New York

A slam-dunk listing

When Pedro Noguera moved into a Washington Heights townhouse seven years ago, his children were thrilled to discover an oversize basketball hoop in the backyard.
“They were very excited,” recalled Allyson Pimental, Noguera’s wife. That is, until the family discovered that the oversize hoop — decorated with multicolored bottle caps — wasn’t actually meant for playing basketball. Rather, it was a sculpture by famed conceptual artist David Hammons.

The sculpture is now for sale along with the house, at 444 West 162nd Street. Tracie Hamersley, a senior vice president at Citi Habitats, listed the 3,400-square-foot townhouse last month for $1.5 million, or $6,000 per month for rent.

Hammons is an African-American artist who became famous in the 1970s and 1980s for what he called “Dirty Art” in and around New York City. In 1978, for example, Hammons exhibited “Elephant Dung Sculptures,” balls of elephant dung on a toy cart. In 1983, he staged a sale of snowballs in Cooper Square.

Hammons declined to comment, but a spokesperson for the artist told The Real Deal that the sculpture in Noguera’s backyard was commissioned for the space for A.C. Hudgins, an investor and art collector who owned the townhouse in the 1980s. Hudgins — who was not immediately available for comment — is an enthusiastic collector of Hammons’ work, Pimental said.

The sculpture is very similar to one called “Higher Goals” that Hammons erected in 1986 in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn. Mounting basketball hoops on enormous telegraph poles — far too high for even professional basketball players to reach — and covering them with multicolored bottle caps in geometric patterns, the artist was making a statement about the difficulty urban teenagers face in achieving their dreams of basketball stardom.
Noguera, a New York University professor, purchased the four-story, six-bedroom house in 2004, with the sculpture already in place, Pimental said. (According to city records listed on PropertyShark.com, he paid $1.395 million for the house.)

She added that the family has never determined how much the piece might be worth. Because it is very firmly installed in their backyard, it would require a construction crew to move. Intrigued as the adults were by the find, the youngest members of the family were not that impressed. “They thought it was a cool-looking basketball hoop,” Pimental said. “The kids were very excited until they realized it wasn’t a working one — it was art.”

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New York

A slam-dunk listing

When Pedro Noguera moved into a Washington Heights townhouse seven years ago, his children were thrilled to discover an oversize basketball hoop in the backyard.
“They were very excited,” recalled Allyson Pimental, Noguera’s wife. That is, until the family discovered that the oversize hoop — decorated with multicolored bottle caps — wasn’t actually meant for playing basketball. Rather, it was a sculpture by famed conceptual artist David Hammons.

The sculpture is now for sale along with the house, at 444 West 162nd Street. Tracie Hamersley, a senior vice president at Citi Habitats, listed the 3,400-square-foot townhouse last month for $1.5 million, or $6,000 per month for rent.

Hammons is an African-American artist who became famous in the 1970s and 1980s for what he called “Dirty Art” in and around New York City. In 1978, for example, Hammons exhibited “Elephant Dung Sculptures,” balls of elephant dung on a toy cart. In 1983, he staged a sale of snowballs in Cooper Square.

Hammons declined to comment, but a spokesperson for the artist told The Real Deal that the sculpture in Noguera’s backyard was commissioned for the space for A.C. Hudgins, an investor and art collector who owned the townhouse in the 1980s. Hudgins — who was not immediately available for comment — is an enthusiastic collector of Hammons’ work, Pimental said.

The sculpture is very similar to one called “Higher Goals” that Hammons erected in 1986 in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn. Mounting basketball hoops on enormous telegraph poles — far too high for even professional basketball players to reach — and covering them with multicolored bottle caps in geometric patterns, the artist was making a statement about the difficulty urban teenagers face in achieving their dreams of basketball stardom.
Noguera, a New York University professor, purchased the four-story, six-bedroom house in 2004, with the sculpture already in place, Pimental said. (According to city records listed on PropertyShark.com, he paid $1.395 million for the house.)

She added that the family has never determined how much the piece might be worth. Because it is very firmly installed in their backyard, it would require a construction crew to move. Intrigued as the adults were by the find, the youngest members of the family were not that impressed. “They thought it was a cool-looking basketball hoop,” Pimental said. “The kids were very excited until they realized it wasn’t a working one — it was art.”

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