Madison Square Park—in the heart of Manhattan—is one of the city’s most emblematic spaces, with the best views of the famous Flatiron Building. Since 2004, the Madison Square Park Conservancy has presented spectacular art interventions in the busy square. Teresita Fernández decided to create—for this public venue— her most ambitious artistic project to date. It is a stunning 500-foot-long canopy made of overlapping mirror-polished discs cut into irregular forms that draw inspiration from the natural foliage of the park´s trees. The horizontal metallic sculpture reflects a changing pattern of colors and textures on the pavement. At the same time, perforations on the panels let in the sunlight and create chromatic effects resulting in a colossal kaleidoscope.
The stunning installation–titled Fata Morgana–refers to the mirages that occur in a narrow band right above the horizon line, which distort the appearance of objects in the distance. “My concept was to invert the traditional notion of outdoor sculpture by addressing all of the active walkways of the park rather than setting down a sculptural element in the park’s center,” says Fernández. “By hovering over the park in a horizontal band, Fata Morgana becomes a ghostlike, sculptural, luminous mirage that both distorts the landscape and radiates golden light.”
Teresita Fernández is a prominent American artist, born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents and based in New York City. She has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2003 and the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2005. In 2011, President Barak Obama appointed Ms. Fernández to the United States Fine Arts Commission, a federal panel that advises the President, the Congress and government agencies on national issues related to design and aesthetics. Other recent interventions by the talented artist include custom-made designs for Louis Vuitton in their Shanghai and Paris stores, as well as exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide. If you like art, review our Culture page.
New York, a dynamic and vibrant city, continually offers glamour, elegance, style and high art. Teresita Fernández’s spectacular Fata Morgana at Madison Square Park in Manhattan is one more reason to return to the always fabulous Big Apple. ■