It’s a jungle up here

Every summer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art mounts a sculpture exhibit on its roof. Aside from the sweeping views of Central Park and the mansions along 5th Avenue, it’s a chance to see some big-idea installations. I don’t know who curates these things but it’s been one home run after another. Last year’s Maelstrom by Roxy Paine was a hoot.

This year, Doug + Mike Starn have mounted Big Bambú. The project consists of fresh cut bamboo poles lashed together with nylon rope. The construction of the sculpture is ongoing and will continue throughout the summer. It closes October 31st, which is pretty late in the year for this sort of thing.


The cool interactive aspect of this project is that the sculpture contains a series of steps and ramps that allow you to actually walk up into it. During the day, workers continue to assemble the sculpture around you. Unfortunately, you have to be at least 10 years old in order to walk into the sculpture, so when I was with 8-Year Old Daughter, I couldn’t go up. But the exhibit is there for a while so I’ll make my way up at some point and post photos. At its completion, it’ll be 50 feet high!

You have to get a (free) timed ticket in order to go in the sculpture and my understanding is that you’re better off going on a Wednesday or Thursday because on the weekends, tickets for the entire day are taken fairly early in the morning. For me, the exhibit doesn’t have the “wow” factor that Maelstrom did, but it’s worth a visit simply because of the grandeur.


What’s a trip to the Met without visiting some old friends? Take a look at this photo and compare it to the one in my banner. She grows! The background on van Gogh’s irises was originally painted a pale rose, but over the years the pigment has faded out of the paint and now it’s a chalky white. The original color can still be seen along some of the edges if you get close enough.


Photo: Artistè Florenza

This shot of Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde was taken surreptitiously. You can take photos of pretty much anything you want in the Met as long as you don’t use a flash. But a security guard is always on hand to prevent people from taking pics of this piece. I wonder why? I quickly snapped this while the guard was yelling at someone for taking a picture. Yes, the shark is (was) real.


Daughter made a special request to visit Degas’s little dancer. She walks around the Met like she owns the joint.


17 thoughts on “It’s a jungle up here

  1. Hmmm. I’ve noticed that your daughter doesn’t seem to go anywhere without her bag. Wonder what the bamboo sculpter will look like when it’s done.

  2. i LOVE the Met, sugar! (yes, yes, i am incredibly jealous, but i secretly love y’all, so i’ll get over it.) anyway, living in the hurricane corridor as i do, i can’t help but wonder how that installation would/will hold up in a storm! (have y’all noticed how i have to think of some calamity to curb my jealousy?) xoxoxox

  3. IMO little girls should always appreciate Degas – its as important to their DNA as skipping – that delightful thing they do in the middle of a walk.

  4. Sid: Do you know what’s funny? I always ask her if she wants me to carry her bag but she never lets go. It’s a security blanket.Savannah: I gave the sculpture a pretty hard shake and it seems solid. But we’ll never get the kind of storms you guys enjoy down there!Pat: I never thought about it until this moment but I suppose Degas is a very female/centric artist. All those dancers and such.

  5. One day pal!Those pesky daughters have a habit of growing. Our two teens are now towering over their Mom, and the youngest looks like she’s gonna get a growth spurt any day now! :¬)

  6. Hedgie just went to a scavenger hunt birthday at the Met, and came back talking all about the Hirst shark, which prompted an interesting debate with her dad about the question what is art…your little one has most definitely grown! I love that new pic of you two…so dear.

  7. Degas sculptures of dancers have always been my favourites! I think the first one I saw was in Boston. Ever since I get excited when I chance across them! Did Franklin send her bamboo up to NYC?

  8. PG: There’s a lot of it up here. I keep wondering what’ll happen to it all after the exhibit closes in October.Leah: I don’t know if the shark it art but it’s friggin’ creepy. Did you know that Hirst had the shark gutted and then stretched the skin over a mold? Gross.Ellie: In addition to the sculpture, there’s a whole room filled with those pastel drawings of dancers. There is no TN state stamp on the bamboo (that I saw)!

  9. I just love the fact that the two of you still do this together. Just about the time 8 year old will have “more important” things to do, her little sister will be anxoius to see what she has missed.MT

  10. HIF: I’m sure they have a similar scheme all lined up for this exhibit. At least, I hope they do.Jo: The Met is pay-what-you-can but the others will cost you.MT: And by the time 3-year old stops caring, 8-year old will be old enough to come back to it.Daisy: This is quite close enough for me, thanks. I only want a shark when it’s on my plate an properly grilled.

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