibrate from the sheer force of the installation, a sensation heightened by the deep growling and rumbling.

The whole experience was even more intriguing thanks to the arrival of a small child clad in his superhero cape, seemingly ready to defeat the evil whirlpool. Mostly I was grateful his father was there to prevent the toddler from swirling to his death in a rush of foamy water.

Presented by New York's Public Art Fund, Descension amazes not just for the emotional and physical impact.  Wondering how the artist made it work is just as much fun as experiencing the work itself.  And you can't help but marvel at the efforts the Public Art Fund is willing to undertake just to delight art lovers like me. Thanks.

Creative director and art nerd contemplating travel, books, theater, and art.