NYC cabbies were in for a surprise last week when the busy Getty gas station on Tenth Avenue in Chelsea was taken over by a pop-up meadow complete with sheep! An installation based on a concept by the late artist Francois-Xavier Lalanne for nearby Paul Kasmin Gallery, Sheep Station is a sprawling field of rolling hills right under the station’s car port. Adorned with 25 sheep sculptures, the surrealist landscape has engulfed the station's mundane gas pumps, and will remain on view until October 20, 2013.
Lalanne’s beautiful pop-up meadow is enclosed by a classic white fence, bringing a sense of the serene countryside to the bustling Chelsea Arts District. The green expanse begins at the doors of the former convenience store that served Getty customers, and stretches to the end of the filling station’s property. The station’s sign, which once bore the rising prices of a gallon of gas each day has been replaced with Lalanne’s name, along with the exhibition name and dates, further taking over the gas station’s former use.
The grassy hills roll like waves, in some places seeming to drown the old gas pumps, with green blades rising above the credit card machines and windshield wiper receptacles. Sheep Station is meant to be a whimsical interruption for passersby to discover as they carry on with their daily commutes, bringing a smile or a laugh, as well as a sense of nature.
Although gas guzzlers may be frustrated with the green infusion of Chelsea’s Getty station, the filling station was slated for destruction anyway, and will soon be developed into another luxury residence that hugs the High Line developed by Michael Shvo.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat
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