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New York Gets a New Bull

BLLA Member, Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel, The Meatpacking Bid and Internationally Recognized Artist Enrique Cabrera Unveil El Toro del Oro New ...

BLLA Member, Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel, The Meatpacking Bid and Internationally Recognized Artist Enrique Cabrera Unveil El Toro del Oro

New York, NY – In partnership with the Meatpacking BID, Gansevoort Meatpacking, the hotel credited for the revitalization of the Meatpacking District during both its original opening in 2004 and its $30 million dollar renovation post-pandemic in 2021, is continuing to usher in a new era of the neighborhood with New York’s newest bull – El Toro de Oro – by Mexican Contemporary Artist Enrique Cabrera. The hotel will today unveil the temporary sculpture in front of the hotel with support from the Mexican Consulate of New York, in celebration of Cabrera’s Mexican heritage, permitted as part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program.

El Toro de Oro’s unveiling today coincides with the kickoff of the first New York Art Week, with four art fairs—Independent, TEFAF New York, NADA New York, and the Future Fair—opening in the city. Auction houses and museums such as Meatpacking’s Whitney Museum are also taking part. 

El Toro de Oro is a visual representation of the Meatpacking District’s immense transformation over the last two decades, depicting a geometric bull atop a wooden butcher block-inspired base. The wooden pedestal pays homage to the district’s gritty history of meatpackers with the rising gold bull from the block – representative of the neighborhood’s more recent life as the go-to art, fashion and luxury boutique mecca. Created from lingot bronze, El Toro de Oro will stand 4x4x8 feet long on a 7x1x8 foot long block, welcoming hotel guests and residents of the cobble stoned neighborhood with a regal presence. Upon first glance, the polished bull appears without blemish, but with further inspection, intentional imperfections shine through, a nod to the hardworking nature of New York. 

“Through recession, renaissance, pandemic and revival, our hotel has witnessed and helped shape change in the Meatpacking District,” said Michael Achenbaum, President & Founder, Gansevoort Hotel Group. “From being home to the Whitney Museum to the opening of Little Island from Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, the neighborhood is on the right trajectory as is New York City. We are proud to support the community of artists and visionaries who have made their home here.”

Gansevoort Meatpacking, which debuted a $30 million dollar renovation last summer, has become a pillar in the community for its cultural programming. Known for its robust in-house collection of art, guests and locals alike are welcomed in to view works such as Banksy’s Flying Copper, Hassan Hajjaj’s Marques, 2012 and Richard Hambleton’s Standing Shadow – Blue, all housed in Gansevoort’s black marble lobby and European-inspired cafe, Coffee + Cocktails. The hotel’s penthouse, designed by Italian furniture brand Poliform, also serves as a gallery for artists like Adi Oren, Frank Stella, Daniel Mazzone and famed photographer Mick Rock.

Cabrera, who hails from Veracruz, Mexico, is a multidisciplinary sculptor and professional photographic restorer, dedicated to promoting Mexican culture beyond the country’s borders. His work has been commissioned by organizations including CENIDIAP (National Center of Investigation in Fine Arts) and INBA (National Institute of Fine Arts), with pieces featured in the Museum Picasso de Antibes in France and the world-famous Louvre in Paris. His iconic skull sculpture, Palmarius, has traveled to more than 28 countries, with stints in Paris, Cannes, Dubai, Rome, Florence, Tokyo, Miami, New York, and Los Angeles.

Best defined by a series of seven pieces each, Cabrera’s collections replicate a theme in a variety of presentations, with the bull being the subject of some of his most recent works. Created specifically for The Meatpacking District, El Toro de Oro breaks the mold of Cabrera’s bull series, living independently from the original seven and standing alone as the only sculpture created from bronze and designed for outdoor installation. 

“The Meatpacking District represents legacy and community, which is deeply rooted in my work,” said Cabrera. “It only makes sense that this piece, signifying the convergence of old and new in the greatest city in the world, would live on these streets. I am a longtime fan of Gansevoort, so being part of the hotel’s transformation made it feel like a perfect fit.” 

In addition to the introduction of El Toro de Oro, more of a spotlight on Mexican American artists in Meatpacking comes via the opening of the long-awaited Whitney Museum’s Biennial –one of the country’s most comprehensive exhibitions of American art. This year, the organization is taking a look at American art but also stepping just outside the border to include Mexican artists in its roster. 

The Meatpacking District, which formalized its Open Streets program last year, has been prioritizing public art installations across the neighborhood, especially as the district and city are booming back to life coming out of the pandemic with increased tourism and foot traffic. Most recently, the district hosted famed Colombian figurative artist and sculptor Fernando Botero’s Sphinx sculpture in honor of the artist’s 90th birthday, living on Ninth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets. This summer, the neighborhood will welcome back the L.E.A.F. Festival of Flowers, with intricate floral arrangements and booths taking over the streets to mark the official kick off to summer in Meatpacking.  

“We’ve noticed that public art in Meatpacking brings such joy to all of the people who work, live and visit the neighborhood, so it’s been a huge initiative for us this year,” said Jeffrey LeFrancois, Executive Director, the Meatpacking District. “It’s even more incredible when we can partner with longtime neighbors to bring special installations like this one to life. El Toro De Oro is a unique and fitting representation of the storied transformation of the Meatpacking District and we can’t wait to welcome it to the neighborhood for the summer.”

El Toro de Oro will remain in its place of honor in front of Gansevoort Meatpacking through Labor Day 2022. An anchor in Manhattan’s vibrant Meatpacking District, Gansevoort Meatpacking is located on 18 9th Ave, on the corner of 9th Avenue and 13th Street.

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