The Weitzman will install Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass' monumental OY/YO sculpture on its grounds, at 5th and Market Streets on Independence Mall, for the next 12 months. The bright yellow aluminum statue is creative word play using just two letters, with several meanings.
One side says "YO," referencing the attention-getting phrase used throughout Philly, as well as "I" in Spanish, while the other side reads "OY," a popular Yiddish phrase used in Jewish and American culture.
Both sounds are found throughout many languages and communities, suggesting jubilance and frustration, exuberance and grittiness, optimism and struggle--all expressions of life in a free society.
"I created OY/YO thinking about the American promise of equality and fairness and our responsibilities to make the country a better place for all," says Kass. "With hate and division now on the rise, it is urgent to see our commonalities, what we share, and what brings us together."
At 8-feet tall, 16-feet wide, and 5-feet deep, OY/YO will become part of Old City's cultural fabric and a destination for tourists and locals alike. Kass first created OY/YO as a painting in 2011 and, in 2015, turned it into a sculpture that sat in New York's Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2015.
Deborah Kass is a Brooklyn-based artist who focuses on the intersections between identity, art, pop culture, and politics. She has found widespread acclaim for referencing and reinterpreting icons of modern art for a new era, paying homage to Gertrude Stein, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Ed Ruscha, while producing works filled with wit, social commentary, and a powerful beauty.