Client: NYU Langone
Location: New York, NY, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $500,000
Public Art Services
NYU Langone Art Program and Collection Manager
For NYU Langone’s new Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital in New York, artist Donald Lipski has designed a sculpture sure to capture the hearts and imaginations of the patients and families who enter this new state of the art facility. SPOT is a 2 1/2 story tall Dalmatian balancing a real Prius taxi cab on it’s nose. The Prius, which Toyota gave Donald Lipski for the piece, has no engine, tranny, seats, etc. but the lights work and when it rains the wipers work as well. There is a galvanized and stainless steel frame inside the fiberglass dog body, as well as a stainless steel structure inside the Prius, various electrical and lighting equipment. Lipski developed this idea of a brave, young dog doing the impossible to inspire. In April of 2020 Lipski created a digital mock up of SPOT adorned with a face mask, reminding everyone that SPOT wears her mask to protect you. In June of 2020 it became a reality and SPOT was fitted with a custom mask thanks to Katherine Meehan, Chris Collins, Chris Powers and Henry from KCFabrications, and MacGraphic Services, who made the mask.
Lipski wanted to make something so astounding it would distract even those arriving for the most serious procedures, and so lovable that young patients coming back again and again with chronic conditions would see SPOT as an old friend. "I like to think that the patients, the parents, the doctors, the nurses, the staff and the neighbors, will all be smitten by this playful, heroic young dog doing the impossible. Art has actual healing power," says Lipski when describing the 2 1/2 story tall Dalmatian balancing a taxi cab on it's nose. The Hassenfeld family, which started the Hasbro toy company, were major donors for the newly constructed hospital which influenced Lipski's thinking, "I wanted it to be about toys and play in some way."
Public Art Services was invited by artist Donald Lipski along with other creative professionals to work as a collaborative partner in the design, engineering, fabrication and installation oversight for this project. Collaborative partners include: Elmendorf/Geurts, Christopher Collins, and the FAST Corporation.