Voyeuristic Window Art on New York City’s High Line by Hyemi Cho

When the new section of the High Line in New York City was getting ready to open in June 2011, Korean-born artist Hyemi Cho worried that she would lose her privacy due to the proximity of her apartment to the new span. Instead of giving into the fear, she painted art for her window that gave the illusion that she was peeking out and waving from behind the curtains. The art has been a hit because it takes the urban park’s visitors by surprise and she has now created additional window paintings for her apartment to further the fun. In addition, she is also creating paintings for other buildings along the High Line. These fun “voyeuristic” paintings have been temporarily removed so that they can be part of Cho’s first solo exhibition, High Line and Personal Stories, at the Nancy Margolis Gallery from January 26, 2012 through February 25, 2012.

…I imagined myself cautiously peeking through my curtain looking outside, seeking the sky and river I used to love to see. I thought, “I am a painter. Why don’t I paint the reality of life and put it out to the public.” In this way, I would (re)solve the restriction of my freedom and my frustration of this invasion of my privacy.

The window paintings have brought me, now an animal in a zoo, delightful interactions with people on the Highline. Everyday, I see people laughing at the paintings and photographing them. Sometimes, I actually peek out and wave my hand, the real life recreation of the painting. The surprise on their faces turns to excitement and they wave back, saying “hi” with their hands. I see that my paintings are a good surprise and make people smile and laugh.

via High Line

photos by Hyemi Cho and Meg Kinney

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff