Red Grooms | American, born 1937

Red Grooms’ “Ruckus Manhattan” in the mid-1970s humorously transformed Grand Central Terminal into a 3-D caricature of New York City. “I wanted to do a novelistic portrait of Manhattan from Battery Park to Grant’s tomb,” Grooms explained. The comic-book inspired interactive installation included iconic landmarks—the subway, Central Park, the Apollo Theater, the Woolworth building—populated by life-sized wooden figures of prostitutes, thieves, gamblers, tourists, shoppers, and families, revealing the city’s grit as well as its glamour. It was lauded for its effect of turning Manhattan—then threatening and oppressive—into a place of wonder. Since then, Grooms has “made a career of affectionate parody,” according one critic, through satirical, pop culture-infused prints and sculptural tableaux in homage to his adopted city.

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