Promiscuity And Compromise Library Lions At Mid-Manhattan Fifth Avenue.
The iconic NYPL lions were originally nicknamed Astor and Lenox in honor of James Lenox, the great bibliophile, and John Jacob Astor the renowned philanthropist.
During the depression Fiorello La Guardia re-christened them as Patience and Fortitude in tribute to the people of New York that were enduring a difficult economy.
Alex Itin and i now present a grotesque caricature of these beloved icons, which we name Promiscuity and Compromise. It is a riff on Wilde’s Dorian Gray, and in our depiction these lions represent the degradation of idealism in our society.
The installation consists of two painted panels in each window. The background figure of a lion is painted on canvas, and the front panel, which is painted on plexiglass contains stylized writing and like a palimpsest, further disarticulates the image. The Fifth Avenue pane of glass that covers the window is a third layer, which reflects the ephemeral commotion always present in front of the Mid-Manhattan Library.