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Photograph: Courtesy MODU and Eric Forman Studios

This heart-shaped sculpture in Times Square gives Valentine’s Day a trippy twist

By
Howard Halle
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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, which means that some of you may put off buying a romantic something for your boo until you have no choice but to run to the drugstore to grab a cheesy card, or box of chocolates or, heaven forbid, a plush toy in the shape of a bear. If your pharmacy of choice happens to be the flagship Walgreens in Times Square, you might want to make a stop at nearby Duffy Square, where you will find a V-Day gift that’s on a whole other level. Starting January 30, Times Square Arts and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will be presenting Heart Squared, the latest winner of the annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition.

Conceived by MODU and Eric Forman Studio, the installation features 125 mirrors mounted in a steel frame that resembles a pink jungle gym. Each is tilted at a different angle to dazzle you with kaleidoscopic shards of buildings, billboards and tourist crowds in Times Square.

Photograph: Courtesy MODU and Eric Forman Studios

But thanks to some creative calculating by the project’s designers, this psychedelic swirl of scenery contains a visually coherent surprise: If you stand in just the right spot, the reflections resolve into the pixelated image of a heart framed by the sky.

This is the 12th year that the Times Square Alliance has sponsored the competition, which selected the winner from a short list of five finalists. And if you want to take your significant other to go see it, you’ll have until March 1 to get there. Oh, and skip the Walgreens while you’re at it.

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