Is that a nude statue on the rooftop?

March 10, 2010 2:50:35 PM PST
You never know what you will see around the streets of New York. But nude statues on rooftops? It's all part of an art exhibit.

But statues are a little too life-like for some.

When it comes to interesting building facades, New Yorkers have seen their fair share. But as for the statues that are taking over building around Madison Square Park, people have varied opinions.

"I think it's silly," one onlooker said. "You put something down, put it close where people can see it."

"I think its very interesting," said another. "It's like a treasure hunt."

The 6-foot tall statues are made of fiberglass and iron that are unmistakably male. The public art installation is the brainchild of British sculptor Antony Gormley, who bares a striking resemblance to the figures. That's because he modeled them after himself.

"The whole installation is about making a connection between that which is palpable, that which is receivable and that which is imaginable," he said.

Called "Event Horizon," Gormley first displayed his exhibit in 2007 in London.

"It was a much different experience because London is a much lower city than New York," said Sara Fitzmaurice, of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Twenty-seven figures will eventually grace the tops of buildings. To the north, look for one on the Empire State Building. To the south, the Flatiron building.

Four more will eventually drop anchor at street level throughout the park. But there is concern, as some say the men could cause a spike in calls to 911.

"It's very confusing," on onlooker said. "It kind of makes me very uneasy to see a figure on top of a building."

And so the city is trying to get the word out about our new visitors, who take off August 15.