Downtown Alliance Unveils Life, Actually, A Re:Construction Public-Art Project

Downtown Alliance Unveils Life, Actually, A Re:Construction Public-Art Project

The Alliance for Downtown New York today announced the installation of Kinga Czerska’s Life, Actually, which borders the Time Equities Inc. construction site at 50 West Street. The piece runs along West, Washington and J.P. Ward streets, adjacent to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel parking garage.

The 360-foot piece is printed on vinyl and covers a wooden construction barricade. Ayelet Danielle Aldouby and Elinor Michlan of ARTEA Projects served as curators for the piece. The Downtown Alliance’s Re:Construction program began in 2007 and has produced 20 pieces, 11 of which are up for viewing.

“Now Lower Manhattan’s 300,000 workers, 55,000 residents and six million annual visitors—especially the thousands who pass through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel parking garage every day—can enjoy Kinga Czerska’s Life, Actually, part of our program to recast construction sites as canvases for innovative public art and architecture,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance. “Re:Construction is an ongoing opportunity for government, artists, curators, property owners and business people to work together to make something beautiful. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Re:Construction is produced by the Downtown Alliance and funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Engaging, thoughtful and whimsical, the temporary artworks are creating colorful landmarks and brightened streetscapes as they help mitigate the impact of Downtown’s numerous building projects.

Life, Actually is Kinga Czerska’s interpretation of the phases and dynamics of relationships. The mural includes three swirling, colorful segments, each inspired by a different stage and evoked emotions in relationships: The Beginning; Transitions; and Acceptance. The vibrant composition, interspersed with calming open spaces, reflects the varied emotional states that are integral to relationships, whether with a partner, through career or family, or simply with ourselves.

"The opportunity to realize my work on such a large scale has been a tremendous learning and exploratory experience,” Czerska said. “Life, Actually achieves harmony and balance through interlacing together—into one fabric—moments of chaos, complexity, simplicity, and order. This mural is my interpretation of the phases and dynamics that make up our relationships.”

To view more photos of the piece, go to:

"We are extremely pleased to be able to improve the streetscape of Lower Manhattan with the artwork of Kinga Czerska,” said Francis J. Greenburger, Chairman and CEO of Time Equities. “She has created an extraordinary mural that responds to the site and will enhance the neighborhood until we are able to complete our development project."

Czerska was born in Krakow, Poland, and studied at Carnegie Mellon University, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Her scope of work includes commercial architectural installations, curatorial expertise, commissions and product development for such clients as Tiffany & Co., Time Equities, Neiman Marcus and Microsoft.

Her work has been shown throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Her work is currently on display at the Francis J. Greenburger Collection, Immunex, the Microsoft Corporation, Conoco Phillips, the Orlando Hilton and Neiman Marcus, among other companies and private collections.

When complete, 50 West Street will be a 65-story mixed-use glass tower, designed by internationally renowned architect Helmut Jahn. The project will comprise a luxury hotel on the lower floors and residential condominiums on the upper floors, plus ground-floor retail. The space will also include a public plaza connecting West and Washington Streets.

Previous Re:Construction projects have been installed at:

  • Hudson Street between Franklin Street and Ericsson Place: Star Sun Burst*
  • W Hotel New York – Downtown: Hours of the Day*
  • Chambers Street: Secret Gardens*
  • Fiterman Hall: Restore the View*
  • 99 Church Street: Walking Men 99*
  • 56 Leonard Street: Rendering Leonard*
  • Hudson River Park: Botanizing the Asphalt*
  • 50 Trinity Place: Poster Project at 50 Trinity*
  • 99 Washington Street: Flying Animals*
  • East River Waterfront Esplanade, South Street: Fence Embroidery with Embellishment*
  • Titanic Park, Fulton and Pearl streets: Water Movements
  • West Thames Park, Battery Park City: It Takes Time to Turn a Space Around
  • The Fulton Street Transit Center, John Street at Broadway: Best Pedestrian Route
  • Fulton Street reconstruction site, between Broadway and Nassau: Fulton Fence
  • Fulton Street Transit Center, Broadway between Ann and John streets: Concrete Jungle
  • Goldman Sachs headquarters, 200 West Street: Untitled
  • AIG building, 175 Water Street: Green Gate, Summer
  • Street reconstruction site at Houston and Broadway: Houston Fence
  • Louise Nevelson Plaza, Maiden Lane and William Street: Rainbow Conversation

* currently up for viewing

For more information on the Re:Construction program and hi-res images of the projects, click here.