Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Metropolitan Life Insurance (MetLife) Tower and its Playful Sculptural Reinterpretation by Alexandre Arrechea

Three sculptures by Cuban artist, Alexandre Arrechea showing iconic New York City buildings twisted into whimsical shapes are currently on display in the Flatiron District and in Union Square. They were part of large-scale metal artworks that were previously exhibited on Park Avenue on the Upper East Side earlier this year as part of the city's "No Limits" installation. That exhibit concluded on June 9, but three standout pieces are continuing their run in their current location.
One of them is the "Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower", also known as the "Metropolitan Life Tower" or the "MetLife Tower" (2013) coiled into a spiral. The sculpture is installed on 23rd Street next to the Flatiron Building, not far from the actual MetLife  Tower. The photos above show the sculpture and the real tower side by side. Arrechea's sculptures "play on the idea of elastic architecture as a metaphor for the challenges and opportunities of shifting conditions and new realities,” according to release by the Magnan Metz Gallery, one of the show’s producers. The MetLife Tower is located at 1 Madison Avenue in the Flatiron district, next to the Madison Square Park. Constructed in 1909 as world headquarters of the company until 2005, the tower is currently being converted into the New York Edition Hotel.