By Howard Halle
Hot dogs are the quintessential summer food, so it’s fitting that they will be a central feature of Hot Dog Bus, an interactive public art installation for Brooklyn Bridge Park by Erwin Wurm, an absurdist conceptual artist from Austria. The piece is a sort of arty version of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, and will be giving out free hot dogs all summer long.
Opening for business June 9, Hot Dog Bus consists of a mustard-yellow VW bus transformed into a bloated, bulging, cartoon version of itself, making it look as if it had swallowed, well, too many hot dogs. It’s a reworking of Wurm’s earlier Curry Bus in Germany, which, yes, gave out free curry. It’s also consistent with the artist’s career-long mission to mess with our perceptions of all the stuff we consume.
Sponsored by the Public Art Fund, Hot Dog Bus is part of a summer line-up of outdoor artworks that include a 1930s vintage fireboat painted in World War One “dazzle” camouflage by Tauba Auerbach (which will begin docking at various locations around New York harbor on July 1) and five tree-like sculptures for City Hall Park made from colanders, pots and pans by veteran artist B. Wurtz (opening in August).