Monday, May 27, 2013

Rockefeller Center's Own Stonehenge

This weekend we visited the Public Art Fund's latest exhibition, "Human Nature," a work by the Swiss-born, New York-based artist Ugo Rondinone.


Oddly enough, the description of the artwork on the Public Art Fund's website makes no mention of Stonehenge, despite the obvious influence. (Wait, is Stonehenge a registered trademark under Druidic law?).
Human Nature includes nine colossal stone figures, standing like ancient sentries along the full length of Rockefeller Plaza between 49th and 50th Streets. Ranging in height from 16 to 20 feet, they weigh up to 30,000 lbs each. 
Using rough-hewn slabs of bluestone from a quarry in Northern Pennsylvania, the artist has imbued each figure with a distinctive personality. Like a forest of giants, their immovable legs form gateways through which visitors may pass, sensing the tactile surfaces of these primal forms.

Seems like a wasted opportunity not to make a "ROCK-efeller pun," but hey, I'm not the artist here.


The scale of the piece was a bit less impressive than I had expected — despite the stones having a higher average height than the ones in Stonehenge, which are about 13 feet high.

Still, it was better than the replica in "Spinal Tap."


Maybe it's just easier for a pile of rocks to look impressive in the English countryside...


...compared with, say, Midtown Manhattan.


UPDATE: I just realized that "Manhattanhedge" is happening tomorrow and Wednesday. This might be a good place to check it out.