Brooklyn’s Newest Additions: Basketball and Big Scale Art

So we are all well aware (at least us New Yorkers) that the Nets will soon become the Brooklyn Nets, and will play their games in the monstrous new Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue. The arena will open to much fanfare and hype with a Jay-Z concert on September 28th, which seems only appropriate considering that Beyonce’s other half is a (small) owner of the team. But what you may not know is that in addition to this enormous – though very impressive – piece of architecture, Brooklyn will also be erecting a few ambitious art projects around the new home of the Nets. One such project is a giant vinyl mural by artist Mickalene Thomas depicting Brooklyn’s cityscape. The site will also be the home of a 70-foot-long painting by local artist José Parlá. Last but not least is an artistic collaboration of three digital artists — Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser — collectively known as OpenEndedGroup, which will receive prime placement on the center’s 3,000-square-foot, 360-degree LED marquee outside the main entrance. According to co-owner Bruce Ratner, these three works are “just the beginning” of artistic creations that will be commissioned for the Barclays Center. They have brought on Arnold L. Lehman, director of the Brooklyn Museum, and Eugenie Tsai, the museum’s curator of contemporary art, to serveas advisers for the center’s arts program.

So just remember when you are on your way to the Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand, or John Legend concert (or perhaps actually going to watch a basketball game), to take a moment and appreciate the art at the Barclays Center as well!

A detail of Mickalene Thomas’s mural (image via Lehmann Maupin)

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