Today I headed to Grand Central Station to pet a horse.
There’s an explanation: Performance artist Nick Cave is holding a seven-day exhibit showcasing his 30 straw-like horses at the station, and twice daily they put on a performance. Grand Central is great for random things like this – if you remember, I went to a squash tournament in the same space in January.
The colourful life-sized horses are made from paper, card and material that sashays with each movement. It took a month for six people to build one suit; Cave made a prototype and then enlisted a team of artists to build the rest.
Two dancers from The Ailey School (where Cave himself was once a student) fill each suit, and we got to see them climb into the fluffy skirts and don the heavy heads.
With the suits in place, the horses came to life, each one with a different personality. They nudged each other, flinched and flirted with the audience, each showing off their beautifully sequined head pieces.
Then the music picked up and the dancers separated and shook it.
Despite the exceptionally tall man standing right in front of me, this was brilliant. It was both modern and a tribute to Grand Central’s past, as the horses are a nod to the oldest form of transport. And I loved how placing it in such a hub made disgruntled commuters slow down for a peek and a smile.
And as an added bonus… who did I spot among the crowd? Nick Cave himself.