Wednesday, September 04, 2013

New Barclays Center sculpture: stalactite, "doo-doo," "rock tornado," or maybe just "The Gyro"

The Barclays Center plaza has a new meeting point, a six-ton, 19-foot-tall, cast-bronze sculpture (first promoted in the Times) that looks, depending on whom you listen to and what angle you take, like a stalactite, "doo-doo," "rock tornado," "badly-decayed tooth," or, especially in a New York Times slideshow (right), the top-heavy mass of roasted meat from which a gyro or shawarma is shaved.

Sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, known for massive abstract work, named it "Ona," Polish for "she" or "her."

David Berliner, general counsel and art maven at developer Forest City Ratner, calls it "flamelike and triumphant.” Echoing the Barclays Center party line, he adds, "To me, it's supposed to represent the vibrancy of Brooklyn."


The New York Daily News, which just happens to sponsor the arena plaza, declared that the sculpture earned "oversize praise" from visitors.

"When I saw it from afar I thought it might be a tree," one interviewee said in a suspiciously perfect sound bite, "but up close I can see it is a beautiful piece of art that adds to the artistic quality of this neighborhood."

A more diverse group of those responding to Park Slope Stoop's online poll were 55% pro, 41% con, as of yesterday.

I wandered over to "Ona" on Sunday to shoot a few photos. Up close, the sculpture looks too grooved and metallic to be turned into a sandwich. Nor did it deserve the roll of toilet paper some wag tossed at its base (look carefully at photo).

Still, given how many people said the sculpture suggests meat on a spit, I'm betting that "The Gyro" catches on. 

Unless it's just "the sculpture."

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