This past October, public artist Leon Reid IV’s latest project “Tourist-in-Chief” was selected for realization by the 2011 Art In Odd Places festival.  For one day, Reid transformed the classical equestrian statue of George Washington located in Union Square, NYC into a contemporary monument to tourism. Washington’s look was updated through the use of large scale props – such as an “I Love NY” hat, a camera, subway map, and shopping bags – to better reflect the current social climate of Union Square Park while also sparking people’s curiosity as to what Washington’s role was in New York City history.  This was not Reid’s first presidential makeover, as he once decked out an Abe Lincoln statue located in Manchester England with a giant gold chain featuring the pendant “Union,” a do-rag, Yankees hat and gold rings in hopes of drawing people’s attention to the president’s role in shaping the British city.  To learn more about Leon Reid IV’s work, visit his website at www.leonthe4th.com

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