BUCKYBALL lights up NY’s Madison Square Park


Leo Villareal's BUCKYBALL (2012) Photo by James Ewing / Madison Square Park Conservancy

As the holiday lights come down around New York City, there is one light or rather light show that still shines on.  At least for the next month.  BuckyBall, an art installation designed by the world renowned artist Leo Villareal, just had it’s run extended due to popular demand and it will remain on view in Madison Square Park until February 15th.

Commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art program, the 30 foot tall light sculpture is inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller.   Set against the dramatic backdrop of New York City with the Empire State Building visible in the distance, the work features two nested geodesic sculptural spheres comprised of 180 LED tubes arranged in a series of pentagons and hexagons referred to as a “Fullerene”.

Individual pixels located every 1.2 inches along the tubes,  each capable of displaying 16 million distinct colors and tuned by the artist’s software, create dynamic light sequences that enliven the natural landscape of the park.  The result is an exuberant random composition of varied speed, color, opacity, and scale.

Villareal’s light sculpture is surrounded by zero-gravity couches that allow viewers to recline below the artwork to take in the show.  The sculpture and the couches are inspired by and reinterpret many of the traditional elements found in the park and do so in a fresh way.



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