‘Buckyball’ Lights Up NYC’s Madison Square Park
November 9, 2012
By Danielle Rago
New York’s Madison Square Park has hosted all sorts of funky art installations, from Roxy Paine’s fighting stainless steel trees to Charles Long’s brightly colored, blob-shaped “sound sculptures.” But its latest display, by New York City-based artist Leo Villareal, is its trippiest yet.
The “Buckyball,” named after the American architect, engineer, designer, and inventor Buckminster Fuller (natch), is a 30-foot, three-dimensional, neon-lit geodesic sculpture set atop a metal plinth. Designed as part of the Madison Square Park Art program, the glow-in-the-dark statue is on view through February 1, 2013. Read more!
“Buckyball” features two open-framed geodesic spheres comprising 180 LED tubes arranged as a series of pentagons and hexagons. Using a time-based software program, developed by Villareal himself, the tubes change color from warm red and yellow to electric blue and purple, creating an infinite amount of variables and variations. Visitors can take in the light show from reclining “zero-gravity” couches that surround the sculpture.
According to curator Adam Glick, Villareal is the perfect artist to tackle the complex mathematics behind Fuller’s incredible inventions. “There is a common thread between Villareal’s sculpture and Buckminster Fuller’s work,” he says. “They both look very organic in form yet are so heavily founded on scientific discovery.”
Photos: by James Ewing/Madison Square Park Conservancy