Plaza33, the broad triangle outside Penn Station, has hosted a parade of large installations by notable artists. Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein are notable recents. Now, yet another big, bold, simple sculpture has risen on the low plinth at the center of the pedestrian-only space. “Human Structures,” by Jonathan Borofsky, is childlike in its simple shapes and blocky colors.
More than fifty feet high and made out of geometric cut-out human figures, like stacked paper dolls, it is a statement.
“It’s about humanity connecting together to build our world,” said Borofsky in an interview with Untapped Cities.
He also says that the sculpture is meant to be passed through, made to be viewed from outside and inside. Standing beneath the figures, they take on a little of the sense of a cathedral, all vertical lines open to above. People standing inside of it become a part of the work in a way, echoing the much larger shapes, participating in the whole.
The “Human Structures” in Plaza33 is not a unique piece. Borofsky tends to work in repeating concepts, allowing them to evolve over time. Other “Human Structure” pyramids have been installed in Vancouver B.C., Germany, China, and San Francisco, and he’s sculpted and painted to the same theme in smaller works in Korea, Washington D.C., and Chicago. Perhaps in the artist’s mind, they are all linked, a global structure inspiring cooperation.
Other sculptures by Borofsky include his “Hammering Man,” which is in four different countries, and “Walking to the Sky,” which is in six different cities. He is always finessing and spreading his artistic vision, giving far-flung communities something to share. It’s very fitting with the slogan of Plaza33: “We used to walk with our heads down, but now we have a chance to look up.”
Up, and out, at a wider world.