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Tatzu Nishi’s Room With a View

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

At His Penthouse, a Tàªte-à -Tàªte With Columbus
Tatzu Nishi”™s “˜Discovering Columbus”™ Installation

By Roberta Smith
New York Times
September 21, 2012

“Discovering Columbus,” at Columbus Circle, is on view through Nov. 18. Free timed tickets are available at

View more photos here.

If you”™ve ever wanted to see what the city”™s pre-eminent statue of Christopher Columbus looks like standing on a large coffee table in an upscale New York living room with killer views, now is your chance. Under the auspices of the Public Art Fund, the Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi has built a convincingly appointed penthouse-worthy space around the 13-foot-high marble sculpture of Columbus that has presided over Columbus Circle from a height of 60 feet since it was completed by Gaetano Russo in 1892. In doing so, Mr. Nishi has achieved a nifty bit of Surrealist displacement without moving the sculpture an inch “” albeit not quite as nifty as I”™d hoped.

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. (more…)