For FRESH START (2021),an installation in Riverside Park, NY, Hegarty explores the genre of Vanitas (where flowers often symbolize the transience of life) by creating the ruins of a Dutch Flower painting encased in an ornate gold frame. The painting appears as if heisted from the Met, hidden, then abandoned during the pandemic. As spring arrives and vaccinations climb, the painting blooms flowers and grows roots from its decay. The message of hope is underscored by the albino pigeon, who like the dove from Noah’s ark, holds foliage in its beak as a sign life is returning to the city after so much upheaval, sickness and loss.
Re:Growth: A Celebration of Art, Riverside Park and the New York Spirit
Curated by Karin Bravin, Riverside Park, NY, 2021