While its splendid skyscrapers may be the first thing people notice about Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood, the locality now has some amazing pieces of artwork that are worth a second look as well. For instance, the glittering sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle that line Park Avenue from 52nd to 60th streets have been garnering a lot of attention, with the colorful figures representing everything from athletes to musicians to Greek goddesses.
Joining this eclectic group of artwork in the neighborhood is Jonathan Prince’s G2V sculpture at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on 47th Street and Second Avenue. Made of high chromium stainless steel, this eight-foot disc would have been a perfect circle had it not been for the tear emanating from the center of the sculpture. By using what he calls an essential geometric shape for G2V, Prince says his sculpture could be seen either as a vestige of the past or a remnant of an advanced alien civilization.
Named after the astronomical name for the sun, G2V is Prince’s exploration of how things that are held high and mighty are destined to fail, sooner or later. “My premise is that most ancient civilizations have worshiped the sun in one form or another and referred to it by many different names,” explains Prince. “As an astronomical object, G2V is central to our planet and our existence. As a deity or idol, it has failed all those who have worshipped it.”
The tears in G2V are perhaps the most remarkable features of the sculpture. Fluid yet striking, the metallic surface shows a distorted reflection of the sky, the buildings and everything around it. “The tears are a counterpoint to the geometry–in a way marrying nature to perfection–an intersection of chaos and order,” says Prince. “Perhaps this is the way I see the world: nothing is perfect–everything, every concept has breaks and/or fractures. Yet the breaks can be beautiful!”
While Prince’s G2V does have similarities with his earlier work from his “Torn Steel” series, Southern Remnant and Bore Block, showcased nearby at 590 Madison Avenue, the differences in the tears in G2V set it apart from his previous work. “The tears in many of my pieces appear to look like scar tissue–opening up the idea that the breaks may be becoming something else or healing themselves,” Prince explains. “G2V’s break appears almost to be in a liquid state and as such I am calling this new series of work ‘States of Matter.’”
As a piece of public art, it is almost impossible to be taken in by G2V by seeing it from a single angle. The sculpture almost seems to invite people to take a look at it from different angles, check out its tears and feel both its reflection and opaqueness. Thanks to its public presence, Prince takes advantage of the architectural space to encourage people to interact with his sculpture, so that they can fully take in the entirety of G2V.
Check out Jonathan Prince’s official site here.
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