A melancholy Big Bird is now swinging from a mobile on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum.
Photo by @cahlinetompkins
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A melancholy Big Bird is now swinging from a mobile on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s the wistful, innocent fantasy we’ve all been waiting for, our critic writes.
The beloved “Sesame Street” character is part of an installation by Alex Da Corte, a conceptual artist and designer of immersive environments. The 26-foot-tall installation, titled “As Long as the Sun Lasts,” features a blue but otherwise unmistakable Big Bird — full size, custom-made and featuring 7,000 hand-placed aluminum feathers. The Bird swings gently from one end of a long pole fixed 20-odd feet off the floor, and attached to the pole’s other end are five brightly colored metal disks, a nod to Alexander Calder’s floating mobiles (the museum received informal permission for the project from the Calder Foundation and “Sesame Street”). The installation’s base, three interlocking stainless-steel blocks with rounded corners, like modular plastic, are also painted Calder red. The Met roof commission isn’t easy to pull off. The artist competes not only with the breathtaking vista of Central Park, framed by a forest of Manhattan luxury towers, but also with the aura of the treasure house downstairs. Whatever the artist chooses to mount will promptly be Instagrammed to death in an endless summer bacchanal of selfies, our critic Will Heinrich writes. “So a winsome surefire crowd-pleaser like this, which turns gentle circles without ever getting anywhere, may simply be Da Corte’s satirical, if not especially biting, response to the assignment: Why try to get somewhere? Why not just give people what they want?”