Who says New York City has no time for bull? A new four-hoofed art installation in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District is both an homage and artsy throw-down to the iconic Golden Bull a few miles south on Wall Street.
Released as part of New York’s inaugural Art Week—and in celebration of Cinco de Mayo — El Toro de Oro by Mexican contemporary Artist Enrique Cabrera, debuts today at 5 p.m. in front of the Gansevoort Meatpacking hotel, which recently emerged from a $30 million renovation. The temporary sculpture will remain in place through the summer.
The cobblestone-street neighborhood once known for drugs and prostitution turned around in the late 1990s and early 2000s with fashionable boutiques by designers like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, and later transformed with the rise of the The High Line pedestrian park. Today, the district that runs from West 14th Street south to Gansevoort Street, and from the Hudson River east to Hudson Street, is home to some of Manhattan’s priciest apartments and shops even as it maintains its boho-chic cred.
The bull fits right in. The geometric bovine atop a wooden butcher block-inspired base is said to be a visual representation of the Meatpacking District’s muscular turnaround from gritty industrial no-man’s-land to a thriving global hub of art, fashion and luxury retail.
El Toro de Oro is constructed from lingot bronze and stands seven-feet long. The installation coincides with the kickoff of Art Week New York, an inaugural city-wide initiative taking place from May 5-12 at museums, auction houses and public and private event spaces around the city. That includes the nearby Whitney Museum, which is currently hosting the Whitney Biennial 2022 through September 5. Art Week events are on also now at Christie’s, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and elsewhere around town.
Gansevoort Meatpacking hotel itself is something of an art destination. The property is known for an impressive in-house art collection that includes Banksy’s Flying Copper, Hassan Hajjaj’s Marque 2013 and Richard Hambleon’s Standing Shadow – Blue, all on public view in the lobby and hotel cafe. Upstairs in the penthouse, designed by Italian furniture brand Poliform, the walls are hung with art by Adi Oren, Daniel Mazzone and photographer Mick Rock.
Since the pandemic, the Meatpacking District has been prioritizing public art as part of the Open Streets program that saw increased foot traffic and a craving for outdoor art. Most recently, the neighborhood hosted Colombian figurative artist and sculptor Fernando Botero’s Sphinx sculpture in honor of the artist’s 90th birthday. This summer, the neighborhood will see the return of the L.E.A.F. Festival of Flowers, with intricate floral arrangements and booths taking over the streets to mark the official kick off to summer in Meatpacking.
El Toro de Oro will remain in place in front of Gansevoort Meatpacking, on the corner of 9th Avenue and 13th Street, through Labor Day 2022.
Yep, and that’s no bull.