World-renowned street artist Swoon is installing her newest work in the central hall of the New Orleans Museum of Art and photographer and art historian John D’Addario was there to capture a glimpse using his smartphone for Hyperallergic readers.

Titled “Thalassa,” NOMA’s curator of contemporary art Miranda Lash explained the meaning of the work in the museum’s ArtsQuarterly magazine:

Swoon was inspired by our city’s ties to the sea, as we dearly depend on water for commerce, transportation, energy, and food. Her installation “Thalassa” is named after the Greek goddess revered as the mother of all sea creatures. The twenty-foot tall piece will depict a towering female deity with extended tentacles. The octopus-design of “Thalassa” also echoes nineteenth-century depictions of New Orleans women who worked in Storyville’s red-light district.  Newspaper caricatures depicted these “loose” women as ensnaring men, women, and children. The piece thus connects to both New Orleans’s past and present, and its complex and deep history as a port city.

There’s more about the project here.

For those in or near the Crescent City, Swoon will be speaking in NOMA’s Stern Auditorium on Friday, June 10 at 6 pm.

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Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.