Fifth on the Park’s mystery ladies

Photos by: D. Bell/Uptownflavor

Passing by 5th on the Park yesterday, I noticed a sculpture of 3 woman in front of the building that wasn’t there before. Does anyone have any background information about the artist and how the voluptuous ladies came to make their home in front of this luxury condo development? Perhaps it the latest acquisition in the condos “impeccably curated” collection?

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9 thoughts on “Fifth on the Park’s mystery ladies

  1. Damn, Pcharm129, you must be a hit at parties…

    Please do yourself and the rest of us a favor and just chill out! You seem to harbor tons of resentment, and are looking for confrontation where it may not necessarily exist. Seek out the positive in your life, and don’t play the victim.

  2. What is it that you don’t get Harlemite? I am also a black (when do Caucasians call themselves European Americans?). If you or anyone else finds that the women in this statue are voluptuous, that’s fine. That’s YOUR opinion. In MY opinion, and according to what I understand voluptuous to mean (Merriam Webster: 1 a : full of delight or pleasure to the senses : conducive to or arising from sensuous or sensual gratification : luxurious b : suggesting sensual pleasure by fullness and beauty of form ), I don’t think so. Some people like hefty women. (I’ve come across dudes who don’t like their women to be under like 350lbs!) To some of them I guess these women would be considered voluptuous. To others like me…far from it. I would consider the stereotypical video chick voluptuous. But that’s not the point! I have no real issue with this sculpture besides its placement. And if you can’t understand that, then I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know how old you are, what your educational background is (which is what the artist asked me when I initially voiced my objections with the statue), how long you’ve been a Harlem resident, financial background, and so on. Very well off people have lived in Harlem for decades. Striver’s Row, for example, is full of them. My mother is (well, was…long story…stock brokers suck!) upper middle class. She OWNS the brownstone we live in. I went to private school for 10 years. So knock it off! Stop trying to use the most simple aspects of my dissent to hold onto. I HATE that! QUESTION: Was/Is the Harlem gentrification wave about uplifting the black community…It may have been the plan when Dinkins was in office getting it started, but it has long since become about money; did the wave spark renewed interest in and about Harlem…YES; has that interest in turn wreaked havoc on the poor and middle class denizens of the community…HELL YES! White and affluent people had little concern with Harlem as a cultural wonderland. They see development interests (due to low real estate value compared to mid and lower Manhattan), profit margins, and lots and lots of dollar signs, at the expense of those, who THEY KNOW, will not be able to stick around if they get their way. And that’s how they want it. Unfortunately for them, and lucky for us, they jumped the gun. The poured tons of capital into these developments and rezoning sways, only to find out…that no one’s coming! At least not the tides of gentry that they anticipated. Now all their million dollar condos and luxury apartments are on the verge of becoming…dare I say it…AFFORDABLE HOUSING!!! Well…more like somewhat affordable housing. Many of these developments sit empty or just a fraction occupied. Others are filing for bankruptcy or being sued by tenants wanting to break their lease. (At the conclusion of this text, I will post a few links I came across concerning these issues.) They got cocky and it cost them. Besides the fact that they built some of these high priced havens across the street, or around the corner, from the projects, and in still high crime neighborhoods, the most ironic savior showed up to shake the foundation of their indifference…recession! And I’m by no means praising these terribly hard times. I feel it just as bad as most of you. But I have to admit that it was poetic justice! They do say that God has a cruel sense of humor, don’t they…

  3. I too do not get the point of this email. So, what the statue is placed in front of a building as you say “most” people who live in the community cannot afford.This is America and is one of the few countries where you can start with ZERO and make something of yourself. Is it the condo owners fault that some cannot afford the prices being charged-I think not.I live in a community very similar to Harlem and quite frankly I hope more educated working class people move in and yes, I wouldn’t care if they where white – as long as that don’t have a “nigger” attitude. Yes, I said it and it is an attitude not a race of people.With all that’s going on in the world the argument over the placement of a statue seems a bit of a none issue…at least to me.Jerom

  4. I am an African American who lives in the community and I think it is a beautiful piece of art. Are we saying that only poor people have a right to live in Harlem? Or that there is something wrong with depicting large women? I don’t get it.

