Today marked the debut of the latest High Line Billboard commission, for which redoubtable Twitter force and artist Raymond Pettibon has turned in a billboard-sized version of his 2010 drawing “No Title (Safe he called…)” showing a dramatic baseball scene at home plate rendered in his characteristic style with thick lines and handwritten notes. The drawing captures one of Brooklyn Dodgers legend and notorious base-stealer Jackie Robinson’s many times stealing home base, as indicated by the text on the right.
To the left, with the quotation “Where Brooklyn At?,” Pettibon references a legendary Hot 95 freestyle by late Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G. Below, the words “Moses: ‘Out!’” are a play on baseball terminology, but also an allusion to Robert Moses, the infamous New York City chief of parks, roads, and public housing, who was largely responsible for the Dodgers’ relocation from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
Though far less summery than Ryan McGinley’s billboard, which brought a refreshing and cool blue silhouette to the park-adjacent billboard at West 18th Street, Pettibon’s work (which is on view through July 1) is nonetheless seasonally appropriate, with its focus on America’s national pastime just as New York’s climate cranks up the heat.
This isn’t Pettibon’s only major project in West Chelsea: his next solo show at David Zwirner, slated for the dealer’s 519 West 19th Street location, will launch the gallery’s fall season in September.
— Benjamin Sutton
(Photo by the author.)