Artist Nina Chanel Abney brings NYC LOVE to The High Line




Rendering courtesy of the artist and High Line Art

From her commission at the newly renovated David Geffen Hall to The High Line, a new mural by artist Nina Chanel Abney titled NYC LOVE is on view on the High Line this week. NYC LOVE is a celebration of New York City via its iconography, and is located on one of the city’s most popular destinations for tourists and locals alike. The mural is on view for a year, from November 2022 though Fall 2023, on the High Line at 22nd Street.

For the High Line, Abney realizes NYC LOVE, a new mural that celebrates the feeling of first arriving in New York City. Featuring the many icons of New York—pizza slices and the Statue of Liberty, plenty of pigeons, and one Big Apple—Abney’s mural rides the subway, floats along the waterfront, and takes in all the city has to offer. NYC LOVE graces the High Line, an icon in itself that welcomes millions of New Yorkers and visitors alike to enjoy the many offerings of the bustling metropolis.

NYC LOVE is representative of Abney’s first years as a student and tourist in New York City—an ode to the feeling of newness and unfamiliarity that breeds excitement and possibility. When the artist moved to New York in 2005, she would meander through the city streets from Chelsea to Times Square, seduced by the hustle and bustle, bright lights, and the idea of a sleepless city. All of the “touristy” icons that most lifetime and long-time New Yorkers take for granted were gratifying and glossy to Abney, a self-described Midwestern suburbanite. NYC LOVE recreates the joy of first experiencing those stimulating sights, sounds, and flavors in Abney’s signature bright colors and geometric forms.

Nina Chanel Abney creates paintings, prints, and large-scale mural installations that reflect the frenzied pace of contemporary life. In a single painting she may merge influences from news and politics, celebrity culture and gossip blogs, social media, art history, and popular television shows, all gathered together to express the overabundance of contemporary culture. Layering spray paint and acrylic paint, Abney composes scenes of everyday life with graphic, angular figures posed against bright, geometric backgrounds. In one of her recent series of works, Abney sets out to realize a rural Black queer utopia, inspired by the time she spent escaping New York City during the pandemic.

About the artist ~ Nina Chanel Abney (b. 1982, Chicago, Illinois) lives and works in New York, New York. Abney has had solo presentations at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, New York, (2022); ICA Miami, Florida (2022); The Contemporary Dayton, Ohio (2021); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts (2020); Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida (2019); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2018). Her work has been exhibited in group exhibitions including Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (2019), traveling to Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, Washington (2019–2020); California African American Museum, Los Angeles, California (2020); and The Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma (2020–2021); 30 Americans, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2019–2020), and the 12th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2018).

In addition, Abney most recently unveiled her commissioned site-specific visual artwork at the newly renovated David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic.