NYPD SkyWatch Tower Reborn As Giant Spider Sculpture

September 5, 2014 | Marina Galperina

The NYPD’s SkyWatch towers — now mofidied to fit vans with surveillance platforms extending from the roof — have become a ubiquitious fixture in the city, especially in areas where there’s lot of tourists or poor people.

Artist Zaq Landsberg is so discomforted by the platforms which were originally designed for border protection that he was inspired to bring out its monster side.

The long and the short of it is that the NYPD, and other law enforcement agencies have these SkyWatch towers which are essentially a liftable prison guard towers on trailers, which they deploy at crowded places, in front of housing projects, in poor neighborhoods, etc to “deter crime.” My piece takes this idea to its logical extreme.

Reminiscent of Louise Bourgeois’ signature Maman sculptures, the structure aptly keeps with the janky nature of the SkyWatch towers themselves, and exaggerates it into a grotesque and awkward retrofuturistic Transformer. 

See the sculpture as part of the Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellowship show in Long Island City, opening this Sunday from 3pm to 6pm, on view through next spring. (Image Courtesy Zaq Landsberg)