By: Steven Heller | April 12, 2010
Artists have so much fun. They often get to realize their innermost fantasies (sometimes with the help of generous patrons or art-centric cities, like NYC). It wouldn’t have been my specific fantasy, but placing naked, life-size figures on the tops of New York buildings (top), as a way to force passersby to better appreciate their time and surroundings, is quite an ambitious dream. In this case the British artist Antony Gormley, with the support of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Gormley has positioned 27 fiberglass figures (life-sized molds of himself) on buildings within a nine-block radius of Madison Square Park, along with four iron-cast sculptures on the ground.
“Within the condensed environment of Manhattan’s topography,” notes Gormley in a catalog published in TimeOut New York, “the level of tension between the palpable, the perceivable and the imaginable is heightened because of the density and scale of the buildings.” It forces people to search out the work as though a mammoth Easter egg hunt. I, for one, was oblivious until I saw the TimeOut catalog. Now, I see them everywhere.
(Photos by James Ewing)