Leon Reid IV’s Tourist-in-Chief Realized!

Leon Reid IV's Tourist in Chief (all photos by Luna Park)

The Street Spot got up at the crack of dawn this morning to document public artist Leon Reid IV installing his Tourist-in-Chief piece in Union Square as part of this year’s Art in Odd Places festival. Leon fought the good fight down to the wire and only yesterday finally secured a permit from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. With the help of an expertly piloted articulating boom lift, the temporary installation of a hat, camera, bags, and subway map onto the statue of George Washington went off without a hitch.

Leon installing first the camera...
... then the I Heart NY hat.
What's a good tourist without some shopping bags?
And for the final touch, a subway map.

And as luck would have it, by the time the installation was complete, the sun came out!

Tourist-in-Chief with the Empire State Building over his shoulder.
A beaming Leon Reid IV in front of his work.

A steady stream of curious passersby stopped and took in George Washington’s altered appearance with smiles all around.

It is a testament to the power of public art that a large crowd had amassed in front of the statue at Union Square by noon … well, that would be the case in an ideal world… but as it turned out, the SlutWalk NYC protest was kicking up its high heels and demanding an end to violence against women. Admittedly an odd coincidence, but isn’t that just another day in New York City? All joking aside, it’s good to see people on the streets, demanding their rights.

Tourist-in-Chief meets SlutWalkNYC

The Tourist-in-Chief is only up until 7:00pm tonight, so stop by if you can. And, congratulations, Leon and Caroline, for making this happen!!