What is this? An ear?

If you’re walking through Rockafeller Center Plaza in New York City in the next few months you will likely see the latest art installation by Elmgreen & Dragset. 

It’s a giant swimming pool!

On display from April 13 to June 3rd at the 5th Avenue entrance to Rockefeller Center across from Saks 5th Avenue. The art installation is part of the New York City Public art fund which was conceived and installed by the artists specifically for this site.

But where does the ear come in?

The artist have titled the project “Van Gogh’s Ear.”  The art features the concept of contrasting ordinary objects uprooted into ordinary places. A 30 foot upright pool surrounded by the crowds and hustle and bustle of New York City, I’d say that’s quite a contrast.


A view from the back…I guess it does kinda look like an ear

The press release further explains:

“The title Van Gogh’s Ear plays on the mythological versus the ordinary. We thought it was a perfect name for a swimming pool of this shape. It opens up the possibility for a different perception of the form itself. And like the myth of Van Gogh cutting off his ear in despair, the dislocated pool will hopefully make people wonder ‘why?’, and pursue their own reasoning behind this inexplicable scenario.”

Even though it looks like an off the shelf swimming pool it’s actually a handmade custom sculpture of a traditional swimming pool flipped on it’s side.


Some Details

The sculpture stands 30 feet high supported by a giant concrete base.  The artists other works include a rocking horse in London’s Trafalgar Square; the Prada Marfa store/sculpture in Marfa, Texas; and a NYC subway station in the basement of the Bohen Foundation.

It’s complete with working lights and a Stainless Steal Ladder…


And a diving board


What’s Behind the pool?

Here’s a Springtime look behind the pool looking toward where the famous Rockafeller Christmas tree usually sits IMG_0044

And in case you’re wondering what happens to the famous Rockefeller Center ice rink when it gets warmer out…. Well, it’s transformed into a outdoor bar & cafe

Which is currently under construction for the spring and summer season


So if you find yourself in Midtown Manhattan or are planning to visit New York City anytime soon, take a walk over to Rockefeller Plaza and check out the 30th foot “Ear” before June 3rd.

2 thoughts on “What is this? An ear?

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