I passed this sculpture being installed Saturday outside Madison Square Park in the new pedestrian island in the confluence of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. Apologies for the crappy cell-phone quality of the photo.
It turns out to be part of an installation called Event Horizon -- figures by British artist Antony Gormley
. This guy is on the ground, but several of them have been or will be placed on rooftops and ledges in the area around the park. The park always has at least one major art installation in the spring-summer, and since I'm there a lot, it's something I look forward to.
Apparently, the rooftop men have already been making people nervous
Police are trying to reassure New Yorkers that life-sized figures placed on rooftops by the British sculptor Antony Gormley are not people contemplating suicide.
The New York police department issued a statement after the first of the 31 figures started going up around Madison Square Park in lower Manhattan.
The police are trying to avert a spate of emergency calls similar to those made after the exhibition went on display in London in 2007.
“We were notified because of concerns the public might misperceive what they see and call police. We will respond no matter what because you can have an actual jumper at the same building,” a police spokesman said.
Well, yes. In a city where people routinely jump or fall from roofs (not going to link to any of the recent examples, since they are uniformly upsetting), I can imagine why people might be disturbed by seeing these figures without warning.
That said, I passed through Madison Square Park again last night, and looked up at the surrounding rooftops. If you know what you're looking at, the men -- none of the sculptures appear to be female -- are graceful and haunting. You can't help but look again and again as you pass by, to see if they are watching out for you, too.
More, and better, pictures can be seen here: Event Horizon New York