Public Art: What’s on the Horizon?

20100427 Event HorizonWhew! It’s nice to know that the man standing at 853 Broadway, sky high above Union Square, is actually made of iron and fiberglass. Perhaps I’m slow on the uptake, but it was a little stunning to look up from beating other New York Pillow Fighters to see what seemed like a man on top of an extremely tall building.

So what is that sculpture doing there?

Antony Gormley, a British artist, has made 31 life-size body forms of himself. These sculptures, cast in iron and fiberglass, are scattered across Madison Square Park in addition to the rooftops of several landmarks in New York’s Flatiron District. Thornton Tomasetti was delegated the responsibility of installing the public art exhibition named “Event Horizon,” which is taking place in New York City. Event Horizon is organized by Madison Square Park Conservancy in collaboration with the City of New York.

Event Horizon was primarily made for the Blind Light exhibition in 2007, in the Hayward Gallery in London. Then, the art pieces were placed around the South Bank of the Thames River.

Should you want to take a look at these strange pieces, you will be able to find them on the Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, The New York Life building, the Clock Tower on 5 Madison Avenue, 853 Broadway (Union Square) and many other places. The exhibition will end on August 15, 2010. Thornton Tomasetti was so excited about the exhibition that it has funded much of the installation process itself. Should you want to know what the fuss is about, perhaps it’s time to engage in a little statue scavenger hunt.

Don’t forget: if you look up, don’t scream! Just look closer.

— Gillian Wong

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