Anne Collier Keeps An Eye On The High Line

By Jim Allen

These days more than ever, people get paranoid about Big Brother keeping a watchful eye on us all, especially in New York City. But there’s a more artistic option for a big, all-seeing eye hovering above the town, and the Friends of the High Line have brought it about with the installation of artist Anne Collier‘s new piece, Developing Tray #2. Occupying a 25′ x 75′ billboard at W. 18 St. and 10th Ave., right alongside the High Line, Collier’s work will be peering out at passersby from now through February 29.

In keeping with its utilitarian-sounding title, Developing Tray #2 shows us a photographic print of an eye, submerged in developing fluid sitting in a photographer’s tray, and blown up many times larger than life. This kind of disembodied “eye in the sky” approach to art can be everything from confrontational to humorous and evocative. It brings into play a wide array of conceptual themes, including the mechanics of art, an artist’s personal vision (pun intended), and the interplay of privacy and personal space. And when you add in the fact that the enormous eye we see up there on the billboard happens to belong to Ms. Collier herself, it all takes on a whole other level.