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Enter a Mirage with Teresita Fernandez's Mirrored Canopy

The glittering, arbor-like structure is named after Fata Morgana, a horizontal mirage that leads sailors to death.
June 5, 2015, 5:20pm
Courtesy the artist, Lehmann Maupin and Anthony Meier Fine Arts. Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein

Towering mirrored discs populate pathways around Madison Square Park’s central lawn as part of Teresita Fernandez’s Fata Morgana public sculpture. With equal parts lavish whimsy and futuristic inclinations, the 500 feet of golden canopied walkways merge with the surrounding foliage to create a phenomenon of refracted light.

Fernandez says of the work, “By hovering over the park in a horizontal band, Fata Morgana becomes a ghost-like, sculptural, luminous mirage that both distorts the landscape and radiates golden light.” Perforated metal discs, cut with intricate patterns, allow for natural sunlight, air, and the brush of branches and leaves to produce organic prismatic displays of light against the sidewalk and passersby. It is the largest public art installation the park has commissioned to date.

The glittering arbor-like scaffolding is named after "Fata Morgana," a horizontal mirage believed to lead sailors to death at sea when rays of light bend and pass through different temperatures and air layers, a term, in turn, taken from the Italian name for King Arthur's sorceress sister. Fernandez is a conceptual artist perhaps best-known for her experimental landscape sculptures inspired by natural phenomena. Fata Morgana’s charm is in its experiential nature; you must be walking through the park to get a sense of it’s mirage capabilities.

Fata Morgana is on display through January 10, 2016 in Madison Square Park. Click here for more info.

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