A Bamboo Wave Rolls in at the Met
Anyone with a yen to climb like a monkey through a bamboo forest shouldn't miss Mike and Doug Starn's "Big Bambú" on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This bamboo colossus has a unique form for a land sculpture---a cresting wave with internal elevated pathways. Ultimately, it will measure 50-feet tall and take "audience participation" to new heights. If you are thinking of walking the "waves," wear close, rubber-soled shoes and request timed-tickets in person. Although you can visit the roof anytime, try for sunset on a Friday or Saturday. Tickets, based on first-come, first-served for walking on the elevated platforms, are bound to be in great demand as when else could you get such drop-dead views of Central Park.
The artists, identical twins shown above, along with a team of rock climb climbers created this art installation without heavy machinery. They chose bamboo because "it is alive," and they wanted something organic that would continue to change. Quite golden now, the artists say by midsummer the bamboo poles will darken. The entire piece grew from inside out, from down to up, totally by hand without any scaffolding. The complex, which resembles a poetic jungle gym gone haywire, is made up of some 3,200 pieces of bamboo, hauled by crane to the Met's roof, lashed together with 50 miles of nylon climbing rope. The knots alone are works of art and would make any sailor proud. Perhaps best understood as a performance piece with visitors within and a team of rock climbers on its borders, the Met has come up with a gigantic wave cresting over Central Park. However you view it, as a "microcosm of the universe" as the artists do or as a marvelous, interconnected, chaotic sculpture, Big Bambú is the best yet of the Met's Roof Garden installations.
"Big Bambú" is on view now through October 31, weather permitting
Tags: metmuseum.org, , Doug and Mike Starn, art installation, contemporary sculpture.