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4.22.2007

random encounter 


today was a gorgeous day for walking a dog and visiting a few cats. after dropping off the bike at the mobile mutts office, i happened to meet tom otterness. mr. otterness is a sculptor, and his pieces can be found throughout new york, as well as the world. his most recognizable pieces (at least to me) may be from the 14th street L and ACE subway station. his studio is in a huge warehouse right next door to the mobile mutts office. i've noticed it before when the gates are up, and i've recognized his style. but today, he was sitting at a table eating chinese food, so i decided to stop and say hi. inside the warehouse/studio there are countless sculptures in various stages of completion. huge molds in flat white are scattered about wrapped in clear plastic, and some pieces nearing completion sit shining dully in their more familiar bronze, waiting to be re-located to some unknown location. some of the pieces are twenty-feet tall, and some are no larger than a football.

mr. otterness was very kind and easy to talk to, so we spoke for a few minutes. i found out that he hails from wichita, and moved to new york when he was 18. for thirty-something years he has lived on stanton street in the LES in a rent-stabalized apartment, and joked that he is trying to stay there longer than the landlord can stay alive. he moved his studio next door to the mobile mutts office in carroll gardens six months ago from dumbo. i also met his dog, shoop, and gave gave the little australian shephard some dog treats. it was a nice little surprise on this beautiful sunday afternoon.

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