This week, Will Ryman’s “The Roses” installation along Park Avenue is saying bye bye. But when I spotted them yesterday all dug up with their “roots” exposed, I thought it somehow completed the work for me.

For months I had been walking past these sculptures and feeling nothing for them except boredom and irritation. They came across as large baubles for a street swamped with business people and millionaires during the day and almost nothing but cabs whizzing by at night. They seemed proudly garish and even during the snowstorm earlier this year they looked pretentious and misplaced.

Yesterday, and for the first time since they arrived on January 25th, I felt like they were finally interesting art works and not cheesy decorations for the boulevard. Cordoned off with safety tape and surrounded by mounds of dirt they felt more challenging, less sedate and curiously inviting. I realized how safe they had seemed before.

Though, I have to admit that if I encounter another contemporary artist who uses the over-sized object strategy as an easy way to create public art I may get violent.

Speaking of which, does anyone have Urs Fisher‘s or Isa Genzken‘s phone numbers?

What other people said about “The Roses”:

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.