There’s a lot to see and do in Chelsea this month from Kusama at David Zwirner to Mike Kelley and Rashid Johnson at Hauser & Wirth, Banksy at Taglialatella Galleries, and on & on. But the installation located at 243 West 18th Street stopped us in our tracks. It is entitled The Opioid Spoon, created by artist Domenic Esposito as part of his Opioid Spoon Project, focusing on the opioid epidemic throughout our Country.
Esposito created several Spoons in protest, bringing awareness to the opioid epidemic, with many of them ‘spoon dropped’ in front of various drug makers ~ complete with engraving like the FDA Spoon or the Purdue Spoon etc.
In May of 2019, Esposito began the ‘HONOR tour‘ with a specially created spoon sculpture to commemorate those who have lost their lives to the opioid addiction battle. At each location individuals were invited to sign the spoon in order to honor the memory of loved ones lost.
Today, you will find The Opioid Spoon at 243 West 18th Street, in front of the treatment center, Mountainside Chelsea. The installation at Mountainside Chelsea Recovery Resource Center is the first time a Spoon has been displayed in New York City. The Spoon is being displayed as part of their mission to educate the community about addiction, recovery, and relapse, which in turn can alleviate the shame people struggling or in recovery, and their families, often feel.
From Mountainside Chelsea, the Spoon will move from college campus to college campus in an effort to keep this nationwide problem front and center.
The artist, Domenic Esposito, created The Opioid Spoon as a way to inform and educate the public about the opioid epidemic that has overtaken so many of our friends and relatives ~ 700,000 dead and still counting. One of them, the artist’s brother, who has been struggling with an opioid addiction for the last twelve years. The Spoon Sculpture “embodies the pain I have felt dealing with substance use disorder in my family. The road to recovery is long, tedious and at time full of despair; and like so many families in a similar position it is a road not well understood. ”
The Opioid Spoon measures 10.5 feet long by 4 feet side and 4 feet high. It is made of heavy gauge carbon steel with burnt metal patina in the bowl of the spoon, and weighs 800 pounds. “This sculpture intends to bring awareness and accountability to the architects of this disease that has claimed far too many lives. This epidemic transcends race, income level, creed or religion. It does not discriminate.”
The installation is located at 243 West 18th Street, in front of the recovery resource treatment center, Mountainside Chelsea, NYC, and will be on view at that location through November 22, 2019 before traveling to several college campuses. The Opioid Spoon is on view at street-level from 1:00~2:30pm and from 5:00~7:00pm; Saturday from Noon ~ 4:00pm.
While you’re there, take some time to read the engravings from loved ones ~ names, dates, hearts, messages ~ packed tightly. So many lives lost, so many loved ones left to mourn.
Follow The Opioid Spoon Project on Facebook.