The Spanish Gardner Blossoms in Brooklyn

By Sadie Portman | Published on May 24,2018 at 12:00AM
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The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative is one of the largest environmentally conscious projects in New York City. I am pleased to have my work be a part of this organization and invite you to join in the unveiling on June 1st.
for more information: 646-824-8300
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative to Unveil 10’ Sculpture of Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso Mowing a Lawn; The Spanish Gardener on view June 1–July 15, 2018
 Brooklyn, NY - On June 1, 2018 Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) will unveil The Spanish Gardener (10’ maquette) by artist Elliott Arkin – a large scale mixed-media sculpture depicting  Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso mowing a lawn. This temporary public exhibition at the corner of Degraw Street and Columbia Street in the Columbia Waterfront District highlights BGI’s role as both “artist” and “caretaker” of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.
            The Spanish Gardener is Elliott Arkin’s largest work to date and is a continuation in his series depicting historical figures as gardening lawn gnomes. The sculptures were the subject of A Peaceable Kingdom, a recent major solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s (MAMAC) roof-top garden in Nice, France. First sketched in 2004 and titled after the American painting by Edward Hicks, A Peaceable Kingdom, is derived from images Arkin created as cartoonist-in-residence (along with Nicole Eisenman) on what was the preeminent art world website,, in the late 1990s. Arkin developed his satires of art historical events into unique sculptural artworks adding broader conceptual implications that became very popular with fellow artists and collectors.
           The sculpture of Picasso mowing the lawn is a visual poem presented in an accessible and inviting manner – layered in ideas and thoughts that are meant to foster a dialogue and contemplation. In overview, the piece can be seen as a salutation to the common man. A gardening lawn gnome also can have many other implications as it compares artists to caretakers, planting ideas and doing the work that shapes our space and world. It also playfully juxtaposes the artist/patron/viewer relationship and is a satire on the on the art world with political, environmental, and social commentary. Typical with many of Arkin’s works, The Spanish Gardener mixes and matches references to artists and artworks creating a quizzical journey with many paths and interpretations and is open to be engaged on many levels.
                The Spanish Gardener will open at a reception for the artist on June 1, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00pm at the installation site on the corner of Columbia and Degraw Streets in the Columbia Waterfront District in Brooklyn. The sculpture will be on view through July 15, 2018.
About Elliott Arkin:
Elliott Arkin is an American artist (born April 15, 1960). He began his career designing windows for Tiffany & Co. in New York City while working with the legendary director Gene Moore. Moore is particularly known for selecting young artists, such as  

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