Cortlandt Alley painting mystery (sort of) solved

Thanks to Anonomiss for filling us in on the artist behind the painting in Cortlandt Alley. Are Z. and I the only ones obsessed with it?? I just love it for its subversion and also honoring of a timeless classic, and the connection between the city and the art, and now, how it fits into the artist’s environmental activism.

Turns out the artist is Diana Wege, a New York-based conceptual artist who uses her work to explore the nexus between the environment and social justice. The piece in the alley, part of her Earth Requiem series and titled “Altered Copy of Frederic Church’s Niagara Falls, From the American Side,” is an 8-foot x 7-foot oil painting that looks to symbolize the death of nature and the carelessness with which we treat it by adding graffiti to the cliffs and rocks in the foreground. From her site: “The [graffiti] depicts the nomenclature of legislative bills that had already been passed by Congress to undermine the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Wege then places the pieces outdoors where, vulnerable and unprotected — like the real American landscape — they are subjected to more defacement on the streets.”

I had hoped to hear more from Wege directly, but we will have to live with this explanation for now.


1 Comment

  1. I love this piece! definitely worth a visit. A few disparate thoughts: I appreciate Wege’s quiet on the subject. It’s a performance that is still ongoing and I think it’s great that she is not interfering. We are not entitled to an explanation of why Niagara Falls IS either. I’m so glad it was up during the climate march, and a point of pride that it has stayed in such good shape in our neighborhood.