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BREAKING: Artist Deborah Kass’ Iconic “OY/YO” Sculpture Is Coming To Philly

April 18, 2022

So excited to break this awesome Philly public art news: From May 2022 through May 2023 Philadelphia will be home to artist Deborah Kass‘ iconic OY/YO sculpture! Deborah Kass is a Brooklyn-based artist who focuses on the intersections between identity, art, pop culture, and politics. And OY/YO is coming to Philly thanks to The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, where it will be installed at 5th and Market Streets!

I first saw, and fell in love with this artwork on a visit to New York City in 2016, where I captured the photo above. Note: you’re not supposed to climb the installation.

Deborah Kass | OY/YO, 2015 | Painted Aluminum (Rendering) | © 2022 Deborah Kass / Artists Rights
Society (ARS), New York | Photograph by Barry Halkin 

At 8-feet tall, 16-feet wide, and 5-feet deep, one side of the artwork reads “YO,” referencing the attention-getting phrase used throughout Philly (and elsewhere), as well as “I” in Spanish, while the other side reads “OY,” a popular Yiddish phrase used in Jewish and American culture.

“I created OY/YO thinking about the American promise of equality and fairness and our responsibilities to make the country a better place for all,” says Kass. “With hate and division now on the rise, it is urgent to see our commonalities, what we share, and what brings us together.”

Special thanks to The Weitzman for letting me break this story. I love public art. I love Philly. And I’m so excited to see this artwork in Philly!

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