Curious Tide is an artwork by Allison Bianco at PS 958 Brooklyn. Inspired by the ocean and beaches on New York City’s coastlines, the work features a tile mural of waves, creatures, plants, animals, food, and objects influenced by local iconography. A dramatic interaction between water and sky foreshadows a physical shift of the oceanscape beneath, with unexpected objects and color designed to provide moments of humor and wonder. The weathering and entanglement expressed in the mural are linked to remembrances of shared and changing places.
Allison Bianco is a printmaker who has long been inspired by the Japanese artists who created myriad views of landscapes and seascapes as homage and visual record of Edo, which is present-day Tokyo. The waveforms in this piece are a nod to the ocean patterning and design of some of these timeless prints, examples of which can be viewed in the Brooklyn Museum’s complete set of Hiroshige’s “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” when they are on display or in their entirety on the museum’s website. In contrast to these Japanese exemplars, Bianco’s homage to the places she depicts often include impossible elements that are intended to hint that the image is not as the place exists, but as it will be remembered by those who live to see it change.
Public Art for Public Schools was established in 1989 to commission and preserve the over 2000 works in the collection of the NYC Department of Education. Artists include Ann Agee, Romare Bearden, Sanford Biggers, Sandra Cinto, and Faith Ringgold, among many others.
This is Allison Bianco’s first public art commission, a permanent, site-specific work for New York City public school 958 in Brooklyn. The commission is through the New York City School Construction Authority, Public Art for Public Schools program in collaboration with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Percent for Art program for the collection of the New York City Department of Education.
P.S. 958, Brooklyn
Collection of the NYC Department of Education, Public Art for Public Schools
All images courtesy of Samuel Morgan Photography.