THE ART OF SHOPPING: NorthPark Center this week went a step further in its longtime mission to present public art by mounting a year-long exhibit of Iván Navarro’s “This Land is Your Land.”
The three cedar and galvanized steel water towers lined up in front of Gucci, Versace and Ferragamo were instantaneous draws: shoppers of all ages stepped underneath them to marvel at the white neon symbols mirrored within to infinity — “WE/ME,” a ladder and “BED.” The work relates to the immigrant experience and to the inclusive lyrics of Woody Guthrie’s song, said the Brooklyn-based, Chilean-born sculptor.
Nancy Nasher, who co-owns the mall, saw the towers earlier this year at Madison Square Park in New York and fell in love with them. Navarro was the 28th artist to show in the park’s public art program, but works are typically sequestered in a warehouse after exhibition, she pointed out.
“Why not share it?” Nasher asked. “And NorthPark is the perfect place. It should be seen and enjoyed. That’s what it’s all about.”
When he was asked to show at NorthPark, Navarro “didn’t know much” about the mall but decided to visit during a previously planned trip to Texas. One walk through the center, which presents eye-catching works by Mark di Suvero, Jonathan Borofsky, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol and others, and he was convinced.
“I was totally blown away by the art that I have seen here,” Navarro said. “It’s amazing.”
Over 26 million individuals stroll through the mall each year, Nasher noted.
“Look, there’s three generations,” she said, pointing to two women and a baby peering up at the middle tower, which contains the unending neon ladder.
Situated between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, the towers can also be viewed from the mall’s second level.