I’ve been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art – the largest in the United States – at least ten times. So, it’s fair to say I qualify as an expert as to what is interesting to see and do inside the massive art sanctuary. Second only to Musée du Louvre in terms of numbers of visitors, the Met hosts more that 400 numbered galleries, with art as global and diverse it can be. The splendid great halls, that exude with intricate architectural details and invigorating senses of openness, are some of my favorite sections of the museum.
However, as knowledgeable as I may claim to be, I had NO clue (until recently) that there was a rooftop garden to be found on the museum’s fifth floor. The Manhattan and Central Park views were certainly breathtaking; but that’s not what caught most people’s attention. A peculiar futuristic reflective structure, of modular cubes adjoined in an unconventional manner, had visitors searching for their cameras.
Tomás Saraceno’s “Cloud City” is said to be the latest example of fun-house formalism. It consists of a 28-foot-high aggregate of 16 interconnected 12- and 14-sided polyhedrons the size of small rooms, made of polished steel and clear plexiglass. I found it most fascinating, but my fear of heights impeded me truly liking the baffling experience. Due to its reflective and overall see-through facets (oh no, it’s CN Tower’s glass floor all over again, just ten times worse), a sense of sheer panic took over me.
I was surprised purses and cameras were not allowed on the structure, but it made perfect sense; multi-tasking on a transparent surface is not the best idea.
Beautiful Manhattan and Central Park views
Oh, hello there, funny-looking structure!
So far, so good …
That’s me, in that tiny square in the middle
I’m stressed! Can I go down now?
Don’t look down, look ahead! Breath in, breath out …
Forced smile, almost over …
Thank God I am now on a NON see-through surface! Pfiu!
A special timed-entry ticket is required to access the structure, however tickets are free with Museum admission.
“Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City” is on view through Nov. 4.