Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

Hippocrates of Astoria is a symbolic protector made by artists Melissa Vadakara and Marios Tzavellas. Photo taken just after he sacrificed part of his arm to save the neighborhood from the pandemic. (all images courtesy Tzavellas and Vadakara)

While most of us New Yorkers were hunkering down for snowy days earlier this week and, trying to pretend that staying at home was unusual after a year of pandemic-enforced lockdowns, two artists proved how weak and uncreative we all are.

A detail of Hippocrates of Astoria

Enter Melissa Vadakara and Marios Tzavellas, who ventured out to Astoria Park in Queens, New York, to build a glorious image of the “Father of Medicine.” While many renderings of the stately Athenian depict him as bald, the duo decided to offer him some protection from the elements, which was a daring choice considering the medium.

The six and a half foot tall sculpture of the seated Hippocrates was made “as a symbolic protector for the neighborhood from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the pair told the Astoria Post. And this isn’t even their first grand snow sculpture, as they conjured up a Greek god last December and a large “ice queen” early this month, all in Astoria.

We can only imagine what else they may have in store for us, considering that four to eight inches are expected in the coming days. If they take requests, I offer up the Laocoön and His Sons — but then again, I’m one to challenge artists, and these two seem very talented.

Artists really have the ability to make New York a winter wonderland. 

Melissa Vadakara and Marios Tzavellas also made a Snow Queen (left) early this month and a Greek God head (right) in December.

The Latest

Required Reading

This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.

Did Judy Chicago Just Troll Us?

Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.

Hrag Vartanian

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