'Fata Morgana' in Madison Square Park

If you’re in New York and want to see a unique public art installation, check out Fata Morgana in Madison Square Park. The 500 foot long sculpture by Teresita Fernandez was made from cut-out mirror-polished metal disks that hover above the park’s walkway and create intricate flickering reflections of light on the sidewalk. The term “Fata Morgana” is Italian for “mirage,” and the work itself brings to mind the illusion of water when looked at from afar.

The massive metal disks are cut out in shapes that resemble some kind of jagged foliage. I thought they looked like lotus pods or perhaps giant chocolate chip cookies. The effect from this reflective canopy is visually interesting and casts a flickering speckled pattern along the pathway. Like many public art installations, Fata Morgana was met with mixed reactions from the park’s frequenters. To the critics, this work is too big, caused too much commotion during construction, and blocks too much sunlight. For others, this canopy of reflective disks offers a visually intriguing landscape and a shady place to enjoy the park.

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