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High Spy

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Everyone knows beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as trite as that may be. Artist Anne Collier’s new work, Developing Tray #2, seeks to take that famous saying and exploit it for art’s sake in a very public setting. Resting proudly on a 25-by-75 foot billboard by now-famous modern landmark, The High Line, the print displays an photograph of Collier’s own eye, open wide inside a tray of developing fluid, easily mistaken for an over-dramatized teardrop.

Anne Collier at the High Line

The work is the second installment in the HIGH LINE BILLBOARD series, following the opening work, The First $100,000 I Ever Made by artist John Baldessari. While a singular billboard might sound inconsequential, viewers notice a significant shift in their High Line experience when they approach the work at the 18th Street and 10th Avenue section of the park. Developing Tray #2 stays true to Collier’s playful relationship with voyeurism and artist-audience interaction. The print begs the questions of who is looking at whom? Do we feel threatened or at ease? Does it even matter who holds the power between our own gaze and that of the seemingly dominating Collier? The unspoken commentary on developing fluid mimicking our own lives, constantly developing, bounces off of the work and directly into viewers’ thought processes. Suddenly, a quiet stroll on New York’s most charming outdoor architecture becomes an experience in which we must confront ourselves.

Art is almost as subjective a subject as you can get, and Collier isn’t afraid to push the boundaries of our opinions, even while confined to the dimensions of a billboard. Developing Tray #2 will remain on display through Wednesday, February 29, 2012. For more information about the work, High Line hours, and the HIGH LINE BILLBOARD series, visit -- Melanie Baker

Posted on February 24, 2012 - by

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