Mark Lane at The Believer:
“It was like an apparition,” Hilary Braysmith, the art historian who directed Sculpt EVV, said of Melman’s contest entry. “The universe just opened up and left this door. It picked up the light and changed colors. It was a different experience at different times of day.” Braysmith compared Best of All Possible Worlds to the Vietnam War Memorial and The Dinner Party, Judy Chicago’s iconic feminist revision of The Last Supper, saying that it has changed her idea of what public art can accomplish.
People were drawn to Melman’s sculpture in a way they weren’t to the work of the other eleven finalists, according to Braysmith. She mentioned, as did other local artists and residents I talked to, the fact that Melman took the neighbors’ concerns seriously and got to know them. Braysmith also remarked on how uncannily appropriate, in architectural terms, Melman’s sculpture was. Whether due to chance or standardization in the early-twentieth-century American construction industry—Melman bought his original doors, including the one he used as a mold for the Evansville sculpture, at an apartment-salvage place near his studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn—the sculpture matched the front door of Rena Meriweather’s house, right next door.