Installation view, The Roof Garden Commission, Alex Da Corte “As Long as the Sun Lasts,” 2021. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Anna Marie Kellen
A 26-foot-tall moving sculpture featuring the Sesame Street character Big Bird has been installed atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the museum’s annual Roof Garden Commission series. Created by Philadelphia-based artist Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts exhibition includes a blue-feathered Big Bird sitting on a floating crescent moon and holding a ladder, gazing out at Central Park and the massive towers that dot the skyline. The exhibition will open at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden on April 16 and be on view through October 31.
Installation view, The Roof Garden Commission, Alex Da Corte, “As Long as the Sun Lasts” (detail), 2021. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Hyla Skopitz
The installation has a red base with three interlocking steel pieces and a mobile component that rotates along with the breeze, a design inspired by the artist Alexander Calder, known for his kinetic sculptures. Big Bird sits suspended at the top of the sculpture and has about 7,000 individually placed laser-cut aluminum feathers.
Making Big Bird blue instead of his familiar yellow is a nod from Da Corte (who lived in Venezuela as a child) to the Brazilian version of Sesame Street, which had a blue-colored bird character named Garibaldo. It also reflects the character’s “melancholic disposition” expressed in the work, according to the museum.
Installation view, The Roof Garden Commission, Alex Da Corte, “As Long as the Sun Lasts” (detail) 2021 Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo Anna-Marie Kellen
Installation view, The Roof Garden Commission, Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts (detail) 2021 Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo Anna-Marie Kellen
“The installation, which the artist initiated just as the pandemic was taking hold, invites us to look through a familiar, popular, modern lens at our own condition in a transformed emotional landscape,” Max Hollein, the Marina Kellen French Director of The Met, said in a press release.
“As the sculpture gently rotates in the wind, it calls us in an assuring way to pause and reflect: We are reminded that stability is an illusion, but ultimately what we see is a statement of belief in the potential of transformation.”
The exhibition is free with admission to the museum. Advance online reservations are required. Learn more here.
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