There’s a 117-Foot-Long Sculpture Made of Plastic Tablecloths in Times Square

Four miles of plastic was used in its creation.

Crystal Wagner, Wild Efflux (2015), detail. Photo: Kim Herzog, courtesy Viacom.
Crystal Wagner, Wild Efflux (2015), detail. Photo: Kim Herzog, courtesy Viacom.

If you find yourself in Times Square this summer, you just might spy Crystal Wagner‘s Wild Efflux, a bold, 117-foot-long sculptural installation scaling the walls and cascading down along the escalator in the lobby of the Viacom building.

This exotic landscape, crafted from about four miles worth of brightly-hued plastic tablecloths, woven onto a chicken wire armature, takes on a life of its own in the expansive space.

Wagner imagines her sculptures as the product of some far-off future where “plastic grows by itself,” she told artnet News. “I just plan that weird Party City tablecloth seed and see what happens!”

The artist hopes to “evoke the same sense of wonder you would feel standing under a waterfall.” By crafting organic-seeming forms from synthetic materials, Wagner‘s work “explores our disconnection from the natural world” in an age where we engage more with our computer screens than our surroundings.

Creating the massive installation, which is accentuated with the artist’s intricate paper screenprints, took Wagner and a team of 100 volunteers 10 days.

“It’s like raising a barn,” Wagner exclaimed of the communal creation process.

The piece replaces Flowers 2015: Outside In, a romantic floral work from British artist Rebecca Louise Law that kicked off the new Art at Viacom series earlier this year.


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