Statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle, via: Public Art Fund NY
The particulars of the "Christopher Columbus" that stands in Columbus Circle--his period dress, foppish hair, and, of course, fixed gaze--are hard to discern from the ground, at the base of his seventy-foot tall stone pedestal. In fact, if the Manhattan roundabout were not so named, few would be able to guess the identity of its silent denizen. Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi seeks to change all of this with his new project, "Discovering Columbus", which is sponsored by the Public Art Fund of New York.
The artist proposes to build a public living room around the statue, with seventy feet of scaffolding and stairs holding above the Midtown traffic below. This would place the base of the statue’s pedestal at table-height, giving New Yorkers a chance to observe the statue up close and personal. The installation, open from September 20th to November 18th, will be free to visitors, although with an expected 100,000 viewers, sightseers will have to reserve spots in advance on the Public Art Fund’s website. For now, though, you’ll have to be content with watching the scaffolding rise to envelop the statue.
Progress being made on scaffolding, via: ANIMAL
Photo: Robert Caplin for The New York Times
Artist's sketch of final space: Tatzu Nishi
Rendering of concept: Tatzu Nishi via Huffington Post