Private Passage

Private Passage by Malcolm Cochran

Private Passage by Malcolm Cochran is a public art sculpture that has been on view in Hudson River Park’s Clinton Cove since 2005. It looks like an enormous wine bottle lying out in the park – now wouldn’t that be fun! – within which is a representation of an interior stateroom from Queen Mary, the ocean liner. The interior finishes are made to resemble a platinum print from a black and white photograph.

Private Passage takes the idea of a message in a bottle to another level with this installation in New York City.

Private Passage

Private Passage is a distinctive and unique piece of art that was installed in Hudson River Park in 2005. It is made up of a 30-foot-long wine bottle that is resting on its side, with a cabin-like structure inside. You can view the interior of the sculpture through portholes along the sides and through openings in the cabin.

Here is what it looks like from a distance from the outside-

The steel bottle is designed to look like bronze with a green patina. The interior of the bottle is created using sheet metal and other materials in a monochromatic style that resembles a platinum print from a black and white film. This design is reminiscent of magazine ads from the 1930s. The interior can be viewed through several portholes located along the sides of the bottle. The mouth and bottom of the bottle have larger circular windows that allow for a view down the length of the interior. The top of the bottle has a row of portholes that function as skylights during the day. At night or in overcast weather, the cabin’s furnishings include electric lights that illuminate the interior.

As you get closer, you notice portholes that just beg to be looked into along the sides and at either end. Here is what it is like through the portholes on the side –

Here is the view through the portholes at the base of the bottle –

The sculpture is easy to see as a metaphor for the idea of a private passage, a place where one can escape from the outside world and find peace and solitude, and that too inside a wine bottle. The cabin inside the bottle is a cozy space, with seating and even a toilet as one could expect at sea.

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Hi, I'm Hanit Gyani, a full time professional by day and a blogger by night and weekend. Welcome to my blog, aka my passion project, Gotta Love New York.

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