Pop Art takes flight again

Since 2005, Macy’s has been bringing contemporary art to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The “Blue Sky Gallery” series brought art to the skies of NYC by displaying artworks by artists Tom Otterness and Jeff Koons.  This year Macy’s adds the name of another contemporary artist to its collection: Keith Haring.   


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began the Blue Sky Gallery series in 2005 when Parade officials invited artist Tom Otterness to create a balloon version of one of his classic pieces of Humpty Dumpty.  The American sculptor whose public art works adorn parks, plazas, subway stations, libraries, courthouses and museums in NYC, seemed a logical addition to the parade. 



In 2007 the Blue Sky Gallery series added artist Jeff Koons to the series with the debut of Rabbit


Figure with Heart by Keith Haring balloon
Figure with Heart by Keith Haring balloon

Keith Haring’s Figure with Heart (1987) is the latest entrant to the Blue Sky Gallery series.  On Thursday, November 27th at 9:00 AM, Figure with Heart  will debut as a 48-foot tall helium balloon in the holiday celebration

The parade balloon is a fitting metaphor for the contemporary art world.  Much of contemporary art is quickly inflated and then deflated.  Interest in artworks and prices rise precipitously and then descend with a crash.  The art is paraded briefly before a viewing public who quickly loses interest, impatiently demanding the next sensation. 

And of course it’s full of hot air.

Related MadSilence post:  “Beautiful and mysterious”?


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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Querulous Squirrel
    Nov 23, 2008 @ 16:49:30

    On the other hand, the excited children watching the parade get a fleeting exposure to some aesthetic alternative to Disney. To a kid, fleeting attention is all they’ve got, and it may stay with them. I’d like to see a whole Art Park alternative to Disney World.


  2. madsilence
    Nov 23, 2008 @ 21:29:09

    Hi QS! The parade is great fun. Many times my family has stood in the cold sun of a Thanksgiving morning on the streets of NYC, we’ve enjoyed the ballet of street cleaners following in the parade’s wake, we’ve joined the crowds of enthusiasts the day before at the Natural History Museum when the balloons are inflated, and sat enthralled on Thanksgiving Day by the television.

    Now that the kids are grown I can admit that the parade is a grand salute to American consumerism and a merchandising extravaganza. We seem to forget that Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks to God.

    I like your idea of an Art Park. Art education is important to society.



  3. Thompson
    Feb 04, 2010 @ 07:40:59

    Perfect pop art. I like it, mainly rabbit.


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