Colombian artist Fernando Botero’s enormous sculptures inside the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle get a lot of attention, especially a rather small (but shiny) facet of the male. Named Adam and Eve, the portly couple towers naked over shoppers passing through on their way to William Sonoma, Whole Foods and the other shops inside the commercial center. But unlike many sculptures that are easy to walk past without noticing, Adam and Eve seem to entice people to stop–and touch. In fact, so many people touch the sculpture’s small but prominent penis that it has been worn to a golden shine.
According to a New York Times article, the Adam sculpture presents a maintenance problem for the Time Warner center, as the patina must be reapplied every so often, but it doesn’t last long. However, the center’s general manager David Froelke is happy to let people interact with the sculpture, as it’s not in a museum but in a shopping center. It might even bring good luck.
Few people who notice Botero’s sculptures inside the Time Warner Center realize that the artist has actually done several paintings of Adam and Eve, also in his signature figurative style, which has been called “Boterismo.”