25-foot tall sculpture designed by Sanford Biggers takes over Rockefeller Center

May 6, 2021

All photos courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer

A massive bronze sculpture has been installed at Rockefeller Center as part of a new multi-part public art exhibition. Designed by Sanford Biggers, Oracle stands 25 feet tall at the foot of the Channel Gardens and is a continuation of the artist’s recent Chimera sculpture series. As the first campus-wide takeover by a solo artist at Rockefeller Center, the exhibition also includes a flag installation at the iconic flagpoles, small-scale sculptures, a virtual experience, and murals, in addition to the sculpture that weighs over 15,000 pounds.

Biggers’ Chimera sculptures combine African masks and European figures to examine the ” historical depictions of the body and their subsequent myths, narratives, perceptions, and power,” according to a press release.

The artist also created a new flag design that features a wave illustration, meant to represent wind and water elements and reference ideas of movement. Biggers’ site-specific installations will be on view throughout the plaza, including the glass displays at 45 Rockefeller Plaza. Chimera sculptures will be staged with backdrops and stills from Biggers’ recent video works.

The murals on view throughout the campus feature Biggers’ Codex series, which consists of mixed media paintings and sculptures done on or made from antique quilts. In the concourse of Rockefeller Center, there’s a 125-foot mural titled Just Us, a play on the word “justice.”

“I’ve always been intrigued by Rockefeller Center for its architectural history and mythological references. Rockefeller Center is an ideal context for myth creation and allows me to experiment with this approach,” Sanford Biggers said.

“I’m pleased for the opportunity to exhibit the largest Chimera sculpture to date alongside the artworks featured in Art In Focus. This combination enhances the persistence of myth while also producing a constellation of connections within each work and the site itself.”

The exhibition, presented by the Art Production Fund and Rockefeller Center in partnership with Marianne Boesky Gallery, will be on view from May 5 to June 29, 2021.

“This spring is extra special for all of us – it’s a comeback and an awakening, it’s hopeful and optimistic, and celebrating it with Sanford Biggers’ art makes it all the more meaningful,” EB Kelly, Tishman Speyer Managing Director Overseeing Rockefeller Center, said. “As a New Yorker, Sanford was the perfect choice for our first campus-wide takeover by a solo artist. Public art is in our DNA, and it wouldn’t be spring in New York City without a dynamic public art experience at the Center.”


All photos courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer

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