Human Nature Rises in Rockefeller Center
Yesterday evening at New York’s Rockefeller Center, artist Ugo Rondinone officially unveiled his latest project: a series of XXL stone sculptures entitled Human Nature, underwritten by the city’s Public Art Fund. Rondinone’s megaliths tower over the plaza’s western block—stoic sentries holding court in Midtown’s otherwise frenetic hive.
“The stone is from Pennsylvania,” the artist told Style.com, “the same site where all the sidewalk laid at Rockefeller Center comes from.” Engineered and stacked to impressive scale, Rondinone’s figures retain a singularly calming (if not alien) effect. “The human is a basic figure, and [the sculptures] are named after basic feelings,” he said. “The mood is to be reminded of our origins.”
Despite Manhattan’s unseasonably frigid twilight, friends and fans braved the windchill to show their support. “Other than the fact that it was freezing cold, it was incredibly beautiful,” said model-cum-actress-cum-artist Lily Cole. “I’ve been thinking about making furniture out of stone, so I was sort of in that frame of mind,” she added.
After the opening, guests such as Olympia Scarry, Sadie Coles, and Maria Cornejo headed to Monkey Bar, where Public Art Fund director Nicholas Baume told the oohing and ahhing crowd, “By the time the exhibition closes, some 20 million people will have seen these works.” Cornejo best captured the excitement. “It’s amazing to see them finished,” she said, having previously checked out the project’s models in Rondinone’s studio. “I think it’s joyful.”
Human Nature is free to the public and on view until June 7, 2013.