Tatzu Nishi, a Japanese artist with a great sense of humor, has built a house for New York’s famous Columbus statue in Columbus Circle.
Not just a house really, but a furnished living room in an 800 square foot box that surrounds the city landmark in such a way as to suggest he’s just standing in this furnished space and you are his guest.
Reminiscent of 2005 when Christo installed bright orange gates in Central Park, this kind of short exhibition-installation brings out all kinds of New York art lovers.
You start the visit with timed free tickets in a line and then you are given the option of a six storey climb or an elevator to Chris’s penthouse on the park.
It is very disorienting, walking up alongside the shaft of the monument, where you can see the ships and the text of the memorial on your way to the top.
You step out of the stairs into a nice looking hallway. The living room is on the right where a helpful tour guide admonishes you not to touch the statue or sit in the windows.
And there he is, standing in the middle of his living room.
There are windows alright, and they look north along Broadway and across to Central Park with a once in a lifetime view.
Viewings are timed so that you can’t really get comfortable here, but what you can do is have your friends take your picture.
You can take in the views and then you can walk back down smiling because you just did something really silly.
You just visited a 13 foot high statue of Christopher Columbus in his temporary living room.
Photos by me.
This is what the statue looked like before the art installation, courtesy of Wikipedia:
The exhibit closes mid-November, but the scaffolding will stay up for a while so the statue can get a bit of a facelift. After all, it's been out in the weather since 1892. It's only been in the living room since the end of September.
Tatzu Nishi's work reviewd in the Times