The Many Lives of OY/YO by Deborah Kass

  • Deborah Kass, OY/YO, 2015

    Deborah Kass

    OY/YO, 2015 Acrylic polyurethane aluminum on stainless steel base
    96 x 195 x 54 1/2 in
    243.8 x 495.3 x 138.4 cm
    Ed. 2 of 4
  • Kass painted her first Oy painting in 2009, and her first Yo in 2010. The two paintings are covers of a painting by Ed Ruscha from 1962 called Oof, currently in the collection of MoMA. For her paintings, Kass appropriated the same hues and font that Ruscha used in his. In 2015, Two Tree Management Art in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn commissioned Kass to create a monumental public sculpture version of OY/YO for the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Standing approximately 96 x 196 inches, the aluminum sculpture spells "YO" when viewers look at is towards Brooklyn, and "OY" when viewers look at it towards Manhattan. Kass has also created other manifestations of this ongoing series.

  • Deborah Kass, OY, 2011

    Deborah Kass

    OY, 2011 8-color silkscreen on 4-ply museum board
    21 1/2 x 20 in
    54.6 x 50.8 cm
    #35 of 60
  • Deborah Kass, YO, 2011

    Deborah Kass

    YO, 2011 8-color silkscreen on 4-ply museum board
    21 1/2 x 20 in
    54.6 x 50.8 cm
    #35 of 60

  • Since it's debut as a public sculpture in 2015, 
    OY/YO has become Deborah Kass’ most instantly recognizable work. Its gleaming, modern form combined with its straightforward investigation of perspective—it says OY when viewed from one side, and YO when viewed from the other—elevates it to a perfect expression of both Pop Art and Pop Criticism.Large-scale, public versions of OY/YO are currently in the permanent collections of museums on opposite coasts: the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. OY/YO is also currently on display at the Weitzman Museum of American Jewish History in Philadephia, PA and as part of Sculpture Milwaukee in Milwaukee, WI.
  • Deborah Kass in Something to Say: Brooklyn Hi-Art!, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

    Deborah Kass in Something to Say: Brooklyn Hi-Art!

    The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY 3 October 2018 - 14 July 2019 In this yearlong activation, Brooklyn artists Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine, Deborah Kass, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Hank Willis Thomas present their work in our public spaces—the plaza green, steps, and promenade...

  • In this particular image of OY/YO at the Brooklyn Museum, Deborah Kass has modified the work  by adding a blue wrapping. This was done in March of 2022 as a show of support for the Ukrainian people. During the wrapping of the work, Kass reflected on her grandparents, who were from a small Jewish village outside Kiev. In line with Kass' history, this modification is a direct reference to Bulgarian artist, Christo, who was known for wrapping cultural monuments and buildings in fabric.

  • Deborah Kass: OY/YO, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford, CA

    Deborah Kass: OY/YO

    Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford, CA 20 December 2019 Brooklyn-based painter, printmaker and sculptor Deborah Kass is known for working at the intersection of art history, popular culture and identity -- particularly related to Jewish culture and elements of...
  • Deborah Kass, OY/YO at the Weitzman, Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History

    Deborah Kass, OY/YO at the Weitzman

    Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History 1 May 2022 - 1 May 2023 Beginning on Saturday, April 30th, Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass’ monumental “OY/YO” sculpture will open on the grounds of the Weitzman, at 5th and Market Streets on Independence Mall, for the...
  • Sculpture Milwaukee 2021, There is this We, Featuring Deborah Kass, Sculpture Milwaukee | Milwaukee, WI

    Sculpture Milwaukee 2021, There is this We, Featuring Deborah Kass

    Sculpture Milwaukee | Milwaukee, WI 1 June 2021 - 1 October 2022 For the past four years, Sculpture Milwaukee has brought astounding works from nationally-known and internationally-appreciated artists to various spots scattered through the city’s downtown. The innovative and interesting exhibitions offered...

  • Kass has additionally created a range of non-sculptural manifestations of OY/YO. Many of these iterations are aligned with Kass' ongoing engagement with political and social activism. In the lead up to the 2020  Presidential Election, Kass collaborated with  Art at a Time Like This and SaveArtSpace to produce an exclusive YO VOTE! billboard in Brooklyn, NY. Kass also recently designed an OY/YO t-shirt as part of OUT OF ORDER Magazine's capsule collection to benefit grassroots organization UKRAINE PRIDE. All proceeds generated by this project will go towards supporting LGBTQ+ families impacted by the war in Ukraine.

  • Deborah Kass: MINISTRY OF TRUTH: 1984/2020 NOW OPEN!

    Deborah Kass: MINISTRY OF TRUTH: 1984/2020 NOW OPEN!

    October 19, 2020 20 Billboards in the Five Boroughs Addressing the Current State of US Politics. This week, just in time for the election, Art at a Time Like This and Save Art...
  • Deborah Kass: OUT OF ORDER Unveils Capsule T-Shirt Collection by Artists to Benefit Grassroots Organization UkrainePride

    Deborah Kass: OUT OF ORDER Unveils Capsule T-Shirt Collection by Artists to Benefit Grassroots Organization UkrainePride

    June 28, 2022 OUT OF ORDER will unveil a capsule t-shirt collection in collaboration with eleven artists, the proceeds of which will benefit grassroots organization UKRAINEPRIDE. Tees will be available for sale during...