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.


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.


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


Who: Greg Wyatt

What: The Peace Fountain

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

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