Times Square Arts’ 2020 Valentine’s Day heart comes with a hidden surprise

January 31, 2020

Photos by Ian Douglas

Times Square Arts debuted the 2020 Times Square Valentine Heart yesterday, a tradition that started in 2009. This year’s installation, Heart Squared, was selected by the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and designed by MODU and Eric Forman Studio. The sculpture is composed of a 10-foot-tall cubic steel lattice structure that approximates the form of an anatomical heart and 125 mirrors that are suspended within and tilted at various angles to create a kaleidoscopic collage of the urban environment. The arrangement of the mirrors might seem random at first but they’re precisely calibrated to form an anamorphic projection—meaning that the mirror array creates a surprise image when viewed from a specific vantage point, which is marked on the ground with white paint.

When viewed from that spot, the mirrors form the image of an “emoji” heart surrounded by a border of sky. “Fundamentally inclusive, Heart Squared brings people together to discover the heart within, a heart that reflects anyone and everyone who engages with it,” the designers explain.

In addition to sparking moments of connection between those passing through the bustling area (and, let’s face it, plenty of selfies), the artwork will serve as the backdrop for all Love in Times Square events taking place over the next month. If you’re planning a surprise proposal, wedding, or vow renewal, you can find out more information about how it all works and register here by February 2.

Heart Squared will be on display in Duffy Square (46th Street and Broadway) through March 1.


Photos by Ian Douglas

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