The Columbus statue, which has watched from high over the corner of Central Park since 1892, is enclosed in a temporary furnished living room in the sky, courtesy of the Public Art Fund and artist Tatzu Nishi of Japan.
The room is at the top of six flights of stairs. It is outfitted with a flat screen TV, bookshelves, wall art, couches and chairs. What you can’t really see in these photos is that the custom pink wallpaper has an “American” motif, which felt saccharine and unnecessary (Elvis, Mickey Mouse, hotdogs, over and over again).
But in the center atop a coffee table towers the statue, facing south, looking intent. At 13-feet-tall he reaches nearly to the ceiling, but somehow it feels proportionate, like he belongs there. His poofy Renaissance sleeves are great, as is the character in his shoes. I
especially appreciated seeing the surface of the statue up close — what Italian marble sitting out in our sparklingly pure city air (haha) looks like after 100 years. Nothing we could have seen without this exhibition!
Being there reminded me to recognize and consider parts of the world out of context from time to time. All the pieces are re-arrangeable and mixable, the possibilities only as finite as we can imagine them. Cool, abstract thought for today.
I recommend that New Yorkers go check it out before it closes on Dec. 2. Tickets are required but free. It’s worth it for the views alone!