Tatzu Nishi’s “Discovering Columbus” Fashions A Penthouse Apartment For Columbus Effigy
September 19, 2012
Earlier today, Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi and the Public Art Fund unveiled “Discovering Columbus”, a pop-up living room built around the 6-story high Christopher Columbus statue that rises from the base of Columbus Circle. The exhibit allows visitors to experience the sometimes overlooked statue in an entirely new way — up close and personal. Columbus stands in the middle of the 800-square-foot “apartment”, completely decked out with Bloomingdales furniture and custom-made wallpaper by Nishi himself. The exhibit will be free and open to the public for the next three months before an extensive restoration of the 120 year-old statue takes place. Read More.
After climbing six flights of exterior scaffolding stairs, one enters a white box that is perfectly outfitted as a beautiful apartment living room. The massive statue stands in the middle while a couch and chairs are situated around it for visitors to sit and relax. Nishi hoped his installation would encourage people to get to know Columbus, as if they are comfortably visiting his apartment. The statue not only enjoys a flat screen television and Central Park views, but also a mini-library to keep him company. Nishi’s whimsical wallpaper is right at home in this virtual living chamber, with its depictions of American kitsch like Elvis, McDonalds, Marilyn Monroe, and Mickey Mouse.
While the living room is a fun and exciting exhibition, it does serve a dual purpose. The enormous marble Columbus statue has not been touched in 120 years and is in desperate need of renovation. Once the show is over, the apartment will serve as an office and work station for the restoration teams who will tirelessly cleaning the monument in the bitter December weather.