David Finn: People In Trees

About the Exhibition

David Finn’s Masked Figures consists of seven figures made from debris that Finn (b.1952, USA) collected from the streets of his Lower East Side neighborhood. Five of the seven figures are not masked and are installed on the sidewalk on the other side of the fence. The figures are built from the inside out by wrapping, packing, and binding together an assortment of cast-off odds and ends including rags, beer cans, milk cartons, and plastic bags until the desired form was realized. Finn’s figures are powerful and disturbing. Suffused in the decay of themselves and the environment that surrounds them, they can present an unpleasant reminder of the privations that accompany loss of identity in contemporary society.

People in Trees includes a group of ten birdlike figures nestled in the forks of the main branches and limbs of the trees that grow on the traffic triangle at City Hall Park. The figures are constructed with found materials, and are cemented and tied to a wooden skeleton. Each figure in the group wears a fanciful mask in the likeness of a bird, which will be made of brightly painted sheet metal.

Finn describes People in Trees as an exploration of the relationship of individuals to nature and to the reveries of childhood. “Many of us remember sitting in trees as children—when we felt temporarily free from the comings and goings of the adult world, and consequently in touch with nature. It is this separation from nature that I wish to sooth and reveal at the same time, for the birds’ expressions are joyful, and the image I want to create is full of play and human spirit.”



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