Friday, May 6, 2011

Madison Square Park

Every spring/summer here in New York, Madison Square Park (not to be confused with the events venue, Madison Square Garden) at 23rd and Broadway features a different outdoor, installation artist for the warmer months. Some years have been truly awe-inspiring, such as the silver tree sculptures they featured a number of years back; several beautiful, flowing tree shapes in reflective metal, gracefully wending their way skyward. Others, such as the taxi cab one artist just plunked in the middle of the park, not so much.

This year's, however, is truly astonishing and captivating. The pictures don't do it justice - if you live in NYC, you really should stop by the park and take a look. The Asiatic image, inspired by the myth of the Greek nymph Echo, takes on a photo-realistic quality despite it's elongated aspect and it almost feels as though you're looking at a computer generated projection rather than an actual sculpture. It both floats above and perfectly integrates with it's surroundings. Truly remarkable.

It's also fascinating to watch the way people interact with the sculpture. The first instinct is, of course, to stop and stare, take pictures, consider and examine the work. But very quickly, due to it's very organic nature, people begin to treat it as part of the regular landscape. It becomes shade, something to lean against, much like the ancient ruins of Rome or Mexico City, lying in the hearts of these metropolis, something to be studied but then accepted into one's everyday existence. Take a look at it both in the day and night time. Really great stuff! And like the trees, it'll be sad when it's gone.

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