The Rapture

Michael Zelehoski


Curated by Ché Morales
Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th Streets

Michael Zelehoski collapses objects in space. He achieves this by deconstructing found materials and incorporating them into the two-dimensional picture plane. In this context, they function as object and image, sign and signifier, and activate the physical world on the level of our perception.

The Rapture (2019) is a salvaged backhoe, deconstructed and reassembled to invoke a fossilized dinosaur in its death throes. Here, the technology used to build our civilization appears extinct, reclaimed by the earth, and presented as a future testament to humanity’s brief time on this planet. Confronting contemporary man-made objects from an archeological perspective prompts reflection on sustainability, technology, and the future of humanity.

“In the built environment of New York City, few of us stop to consider the serene wilderness that once existed here. Envisioning a future after we are gone is equally challenging. It is my hope that The Rapture will encourage beholders to consider our place in the broader arc of history and to question the sustainability of the path we are on. The piece looks backward and forward in time, prompting a moment of introspection and contemplation in one of the busiest places on earth.”

— Michael Zelehoski

“In stark contrast to the elusive realities that Times Square constantly evokes, The Rapture lays bare the idea that in between creation and destruction, life and death, there is a responsibility and an inevitability from which none of mankind is spared.”

—Ché Morales, Curator

The Rapture is a new commission presented in partnership with SPRING/BREAK Art Show. From March 5–31, 2019, Times Square Arts and SPRING/BREAK Art Show present Times Square Immersive, featuring four outdoor sculptures that blur reality and fantasy with delight and warning on the Broadway Plazas in Times Square.

Michael Zelehoski (born 1979, Concord, MA) lives and works in Newburgh and Brooklyn, New York. He holds degrees from Bard College and Universidad Finis Terrae in Santiago, Chile. Zelehoski’s work resides in private and public collections around the world, most notably the Musée National d'Art Moderne Centre Pompidou in Paris, France. Recent solo exhibitions include Things Fall Apart at Backslash, Paris (2018), Inner Space at Tang Contemporary, Hong Kong (2017) and New Order at Mike Weiss Gallery, New York (2015). He has received numerous awards including those from the Staten Island Museum and the Massachusetts Cultural Council among others.

Ché Morales (born 1980, Long Beach, CA) is a Brooklyn-based curator, experiential designer, and self-proclaimed art junkie with an insatiable appetite for unique, mind-blowing aesthetics. Morales' curatorial approach is to present groundbreaking material in new and thought-provoking ways. He believes art should be a seismic experience to remember. Ranging from large-scale murals and art installations to branded cultural events, Morales’ curatorial work has been covered by JuxtapozThe Creators ProjectArtnetThe Huffington PostW Magazine, and Whitewall Magazine. In 2017, he housed his practice by founding ABSTRKT, a creative studio with a focus on art, design, and experiences. Clients include Nike, New Balance, Adidas, The Standard Hotel, New York City Ballet, and more.


Photo courtesy of Walter Wlodarczyk for Times Square Arts.