Hello from high above Columbus Circle in NYC at Tatzu Nishi’s “Discovering Columbus”:
To see the work, “Discovering Columbus,” visitors need only procure a free timed ticket, sign a release, climb six flights of stairs and enter the white windowed box that has been built around the figure. It’s a structure that from the outside looks like a pristine outtake from a mansion, albeit one supported by an elaborate network of construction scaffolding that is itself rather attractive. (An elevator is also available.)
Once inside, they will encounter Columbus’s commanding figure, wearing the usual floppy beret and High Renaissance garb, in a spacious interior larger than many New York apartments (over 800 square feet, with 16-foot ceilings). It is outfitted with hardwood floors, area rugs, cushy couches and armchairs, art reproductions, lots of reading material and a remote-free, 55-inch Samsung television screen. Most of this has been provided by Bloomingdale’s; all of it is bathed in natural light, thanks to four large windows facing in three directions.
The statue, previously visible only from afar, is front and center, and it towers. You can sit down and contemplate Columbus and his legacy, along with the tendency of high-minded public art to fade into the background, while enjoying a reasonable facsimile of someone’s home.