Toy Topiary keeping an eye on the Big Apple

Last week I visited New York's (rather than Malvern East's) Central Park, which was as incongruous and inviting as I expected, although more so 70 floors up from the Rockefeller Centre. Instead of showing you lots of photographs of that striking green edge to New York's skyscrapers I give you this floral horse-dinosaur, by Jeff Koons.

Slit-Rocker has grown in Avignon, Versailles and Basil. Since June it has bloomed behind Paul Manship's gold Prometheus sculpture in front of the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Place (and I can't help but hum the theme song from the TV show 30 Rock every time I type or say that).

Apparently there are 50,000 petunias, geraniums, begonias, fuchsias, impatiens and marigolds covering this 11 metre tall fusion of half a toy pony head and half a toy dinasaur head. Although watered by an internal irrigation system Koons says one of the things he is intrigued by is giving up control and seeing what happens. 'It's in nature's hands' he says.

In case you are interested, this is part of the infrastructure behind the flowers, in a photograph I took a few days later, after all the flowers had been removed.

According to, to keep one of his previous flora sculptures (Puppy) alive, if not kicking, a gardener attended to it weekly removing weeds, replacing weak plants and giving extra water if needed.

These nature's gardeners may be tending the plants, or perhaps starting its deconstruction as the square is readied for its next big plant exhibit, the annual Christmas Tree. There is also a Koons' retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, running until mid-October, but I was museumed out after visiting the Met, the Guggenheim and MOMA.

Given there is not a lot more I can say about this without a) sounding pretentious, b) giving away my lack of knowledge of modern art and artists or c) doing more research, let me finish with Central Park, from 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The border of the buildings and park is Central Park West, a street Bob Carr in his Diary of a Foreign Minister calls the world's most beautiful (and anyone who has read the book, or knows Bob, will be aware he is not a man prone to hyperbole or hubris).

Or, you can finish with a lovely plate featuring Koons' floral half pony, half dinasaur. You choose...


Bort said…
I was geeking out at this just two weeks ago! It's a cute idea. I also paid homage to the Highline and notice the influence that it has had on greening the space around it even over just the last 18 months . A swathe of trendy new residences are going up in the area, and many of them are incorporating courtyard or rooftop gardens. One a block away (345 W 14th St) in particular caught my eye in particular. The garden is at a new apartment block on the awning that overhangs the pavement, with cool contoured holes cut into it so that the plants can hang down and/or be seen from below.
Posted a picture hastily and poorly here:
I'd love to know what sort of irrigation and drainage they have, be interesting see how it fares long term...
Tim Entwisle said…
Cute picture! Yes we also walked along Highline, which is impressive. After NY we headed west and noticed roof top gardens on top of a few LA buildings as well - that city could do with some greening up!
The trick is to make the system as efficient as possible - the engineering can overwhelm the intent sometimes!