Sock Monkey at the Tatzu Nishi exhibit in Columbus Circle

Submitted by windupkitty November 27th, 2012
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Hours before Sock Monkey was to board a flight back to California, he was lucky enough to see the public art exhibit at Columbus Circle. This was due entirely to the kindness of a stranger who offered him a spare ticket after Sock Monkey lamented that the passes were sold out for the day. It’s just another wonderful New York story…it’s no secret that New Yorkers are the nicest people in the world, but it still gets you in the heart when you meet them…Here he is outside the exit of  installation. You have to climb 6 flights of stairs to get to the top!

Mr Nishi is famous for building domestic dwellings around statues and public art. This is his first exhibit in the USA. To be honest, SOck MOnkey didn’t rush to see it because he read about it and thought it was neat, but figured, “eh, so there is a penthouse around Columbus. I get it.” He shouldn’t have been so quick to judge. This exhibit is WAY cool in so many ways and on so many levels. Sure, you get to see Columbus up close , which is special, but the view from the platforms is equally amazing, the decor of the “penthouse” is great, the sense of community and shared experience amongst the viewers is wonderful, and of course, there are several messages conveyed by the very installation. The fact that the TV was left on broadcasting news knocked Sock Monkey right out and visitors were permitted to hang out on the furniture which totally won his heart…IN fact, while I, his handler took a moment to get some photos, Sock MOnkey took a break and read Architectural Digest…

Here are some of the photos I took while he reclined….This is what the exhibit looked like upon entering….

And here is the entrance…Uh Oh! Sock MOnkey has been recognized again! He made this young man laugh, so he forgave the intrusion!

It is nice to see people do their people things…Mr Columbus was almost secondary to the whole situation….

As for the details in the wallpaper, how can you NOT love them! This is wallpaper that belongs in the AWMOK, for sure. Sock Monkey read some reviews that included negative commentary about the wallpaper being to crass if not insulting. Sock Monkey disagrees. In fact, we both feel it was an important and poignant statement. (Uh Oh, I just used the word poignant. If I spiral into EVOCATIVE and/or RICH, please don’t post this, QoK). The hot dogs looked a little, um, well, you decide…just , um….yeah…

MOving on, Sock MOnkey decided it was time to join the masses and attempt a photo shoot, so he posed with Mr Columbus. To be honest, Mr Columbus seems rather haughty, and Sock MOnkey was NOT fond of the fact that he kept pulling his ear…

So I gave Sock MOnkey another break while I photographed some more patrons…He sat patiently like those husbands and boyfriends who settle into chairs while their other halves look at overpriced t-shirts in fancy boutiques. Lucky for me, Sock Monkey is very respectful of his traveling companion…

I could not help but get a couple of photos of the people who were taking things in….Here is an unknown gentleman photographing the wallpaper…just look at the buildings through the window! The repetition/dimensions of squares seems like an incredible painting until you realize there are chain stores staring back at you…then it seems to be part of the exhibit….perhaps that was the intent!?!?

And this woman was so impeccable that I couldn’t resist photographing her. She was dressed to the nines and truly elegant…She stood out from the crowd and quietly took in the view….It had to be captured…

I couldn’t keep Sock Monkey waiting too long, so wrapped things up and  he had one last moment to take in Mr Columbus(seen here with unknown patron). You know what? Sock MOnkey wonders if Mr Columbus isn’t portrayed rather accurately! He seems arrogant and not so empathetic. That, in itself, was interesting to see. And not difficult to stomach. As one quick witted patron in a very nice pinstriped suit light-heartedly mentioned, “it’s great that we can memorialize some guy who seriously screwed over the Native Americans”. Let’s face it, the guy implemented policies that included horrific violent acts against indigenous peoples, genocide and slavery in the Spanish colonies.  It brings home that there are a thousand sides to every story and we should hear them all…if we don’t we are missing out…Mr Nishi not only shared his artist view with us, but he afforded us the opportunity to experience Gaetano Russo’s vision as well…Sock Monkey loves it when artists collaborate.

After leaving the main exhibit space, Sock Monkey had some photo ops that would help explain the incredible view…here is Sock MOnkey high above Columbus Circle.

And with Central Park West behind him…

And Central Park South….

Thank you, mystery woman (she didn’t want to be mentioned online) who afforded Sock MOnkey this wonderful experience! You expanded his mind, made his day, and he is certainly very thankful for your kindness!!!

8 Responses to “Sock Monkey at the Tatzu Nishi exhibit in Columbus Circle”

  1. Allee Willis

    Excellent documentation of SM’s adventures as always!

    That wallpaper is KILLING me.Do you know who made it? Someone like Jeff Koons?

    Love SM/s little tattered eyes in the photo with Mr. Columbus. Him sitting in the chair staring at him is hysterical. The bald head and the back of SM’s head wih Columbus looking down is a classic.

    NY is such a great backdop for SM!

  2. windupkitty

    I think Tatzu Nishi did the wallpaper himself for this exhibit. I was so impressed by everything…LOVE the whole cause/effect theme with Columbus and present day USA…And the fact that we could all go in and make ourselves at home just killed me…I love installations like this…it was just so great…I hope they have a camera rolling while people are viewing everything and interacting…Thats’ where the real art is..In fact, the whole vibe is very much a Willis one…Everything is in real time….

    I have to say, that aside from Willis Wonderland, Sock MOnkey is never happier than when he is in NY. MOnkeys can get bored, but it’s hard to in NYC!

    And yeah, he is getting pretty raggedy being crammed into my purse all the time, but whatever. He and I both won’t age well together…who cares as long as we still get to be in this nutty planet seeing cool things?!

    • Allee Willis

      I love that SM is aging just like the rest of us.

      And yes, the real art is in the live interaction at the exhibit. That’s the real part of art for me, not the presentational part. That’s just a step to get to the real time interaction.

      • windupkitty

        I totally agree about the live interaction. After all, the exhibit is about the USA so the people are part of the exhibit!

        Yeah, he gets older and hopefully wiser with experience…and like me, more raggedy!

  3. shirlie williams

    Wow I love this post..that wallpaper is making me drool its just amazing and I want it… So this installation is around the actual statue of Columbus ?? I get giddy on stairs but I would have forced myself for this …

    • windupkitty

      This exhibit is definitely worth the stair climbing and yeah, you do get a bit dizzy when you look down! Yeah, the actual statue that sits in Coumbus circle. It’s so damn high up, no one can ever really see it…I know, I want the wallpaper too…it would be all over my kitchen in a heartbeat if i could get my hands on it!

      • shirlie williams

        Thats just fab, I do remember seeing the statue..while at the same time being annoyed by the carriage drivers and there poor horses.