If you haven’t gotten around to personally experiencing the cloud-piercing scale of the Empire State Building in New York or the Willis Tower (formerly Sears) in Chicago, here’s your chance, and you don’t even need to leave your cubicle. (And if you have, read on, anyway, ’cause this stuff is awesome.)
Iván Navarro, a Chilean-born Brooklyn artist, has created a series of sculptures that squeeze the vastness of some of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers into pancake-flat sculptures, by turning their raw geometry into Tron-esque infinite regresses. Navarro built each sculpture in the shape of a famous building’s floor plan, then played neon lights off of mirrors to evoke the sensation of staring up into an interior volume — as if peering into architecture’s very soul. Each is no more than a few feet wide.
Mirrors to evoke the sensation of staring up into the interior.
So the Flatiron resembles an immense stack of triangles thrown against a wall, and the Twin Towers look like a pair of squares descending endlessly — poignantly — into the floor. Loaded words like “surrender,” “shelter,” and “burden,” are incorporated into the works, which is probably some sort of political commentary we couldn’t care a lick about; we’re too busy getting hypnotized here.
Check out our slideshow above, and see if you can guess which floor plan matches up to which tower. Better yet, visit the sculptures in person at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York. The exhibit, Heaven or Las Vegas, is on view through April 2.