DON’T JUMP! Oh. Wait. It’s only a statue.

I love big art installations and New York has a fairly steady diet of them. They’re not like paintings, which can be viewed over and over again. Once they’re disassembled, that’s it. You’ll never see them again. I fondly remember taking 8-Year Old Daughter to see Christo’s Gates in Central Park several years ago. People complained about it but I thought it was fantastic. Now it only lives in photographs. If you haven’t seen it before, I encourage you to take a look at this post for Ernesto Neto’s anthropodino. It’s the best installation I’ve ever seen.

If you’re coming to New York this summer [Jo] be sure to visit artist Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon outdoor art installation at Madison Square Park. It’s a series of statues that are placed on the roof ledges surrounding the park. When it was being set-up, the NYPD took measures to assure the public that they were not jumpers on the threshold of suicide.

This statue stands at the apex of the Flatiron Building.


There are 31 statues in all, but only four are on the ground. You can spend time craning your neck trying to locate each statue or you can do what I did and printout the map that’s on his site and bring it with you.


This is my favorite picture because he stands in the shadow of the Empire State Building spire.


This guy…


…is way the hell up there.


Here’s one of the four statues on the ground. The statues on buildings are fiberglass but these four are iron. I was a little shocked about the genitalia. What do you tell the kiddies? For each statue, Gormley wrapped himself in saran wrap and then was covered with wet plaster. He had to remain motionless for about an hour while the plaster dried. I love artists and actors. I love their kookiness.


Here’s an article and interview from the New York Times that will enhance your visit.

14 thoughts on “DON’T JUMP! Oh. Wait. It’s only a statue.

  1. All you need is a copy of Nock Hornby’s “a long way down” in your hand as you tour the statues.Sounds like the genetalia could have been a good springboard for a little off-the-cuff lesson in human anatomy/biology…

  2. PG: That’s a great reference! I’m a big Hornby fan — a shelf of signed first editions is part of my library — and the genesis for this idea could have conceivably come from the mass jumping plot point in A LONG WAY DOWN.Jimmy: It’s also a superb way of showing off your package to the general public.

  3. i love this! nursemyra and i should bag out trip to greece and just come to NYC instead. saw the ‘crosby beach’ pictures that mapstew posted and fell in love. ‘don’t drown’ vs ‘don’t jump’.

  4. Xlnt!Now I just need to get some more ‘puter lessons from the Youngest!(BTW, I spent an afternoon in the City Gallery with her today! See what an influence you are?) :¬)

  5. daisyfae if you bag our trip to Greece I’m gonna KILL you!Let’s do New York next year though.Re: the statues. Stephen cast several full sized bodies in fibreglass, one of them was a naked Osama Bin Laden look alike called Dave. His genitals were deliberately much larger than normal and the MCA were initially reluctant to include Dave in the retrospective of Stephen’s work. He held his ground and well hung Dave was included. He’s in the book that was published but there’s no photo of him on the MCA website unfortunately. It’s a fantastic piece of work

  6. Daisy: Nursemyra is right. You MUST go to Greece. New York isn’t going anywhere. Map: Hard to believe I had any influence over you. I can’t even influence my own kids!Jo: It’s not life-changing art, but it DOES make for a pleasant afternoon.Nurse: I think we talked Daisy down off of a ledge. Is Stephen’s stature available online anywhere? Ugh, to be a bin Laden look-alike.

  7. I love big art installations too! I would love to get to NYC to see this in person, but it probably won’t happen. It is nice to be able to see it through your eyes.

  8. Pingback: Death! Destruction! Pestilence! Some light summer reading. | Exile on Pain Street

Leave a Reply to Ponita in Real Life Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s