Checking in With Broken Angel’s Creator

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    There hasn’t been much news on the Broken Angel front in quite some time, but photographer Brandon Stanton has just written a long post about spending several hours with Arthur Wood, the artist responsible for the Clinton Hill building. Wood, who is facing foreclosure on the property, comes off as extremely colorful, saying the fire that engulfed the house in 2006—which resulted in the city forcing Wood to tear down the building’s upper floors—was “arson…started with lasers, I think.” (He also says that being forced to tear down six stories of the building is what killed his wife.) Wood tells Stanton about a bunch of big plans he has for the future, including building a Broken Angel in every major U.S. city, that he says will be bankrolled by the sale of a painting he’s priced at $300 million. Here’s Stanton’s description of the inside of Broken Angel these days:

    The first thing I noticed was the emptiness. It was a very wooden kind of emptiness: exposed wooden support beams, wood floors covered in wood dust, heaps of ply wood piled in corners. Broken Angel had the feel of an abandoned construction project where teenagers go to smoke weed…The only light came from solitary bulbs placed in crucial places: over doorways, above stairs. It felt very medieval, as if the place were lit by candles…In one room there was a stainless steel bathtub in the middle of the floor. It was the only thing in the room. It was filled to the top with motionless water. Something about the steel, the darkness, the stillness of the water. It felt creepy. ‘I can fit two or three women in there,’ Arthur snickeredcackled, ‘it’s better than having a Ferarri!’

    The Mad Scientist [Humans of New York]
    Photo from Humans of New York

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