By Shannon Stapleton
In my 15 years of living in the New York City metropolitan area I’ve probably passed by the Columbus Monument in Columbus Circle at least a 100 times. Whether it was the numerous Thanksgiving Day Parades, going to the Whole Foods at Lincoln Center for lunch or just walking into Central Park to be honest I never really took that much time to sit and enjoy the beauty of the Columbus monument and the surrounding fountain.
So when I was asked to cover the 810-square-foot living room atop the Columbus Monument art installation titled “Discovering Columbus,” by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi, I thought where is that? On 72nd and Columbus or 59th? It really didn’t strike any visual bell in my memory.
That changed when I ascended up the elevator to the installation and saw the Columbus statue standing in a living room surrounded by chairs, a television set and some funky pink wallpaper. It was very surreal to be sitting in a living room elevated above Columbus Circle looking out at Central Park and down 59th street.
Living in New York you take a lot of things for granted that you walk by every day. Every now and then a hipster artist will find a way to take something fairly mundane and turn it into a wacky way of seeing the city from a totally different view. I welcome that experience and look forward to the next landmark or cityscape that can be exposed in a way not seen before.