City Will Dispose of Rogue Toe-Like Sculpture Found in Riverside Park

Stones that appear to have been sculpted in the shape of a toe, or perhaps a finger, were found on “a hidden patch of a stairway” in Riverside Park this weekend.

This raises questions such as: is this artwork — and if so, is this the whole thing? Also, whodunit?

“This sculpture has sprung up in a seemingly random spot on a hidden patch of a stairway in Riverside Park near St. Clair,” our tipster wrote. “A lot of work went into shaping those stones. Is it a local artist’s work? Is it a piece of a larger sculpture that belongs somewhere else and a vandal took and moved?”

The spot where it was found is shown on the map at right.

“If it’s an original artwork, that’s interesting, and I’d be curious to know who it is and what their intent is. I was concerned that it might be a missing piece of something else that somebody dumped there. It’s not just one of those improvised sculptures from found materials that have been popular in Riverside Park for some years.”

There is quite a bit of public art in Riverside Park, but the Parks Department told us: “This is not a Parks-sanctioned piece of public art and will be removed today.”

But, we asked in a follow-up, why remove it if it isn’t hurting anyone (as far as we know)?

“Unapproved structures or artworks in parks are against our rules.”

Sigh.

ART, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. PedestrianJustice says:

      Everyone must toe the line.
      Doth say the authorities…sigh.

    2. ronald barrett says:

      “Sigh”? Why can’t we have anarchy? Anything goes? Do whatever we want? No rules!!

      • AnDee says:

        Or, heaven forbid, the rule could be that the Parks administrator could use his or her discretion, and leave what’s charming and worthwhile, and pitch the rubbish. Of course this message board demonstrates why no one could live with that, since compromise and tolerance for opposing views often seem pretty hard to find.

    3. Dave O. says:

      Keep it there.

    4. UWSHebrew says:

      it’s part of the statue from LOST. we have to go back.

    5. Weird That Way says:

      But one could stub one’s toe on this toe!!!!

    6. chris woo says:

      So are you saying that westsiderag in asking the parks dept about it caused it to get removed?

    7. Jbo says:

      Do their rules say anything about raking the leaves once in a while?

    8. Tim G. says:

      Please don’t destroy it. Maybe a permanent place can be found to display it.

    9. JeWhoSoFat says:

      Its got gout

    10. Vivian says:

      It looks like a THUMBS UP sign.

    11. W 67th St says:

      I think it’s this artist: https://wendyrichmond.com/ She was profiled in the New Yorker recently and has an exhibition on display right now.

      • Wandering William says:

        I think that it is not Wendy’s work, as she seems to do casts of her hands and not larger-than-life works.

    12. M Warner says:

      It’s the front half of a happy hippo. Hippos should never wander out of The Hippo Playground.

    13. Christian says:

      Who’s going to foot the bill for removal?

    14. Ed says:

      It was there at least since the 16th or 17th. I noticed it because my dog saw it as something out of place and barked at it.It now has red nail polish on it.