Yesterday, NewYorkology reported on the LEGO fill-in artwork of Jan Vormann, who has been patching up the city's holes with colorful LEGO bricks. They started here, at the 10th Avenue wall of the General Theological Seminary:
I like the LEGO fill-in idea. It has an Easter egg-hunt quality to it.
At the same time, I wonder if it might be part of the cute-ification of New York--part of that "tsunami of cute" that Jim Windolf wrote about in Vanity Fair a few months ago. It's the stuff of cupcakes, puppies, and bright-colored toys--the infantilization of an entire culture.
Windolf refers to the essayist Daniel Harris, author of the book, Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic, who argues that to make something cute is to disempower it. Is that what has happened to the city? Is castration by cuteness what Bloomberg helped bring to New York?
The LEGO artist says on his website that he came "to New York City...to support Mayor Bloomberg in his everyday-struggle to make this city even more amazing."
Well. Maybe I'm reading too much into it all, trying to make connections where there are none. Maybe it's just a cute street-art project and not part of a larger, collective-unconscious mission to make New York more palatable to the rest of the world.
As a post-script to all this, Gothamist picked up NewYorkology's story and a commenter wondered, "So how do they prevent people from stealing the legos?"
Answer: They don't.
On the same day the story broke onto the blogosphere, this LEGO fill-in, with its teeny little door, was found ripped out of the Seminary wall. Was it taken by a smitten collector? Or destroyed by an enemy of cuteness? We may never know.