When I discovered this young woman, she was sitting on a nearby bench. A video camera was resting beside her, aimed at the tree/boulder sculpture.
She said that she was studying to be a sculptor. “Our teacher gave us an assignment,” she said. “We are supposed to sit and observe a sculpture for four hours. But I couldn’t just sit here, so I decided to do more.”
She pulled out a thick stack of charts and diagrams. “I’ve been collecting quotes from people who walk by, counting how many people read the official description, and charting where people accumulate to view it.” In addition to these, she had several other sketches and drawings made from different angles.
I was inspired by her devotion to a single piece of art. “So what do you like about it?” I asked.
"I’m not sure what I like about it," she said. "But I can tell you what I think about it. Thinking is different than liking."
"So what do you think about it?"
"Well, most New Yorkers have grown accustomed to the tall buildings, so they tend to contrast the sculpture with the surrounding trees, and they observe the difference between the organic and inorganic. But I’m new to New York, so I compare it to all the rigid, manmade, vertical buildings. And I note their similarities. And I also love how it plays with gravity."