The usual (and unusual) suspects in Macy's 82nd annual Thanksgiving Day Parade
Keith Haring's "Figure with Heart" Balloon
Tom Otterness' "Humpty Dumpty": the inaugural balloon for the Blue Sky Gallery series
Jeff Koons' "Rabbit" for the 2007 parade
In the spirit of Thanksgiving (and due in part to the quiet that has overtaken Emily Amy Gallery on Black Friday) I thought it would be fitting to blog about a long-standing Thanksgiving tradition, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. As most families do, my husband and I woke up early on Thanksgiving morning to prepare our family's feast. In order to get ourselves in gear for the big day of cooking, conversing, and cleaning ahead, we opted for some coffee and a small dose of the 82nd annual parade.
All of the usual suspects were represented this year, cartoon character balloons, clowns, bands, Broadway performers, and a special treat...ART! For the third time since 2005, the "Blue Sky Gallery Series" continued with Keith Haring's "Figure with Heart." Aiming to inject some art into the pop culture phenomenon, the Blue Sky Gallery Series was inaugurated in 2005, when officials invited artist Tom Otterness to create a balloon version of one of his classic humpty dumpty's. In 2007, the series was revisited, when Jeff Koons created "Rabbit", modeled after his 1986 materpiece of a mylar bunny that was cast in highly-polished stainless steel. A tradition that many are calling 'Pop Art in the Sky' is, in my opinion, a fantastic addition to the tired line-up of cartoon characters and 30-second performances. Infusing pop art into this 80+ year tradition adds a little more culture into this widely televised and heavily attended event. Now, the children (and grown-ups) that are in attendance or watching couch-side are able to learn a little bit about contemporary art without leaving their comfort zone.
Haring's "Figure with Heart" was introduced this year as a tribute to the artist, who would have turned 50 in 2008. Working in conjunction with the Keith Haring Foundation, the Macy's Parade Studio re-created a pen and ink on paper of Haring's from 1987, entitled "Untitled (Figure with Heart)". As only the third float in this 'Pop Art in the Sky' succession, I have to confess, that now more than ever, I will wait in eager anticipation of the next Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.