No, it is not a horde of bankers preparing themselves to end it all in traditional Manhattan style, it is the latest show by British artist Anthony Gormley.
He has made his name with groups of figures seemingly randomly installed outdoors, from hilltops to mudflats.
“It’s called Event Horizon. They are looking out to
another horizon that we can’t see here because we are surrounded by this skyline that is very, very high, very dense, very kind of tall buildings, and they are looking out to a wider horizon. The idea is where does the human being fit these days when so many of us live in cities,” says Gormley.
31 identical life size figures, some in cast iron weighing over a ton, others in fibreglass, are dotted around the city centre, drawing differing reactions from New Yorkers and tourists.
“I like them, because when you first see them, they
look like people who are going to maybe jump, and it stops you in your tracks. And anything that stops you in your tracks in the city is a good thing. It’s an excuse to look up as well,” said one man.
The figures are all naked copies of Gormley’s own body, not to everyone’s taste:
“What about flowers? What about trees? Why a naked man?”, was a woman’s reaction.
Originally installed in London, the show had been supposed to go to Moscow, but the Mayor there said his city had no need of rusty nude men on its skyline.