Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Peace Fountain of Allegory

St John the Divine at 112th St is worth a pilgramage- for art. Aside from the famed Haring altar piece, the cathedral is flanked by a giant allegorical sculpture that looks right out of a Hieronymous Bosch painting. The Peace Fountain was cast in 1985 by Greg Wyatt as a tribute to the 200th anniversary of the Diocese of New York.  But the twisting sculptures instead looks like it was lifted right out of the 16th Century- back when the ideas of good and evil were used to scare the shit out of parishioners- like Bosch’s wonderfully scary paintings. Archangel Michael embraces a  peaceful giraffe, animals are intertwined with a giant man in the moon, with is also interwoven with a DNA double helix, while crazy crab claws are perched at the base above an upside down head of Satan, oh and there’s no actual water in the fountain.

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It sounds like a real mess, but the sculpture is amazing if not a bit ominous, asserting the epic cathedrals presence in the neighborhood and evoking the time (despite being cast in 1985), when the church banked in the plight of good versus evil.

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The fountain is surrounded by bronze casts of inspirational authors and philosophers, designed by local school children.

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Who: Greg Wyatt

What: The Peace Fountain

Where: Cathedral of St. John the Divine1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street

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