Saturday, September 15, 2012

Now THIS Is Cool

On Thursday I expressed concerns about the new FDR memorial, which opens next month on the southern end of Roosevelt Island. With its minimalist, granite-slab aesthetic, the monument risks looking dated and underwhelming.

Well, here's something that could be the polar opposite.

Just a few steps away from the FDR memorial, artist Kathleen Griffin plans to install giant butterflies on the ruins of the old smallpox hospital. (Roosevelt Island once had a smallpox facility on one end and an insane asylum on the other — it was a cheery place.)

Photo courtesy of the "Butterflies of Memory" site.

From the project's website:
“Butterflies of Memory” is a public sculpture on the site of the collapsed Smallpox Hospital Ruins, Roosevelt Island, Manhattan. 10 foot diameter gold butterflies will fly above the Ruins, visually carrying the building away. Installed summer 2013, the installation will be viewable from the Midtown Waterfront and the FDR highway, thus bringing an image of inspiration and beauty to over 2 million New Yorkers.

It's fun, whimsical and thought-provoking — and will no doubt delight children and adults alike (unlike the FDR memorial, which will mainly delight New York Times architecture critics).

More of this, please.