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Photograph: Daniel Greer

This new statue at 30 Rock is very weird but we can’t stop looking at it

'Oracle' is 25 feet tall and weighs over 15,000 pounds.

Written by
Anna Rahmanan

A new work by conceptual artist Sanford Biggers that is sure to turn lots of heads was just installed at the entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center. A mere picture of the massive monument is shocking to us—now imagine seeing it live.

Photograph: Daniel Greer

Oracle—a 25-foot-tall cast bronze sculpture that weighs 15,280 pounds—is a continuation of Biggers' "Chimera" series. According to an official press release, the latter "consists of hybrid sculptures that merge mythology and history, [...] each one a mashup of masks and figurative sculptures from different countries and cultures, including Greco-Roman and African sculptures."

The enormous figure depicts a man boasting the sort of expression that really resonates with us after over a year spent in lockdown: pensive, deep in meditative thought, probably wondering what else Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are going to throw at us next. Wearing what seems to be a toga and holding onto a torch, we have to admit that Oracle speaks to us. The statue is truly a mood.

The visually striking work was commissioned by Art Production Fund as the cornerstone of a bigger installation by Biggers, which will include a redesign of those iconic Rockefeller Center flagpoles.

Inside the center, you'll also be able to gaze at Biggers' "Codex" series, consisting of mixed media pantings and sculptures made from pre-1900 antique quilts.

Expect a virtual experience and a 125-foot mural smack-dab in the middle of the destination's concourse to round out the installation. The latter piece of work "displays a clouded sky punctured with the words 'Just Us' in transparent font," seeking to focus in on the idea of justice in all its facets.

If you don't have time to explore the entirety of the installation, we understand. But we do urge you to at least pay a visit to Oracle, which will be on display through June 29. For some reason, looking at the figure just fills us with calm.

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