Truly, nothing else says “the spirit of discovery” quite like a 13-foot-tall statue of Christopher Columbus in your living room. And now it can be all yours (for a few minutes at least) at Tatzu Nishi’s installation Discovering Columbus. Walk up the six flights of stairs alongside the 75-foot pedestal of the Columbus statue at Columbus Circle and enter a contemporary living room complete with sofas to lounge on, a flat-screen television, and, smack on top of a coffee table, the gigantic explorer himself. Nishi is famous for working with monuments and architecture to create habitable spaces around public structures. He’s created apartment-sized rooms surrounding clock towers, fountains, and even a cathedral’s weathervane in Switzerland. As you wander the living room, commissioned by the Public Art Fund, take note of the pink-and-gold wallpaper illustrated with symbols of American culture, such as McDonald’s golden arches, Mickey Mouse, and Michael Jackson. The windows around the room also provide an excellent vantage point to look out towards Central Park, the Time Warner Center, and Eighth Avenue, which Columbus has watched over every day since his construction in 1892. Free tickets can be reserved online or at The Shops at Columbus Circle.
Sept. 20-Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., 2012