Michael Sailstorfer’s Tornado Coming to Central Park Through February


Joining that newly installed elephant in Union Square in the city’s gallery of public art, there’s a similarly scaled sculpture we noticed being erected in the south part of Central Park over the weekend, just across the street from the Plaza Hotel. Tornado “is a new commission by Michael Sailstorfer that will rise to more than 30 feet in height,” according to a construction sign from the Public Art Fund (the folks who recently brought us Sol Lewitt in City Hall Park and The Andy Monument in Union Square). “Made of industrial truck tire inner tubes attached to a steel amarture, the work is inspired by the high velocity winds and raw power associated with these weather phenomena.”

Larger picture after the jump.

According to a press release, the German born Sailstorfer’s first public work to be shown in the United States will officially open tomorrow, September 20, and will be on display until February 19, 2012.

From the release:

The visualization of a densely packed storm system, the work rises to more than 25 feet and features some one hundred distinct “clouds” made of inflated truck inner tube tires attached to a steel structure. Each is secured individually and rustles in the wind, revealing hints of the armature, and creating a dynamic, kinetic sculpture.

Though not intended as a literal representation of a cyclone, the work is inspired by the high velocity winds and raw power associated with these weather phenomena. Sailstorfer has long been interested in non-traditional art materials, often disassembling machines or recontextualizing existing materials to imbue them with new meaning. At the core of Tornado is the metamorphosis of the inner tube tires from purely functional objects that help propel a truck forward, to “clouds” evoking the movement of a swirling cyclone. That the tire inner tubes are filled with air and rotate at a tremendous rate when a truck is in motion, further inspired Sailstorfer to transform them into the physical representation of a natural element–air.