Although it doesn't officially open until Monday, Martin Puryear's monumental sculpture "Big Bling" is now on view on the main lawn of Madison Square Park. This is Puryear's largest ever temporary outdoor work, standing forty feet high from its plank-wood and chain-link-fence base to the gold-leafed shackle at the top.
Like many of Puryear's works—he had an outstanding solo exhibition at MoMA in 2007, and he shows at Matthew Marks in Chelsea now and then—"Big Bling" is made from scrappy materials and is totemic in feeling and style, as if created by an ancient civilization, possibly not human. It also reads animal, but nothing really specific. Horse? Trojan horse? Elephant? Giant sloth? If you stumbled across this (or lots of his other sculptures) in the middle of a forest, you would definitely get the creeps... or the urge to climb it. (Do not climb it.)
Big Bling will be in Madison Square Park through January 8, 2017. The lawn also opens Monday for the season.