Upside-Down Elephant to Grace Union Square Through May


If you go over to Union Square right now, you’ll notice that people are installing a huge elephant standing on his trunk. The tireless 26-foot-tall elephant will maintain the pose through the end of May 2012. He’s a 2008 piece by Spanish artist Miquel Barceló, and his name is “Gran Elefandret,” though we’re hoping someone will give him a cutesy nickname because that’s a mouthful.

The press release reads in part:

To further communicate the gravity-defying feat beyond the surprisingly slim trunk and large body, Barceló imparts the mass and weight of the creature through the downward sag of the heavily wrinkled skin, the off-kilter positioning of the huge legs, and the complete overturning of the floppy ears. The highly textured surface of the elephant recalls the artist’s tactile paintings, in which he creates rich topographic, sculpted surfaces on canvas.

Gran Elefandret (Granny? Ellie? Maybe it’s a girl elephant.) joins the Metronome — that Harry Potter wand thing — and the silvery Andy Warhol statue as the newest piece of public art to hit Union Square. S/he is also the cutest.