Brooklyn’s Leon Reid IV Gets Go-Ahead for George Washington Statue Transformation

09/30/2011 1:03 PM |

Tourist-in-Chief preperatory sketch. (Courtesy Leon Reid IV)
  • “Tourist-in-Chief” preperatory sketch. (Courtesy Leon Reid IV)

It’s been a long, tumultuous trek for Leon Reid IV‘s “Tourist-in-Chief,” the Brooklyn-based street artist and sculptor’s proposal for a temporary transformation of Union Square’s George Washington equestrian statue into a shopping bag-carrying, souvenir gear-clad tourist. But, after winning the Battle of Community Board 5 and despite sustained opposition from Parks Department troops, the founding shopper will ride on Union Square Saturday to launch the Art in Odd Places festival.

We salute you, Tourist-in-Chief. (Courtesy Leon Reid IV)
  • We salute you, “Tourist-in-Chief.” (Courtesy Leon Reid IV)

In an email announcement yesterday, Reid announced that “Tourist-in-Chief” will be on view from 8am to 7pm on Saturday, October 1st. For the rest of the Art in Odd Places festival (through October 10) the historic sculpture will revert to its stately Washingtonian self. The announcement acknowledges the uphill battle to get a permit for the installation:

Securing a permit to use literally the oldest statue in New York City as a basis
for an installation was a daunting administrative feat. We would like to give special
thanks to Philip Z. Kimball attorney extrordinare [sic] whose words transformed an NYC
Parks denial letter into a permit.

So don’t miss your only chance to catch “Tourist-in-Chief” on Saturday.