Log In   ·   Become A Member

Controversial Aluminum Sculpture Appears at Gabreski Airport

Lindsay Andarakis

  |   2 Comments · Print Article

"Walking Figure," by Donald Baechler. Photocredit: Lindsay Andarakis

A 30-foot sculpture of an aluminum woman appeared seemingly overnight at Gabreski Airport, stunning Westhampton Beach Village officials and residents.

Described as "another piece of iconic artwork that will be added into the landscape of the East End," by the developer of the industrial park at the airport, Rechler Equity Partners, the sculpture will remain in the middle of a traffic circle at the entrance to Gabreski Airport.

The piece, called "Walking Figure," weighs an astonishing five thousand pounds. The female figure is moving forward and swinging her arms next to her oddly shaped, rectangular torso.

Seasonal residents have not yet given their opinion, as the summer season is not yet in full swing, but local residents are not crazy about the statue.

However, this metal lady has some competition when it comes to controversy. There is a thirty-three foot tall sculpture made of bronze that shows a naked pregnant woman in Old Westbury on the property of a historic estate. Those in close proximity to the structure are so incensed about the sculpture that the village board is expected to consider a new law to limit the height of accessory structures, including statues.

Rechler Equity Partners began constructing the Hampton Business District in April 2014. The Hampton Business District as planed will consist of nine buildings on the vacant, county-owned land at Gabreski Airport.

The Village of Westhampton Beach has no legal jurisdiction over this site, it falls just outside of its borders, but the road you can see it from is heavily traveled.

The artist of "Walking Figure," Donald Baechler, is based in Manhattan and told Newsday recently that it, "embodies the concept of forward motion." The statue consists of an aluminum shell as well as aluminum beams, and was constructed at a foundry in Tempe, Arizona, before it was driven cross-country.

"The 'Walking Figure' is always going into the future, going into whatever," said Baechler. "I think the whole idea of an airport is exactly about that, going from one place to another. It seems like not an inappropriate subject."

Landscaping will sooner or later cover the concrete base of the sculpture, and the aluminum should darken over time, making it less obtrusive, according to Baechler.

What do you think of the Hamptons newest towering sculpture? Comment here...

Related Articles:

Guest from westhampton says::
What a waste of money this statue is idiotic anybody who thinks this is art should be condemned to an institution.
Jun 20, 2014 10:11 pm

Guest (decoflair) from 11977 says::
I love it! It adds sparkle, controversy, and debate. It brings attention to our neighborhood. It is indeed, a work of art.
Jun 19, 2014 3:43 pm


Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a banana?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
With over $2 billion in transactions on the East End and since 1995, Gary DePersia is consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons. A year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group President’s Council, he has qualified as a national list maker since 2007. In 2008 he was Corcoran's top broker on the East End by sales volume and rental units; and ranked as the nation’s 4th top broker. In the 2017 REAL Trends & The Wall Street Journal list of America’s top real estate professionals, he was designated #26 nationally, #4 in the Hamptons and #3 at Corcoran overall by volume with nearly $200 million of transactions for the past year. His office operates with four licensed assistants allowing him to build a business stretching from Southampton to Montauk and Sagaponack to Shelter Island. gdp@corcoran.com

Bridgehampton National Bank
For over 100 years Bridgehampton National Bank has been the East End's hometown bank. Many success stories...one bank, BNB!

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Despatch of Southampton
Despatch of Southampton has been moving homes locally on the East End for decades. We operate a well-maintained fleet of vehicles that can accommodate any size move. On a day to day basis we service moves from and to New York City.

RJD Gallery specializes in contemporary art with a focus on Magical, Figurative Realism, Narrative Portraiture and Urban Landscape.
We exhibit representational artists from around the world, who produce fine art of exceptional quality that challenge collectors to contemplate concepts about the artist, themselves, and our human experience. Utilizing timeless techniques in creating their drawings, paintings and sculptures, our artists have developed unique, signature styles that present a current vision of our world.

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.