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Phil Douglis | profile | all galleries >> Gallery Seventy Eight: Figures in the sky – a public art exhibition tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gallery Seventy Eight: Figures in the sky – a public art exhibition



Since 1981, the British artist Antony Gormley has explored the meaning of the human form, often using his own figure as a template. His spectacular public art installation “Event Horizon” premiered in London in 2007, and was presented in New York City in the spring and summer of 2010. Using thirty-one life sized nude sculptures of himself, Gormley stunned New Yorkers by mounting them on the various levels of buildings mostly located around the perimeter of Madison Square Park. The exhibit, which focuses on the relationship between the individual and the urban landscape, uses distance and the resulting shifts of scale to create a metaphor for urban life. Twenty-four fiberglass sculptures stand on buildings adjacent to the park and its neighboring streets. Three more stand on buildings in other parts of Midtown Manhattan, including the Empire State Building. Four additional figures, cast in iron, stand within Madison Square Park itself, or at nearby intersections.

This exhibit, Gormley says, “will cause viewers to discover that they are at the center of a concentrated field of silent witnesses, surrounded by art that is looking out at space and perhaps also at them. In that time, the flow of daily life is momentarily stilled.”

In this gallery, I present my own impressions of this exhibit – a dozen images of Gormley’s exhibit, shot at different times of the day and in differing weather conditions over a week’s time in July of 2010. They draw on the same visual principle that Gormley himself used to make his point: distance and resulting shifts in scale. Each of my images is a statement about how I perceived Gormley’s exhibition – my choices of vantage point, light, color, and context reveal as much about how I see, as they do about Gormley’s intentions.

I present this gallery, as usual, in "blog" style. A large thumbnail is displayed for each image, along with a caption explaining how I intended to express my ideas. If you click on the large thumbnail, you can see it in its full size, as well as leave comments and read the comments of others. I hope you will be able to participate in the dialogue. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions, and will be delighted to respond.