There's a place where real, hyper real, and fake live collectively. The genre is humanity. These art works will make you question time and time again the slightly odd and amusing muses from things that aren't so real.
I passed by this man twice in two separate days before realizing he was not real. I thought the performance was powerful, how bold, and how impressive to keep that still. My New York pace and my being alone both kept me from lingering long enough to have a child run up and hit the poor fake fellow, proving the counterfeit to the crowd.
The day I realized he was fake was the day I saw a real life emoji. While the person it was portraying was not real, this man attached to the side of the building was slightly amusing slightly ominous as he was pictured jumping from said building. Nonetheless it captivated me and my friends as we snapped away and then carried conversation over it long past the sighting.
A couple of days later I pranced through Washington Square Park to be greeted by another moment that made me stop and think, is this real? A man positioned on a pedestal stood still as a statue. His posture would hold true until he received a tip in which he would blow an artful kiss before performing some yoga before transitioning into the next pose. He had me fooled until the coins hit the bottom of the bucket.
Then there's the people in the park sitting on the bench. White people, always sitting on the bench. Literally they're always there. These white statues are obviously fake and oddly comforting. The presence of people real or fake makes you feel safe, it provides an unconscious feeling of comfort otherwise unnoticed. We don't know we feel comfortable until we're uncomfortable.
These moments decorate the city. If the architecture is the box that puts a city together... what makes the streets and the open space versus closed space... then this art, the people, act as decorator. They move in a perfectly predictable choreography. They'll jaywalk when they can, they'll blissfully walk while listening to music while texting all in between playing Pokemon Go. But most importantly, without a doubt they'll pause for other people.
Even the New Yorker running to the meeting he overslept for will glance at an unusual person sighting. Is it real? Is it fake? Is it art? They're the objects in which life dances around. You either participate, stare, or don't care. But they're there.