  5. The piece to me is actually beautiful, I visited his website and found some of his statues very peaceful. In regards to the women “overweight” I disagree. The artist created what he finds true to him. Probably where he’s from the women are voluptous and curvy. It’s sad that Western (U.S.) find women who aren’t skinny as being unappealing. So he’s just expressing what he found as being beautiful. (That last comment came from a woman who is very petite or “skinny”)

  6. Those women are the nanny’s on break from taking care of the babies of the well heeled wealthy people.

  7. My letter to Al Sharpton:

    Dear Sir:
    There is a community matter that I would like to bring to your attention. I drove passed 120th & 5th yesterday and saw a bunch of people on the corner staring at, and taking pictures of, a statue of 3 stout African women sitting down hugging each other. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that this statue has been placed in front of 1485 5th avenue, which is that huge bldg on 120th & 5th across from Mt. Morris Park. The huge bldg with million dollar condos and rentals that START around $2500 for a studio apartment, which, of course, most of this community cannot afford! I was compelled to go back to see what was going on, and subsequently to address the matter of the placement of this statue. Long story short, I was out there for 2 hrs arguing, debating, and trading information with 1.) the owner of the bldg [white w/Black wife & also owns The Lenox, on 129th & Lenox, and argues that they are helping to uplift the community, and that the Harlem Gentrification Project DIDN’T DISPLACE ANY BLACK PEOPLE FROM THE COMMUNITY] and 2.) the statue’s artist (Nigerian) and wife (White). The artist was a good guy. And after the bldg owner left we ended up having a good conversation.
    Anyway, my point was that if this statue was placed somewhere else, such as across the street in the park, there would not be an issue. But by placing the statue in front of a bldg, which is unaffordable to the majority of black people, filled with white faces, and of itself caused strife throughout the community it’s built in because EVERYONE here knows that it wasn’t built for or to help us in any way. But, to the contrary, was brazenly erected as a testament that we are no longer the kings and queens of Harlem because the gentry will soon be here to displace us. The placement of that statue is a kick in the face to our community! It’s like saying, “Nah nah nah nah nah! We know people like you can’t afford to live here, but don’t worry, we’ll let you sit right outside!” I’m sure this wasn’t their intention, but the perception is still the same! HOW DARE THEY!!! NONE of them are from this community so they really don’t understand. They feel that it’s supposed to make us poor, foolish, uneducated, ignorant, nobodies feel better about having this bldg in the neighborhood; so that we can all hold hands and sing Kum Bay Ya!
    The artist’s very annoying wife kept trying to tell me how WE (Black Harlemites) should feel about what’s going on in OUR community, with OUR people, and how these things should affect US! She actually tried to compare her struggles to ours and said that race should not be an issue (which it shouldn’t…BUT IT IS!!! And that’s just the flipping reality of it!). Yet, she tried to use the fact that her husband is African, as a reason that I should not be upset with the situation!!! That woman and idiot bldg owner know nothing about us, this community, or any of its struggles! Our anger, our pain. Our dreams and aspirations. Why some of us do the things we do. Or why many of us fail when we attempt to reach for the stars. They read most of the crap they THINK they know about us, while we experience it!
    Well, I just wanted to advise your office of this issue in hopes that you can help relieve this affront. Included are a few pictures that I took to further help you understand our outrage. I hope that you find this cause worthy of your assistance.
    Thank you so much for your time and attention in this matter.

    This was my letter to Al Sharpton expressing my offense with the symbolism of this statue. Also, to each his own, but these women are NOT voluptuous! They are overweight. But that’s really irrelevant.

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