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Cow Parade Returns to N.Y.C., but Please Don’t Steal Them This Time

August 27, 2021
A public art exhibition with 78 fiberglass cows in the boroughs may be scaled down from 21 years ago, but the herd is delighting passers-by. The cows are back. Twenty-one years ago, about 500 fiberglass cows — decorated by artists, celebrities and schoolchildren — were placed across New York City. The vibrantly colorful cows grazed in parks and on sidewalks, where tourists snapped photos, children clamored to climb up on them and thieves plotted attention-getting heists. Credit: George Etheredge for The New York Times Now, though, the cows are less like a wild herd drumming up chaos across the five...

A public art exhibition with 78 fiberglass cows in the boroughs may be scaled down from 21 years ago, but the herd is delighting passers-by.

The cows are back.

Twenty-one years ago, about 500 fiberglass cows — decorated by artists, celebrities and schoolchildren — were placed across New York City. The vibrantly colorful cows grazed in parks and on sidewalks, where tourists snapped photos, children clamored to climb up on them and thieves plotted attention-getting heists.

Credit: George Etheredge for The New York Times

Now, though, the cows are less like a wild herd drumming up chaos across the five boroughs and more like an elite pack of pampered show cows being trotted out at the county fair.

For this exhibition, which was postponed a year because of the pandemic, the idea was to focus on fewer cows and better art. Instead of an open call for designs, this year’s beneficiary of the cow auction, God’s Love We Deliver, which cooks and delivers medically tailored meals for people with serious illness, selected the artists.

George Etheredge for The New York Times

There’s a cow covered in splashes of colorful brushstrokes by a local abstract painter; a cow with Frida Kahlo’s face stretched across the body; a cow by an Ecuador-born graffiti artist who painted New York subway cars in the 1980s; a cow covered in light bulbs called “Edison Cow”; and a cow with fluorescent green and blue bangs made from polylactic-acid plastic, which is derived from renewable resources.

George Etheredge for The New York Times

There will be little chance of cow-tipping this time around. The cows were intentionally placed in high-visibility locations where they can be watched over, said Ron Fox, vice president of CowParade and Elbaum’s son-in-law. Each borough has at least one herd: at Hudson Yards in Manhattan, Industry City in Brooklyn, Bronx Community College in the Bronx, New York Hall of Science in Queens and the National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island.

*This is an article from New York Times published on August 23, 2021; See the original article here.


Download the Cow Parade map here to visit all 23 cows on campus.


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