CAA's Kevin Huvane Pitches In for Public Art on Park Avenue

Brian To/FilmMagic; Courtesy of Joseph La Piana
Joseph La Piana (right) with Kevin Huvane in 2011; Rendering of one of the artist's 'Tension Sculptures' as it will appear in NYC

With help from the agency's managing partner, artist Joseph La Piana's 'Tension Sculptures' (composed of rubber wrapped around steel armatures) will be unveiled Monday along the median of New York’s Park Avenue, via the city's Art in the Parks program.

With some help from CAA’s Kevin Huvane, a new public art installation by Joseph La Piana will be unveiled this week on New York’s Upper East Side. A series of five La Piana works, collectively titled Tension Sculptures — comprised of extremely durable rubber wrapped cats-cradle like around stainless-steel armatures — will be completed over the weekend along the median of Park Avenue via the city's Art in the Parks program. 

"I refer to these as living sculptures because to maintain their composition they need to be under the constant duress to the point of collapse — but they aren't going to collapse. So the sculptures need to live and breathe on their own based on that duress," says La Piana, who adds that the themes of tension and duress are metaphors for modern life.  

The sculptures will be on view through July 2019 and will run from 53rd Street to 70th Street. NYC's Parks Department, together with the Fund for Park Avenue, covers installation and maintenance costs, with private donors pitching in for the fabrication of the artworks. That is where La Piana drew upon his relationships with L.A.'s collector class, which he has been cultivating since he lived in L.A. 20 years ago. He says that Huvane picked up a "significant portion" of the fabrication costs along with a few other donors. 

"I feel a certain connection to L.A. because I lived there for 10 years of my life, and when I lived there I was starting my career and that is the beauty of all of this — having come full circle," says the Brooklyn native, who also counts Donna Karan, Darren Star and business manager Harley Neuman as collectors. "When I think about my dear friend [designer] Thom Browne or Kathryn Bigelow, among others, we were at different stages of our lives back then — and to suddenly be in a space where we can support each other is an amazing gift. I’m so fortunate to have a very strong collector base.”

The sculptures not only have to withstand the elements of mid-winter Manhattan but also endure ad infinitum. Following the installation, each piece will become part of a private collection. “The archival nature of the sculptures was a huge consideration for the materials I selected,” says La Piana. "They need to outlive me."

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.