Giant Bagels and Huge Tulips Celebrate the “Taste” of New York

A giant stack of bagels on a New York City sidewalk with people walking nearby and traffic passing.

Hanna Liden’s “Everything” places large-scale carved versions of bagels in bustling public spaces. Photo: Nicholas Knight, courtesy of Art Production Fund.

It’s true. New York City is one of the great food capitols of the world. But one of the culinary icons of the city could not be simpler—the humble bagel. Whether you like them whole wheat or egg, everything or onion, plain or toasted and schmeared with cream cheese, the bagel is the emblem of urban breakfast.

Swedish artist and photographer Hanna Liden had her first taste of the bagel in 1998, right along with her first visit to New York City. New York’s particular brand of urbanism has held her focus ever since. The city made its mark on her, and now she’s returned the favor with “Everything,” her two-part art installation in Hudson River Park and Ruth Wittenberg Plaza.

The exhibition sets bagels in stacks and singles around the city, sometimes acting as vases for tall, dark tulips. Bagels and tulips alike are cast in seamless, massive scale, each bread replica the size of a tractor tire. The casting process allows them to look surprisingly real, even at that size. They even have the little rough spot where a baked good is torn away from the one baked beside it.

Black spray paint adds a further New York touch to the installations, alluding to the inevitable ‘punk grime’ and graffiti of the city.

The bagel – a circle with no beginning and no end – is evocative of the eternal cycle of city life. Black spray paint is a romantic tribute to the darkness and grime, which are essential and beautiful characteristics of our city,” says Liden of her own work.

‘Everything’ will remain on display in Hudson River Park through October 20th, 2015, and at Ruth Wittenberg Plaza until August 24th, 2015. It is presented by Art Production Fund and Kiehl’s cosmetics.

About 

Martin Ackerman is a freelance writer and current editor originally from Staten Island, NY. His university schooling focused on English education and Japanese. He has a (not so secret) passion for art history and political science. When he isn't writing or editing you can find him at sci-tech conventions, building the latest LEGO city or pampering his cat, Tea. You can follow him on Twitter @MarMackerman.

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