OY-YO Says it All in Brooklyn

Deborah Kass, After Louise Bourgeois, 2010. Photo by: Andrew Russeth
Deborah Kass, After Louise Bourgeois, 2010. Photo by:
Andrew Russeth

A new sculpture now graces the grass in Brooklyn Bridge Park, expressing itself in a quite Brooklynistic manner. Created by artist Deborah Kass, the sculpture is a painted aluminum giant, loudly declaring the emphatic declaratives Oy and Yo, depending on if you are gazing at the sculpture from Brooklyn or Manhattan.

This is the first time Ms. Kass, who calls herself a “”total, absolute, 100 percent provincial New Yorker” has created a piece of these dimensions, 17 feet long and 8 feet high.

“The fact that this particular work resonates so beautifully in so many languages to so many communities is why I wanted to make it monumental” Ms. Kass said.

The work was commissioned by the Brooklyn developer Two Trees Management Company, and was installed on the renovated Main Street Lawn in the park last week. It will remain in the park until August next year.

Although the sculpture seems like a perfect fit in the culturally diverse New York environment, Ms. Kass points out that any city in America with a diverse population could be home for Yo/Oy.

Wherever blacks, Latinos and Jews live together would make a great backdrop for this artwork.

However, Brooklyn seems somehow like the best place of any:

“This is New York, baby. We’ve got it all. And the sculpture covers it all” she said.

Rachel Thornbee

When it comes to politics and deal making in the streets of Brooklyn, Rachel is on top of it. With a degree in political science and another in business leadership, Rachel can discuss the inner workings of the system with the best of them. We are excited to have Rachel joining Gowanus Lounge, reporting on the great goals and challenges of Brooklyn's political infrastructure. Contact Rachel at rachelthornbee(at)