Los Angeles painter Henry Taylor, who is known for bold portraits that depict figures from every strata of society, be they homeless or art world habitués, will produce a new large-scale mural for the High Line park in New York City.
The mural, titled “the floaters” — a name inspired by the Detroit R&B band — is based on a self-portrait of the artist, floating in a swimming pool, that he first showed at Blum & Poe in L.A. last fall. (In its original incarnation, the painting was titled “fil’s house,” and it was produced in 2016.)
Measuring about 30 feet by 50 feet, the mural will occupy the side of a building within view of the elevated High Line park, a popular Manhattan outdoor gathering area that draws about 8 million people per year.
“His paintings are so powerful and so intimate,” says Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of the High Line’s art program. “We wanted a work that could really use the very public nature of the space and engage a relationship with the viewer. We wanted something very direct. And I like that it’s a self-portrait, of the artist staring at you. He’s watching you while being watched.”
Taylor’s piece follows other prominent Los Angeles artists who have exhibited work in the High Line’s mural space, including Ed Ruscha and Barbara Kruger. Production on “The Floaters” is set to begin on March 13.
For more on the High Line’s art program, which also includes sculpture and installation, log on to art.thehighline.org.