Sarah Palin’s infamous bridge to nowhere was a political liability, but in the art world liabilities routinely become strengths. With that in mind, take a look at sculptor/designer Thomas Heatherwick’s latest project, Vessel, coming to New York City sometime in 2018.
To outward appearances, Vessel looks like a giant staircase to nowhere, inspired by M.C. Escher and other practitioners of “impossible art.” But actually, Vessel has a pretty important and worthwhile functional purpose, particularly compared to most outdoor municipal art structures. That functional purpose is exercise.
Here’s the artist on this component of his $150 million piece:
“New Yorkers have a fitness thing. We had to think of what could act as the role of a landmarker,” he added. “Something that could help give character and particularity to the space.”
In that respect, Vessel will give New Yorkers a place to walk up and down 15 stories of steps in tranquility and peace, provided it doesn’t become too crowded. Construction will begin soon, and you can read more about the project right here.