Skyscraper of steel toy parts sparkles in New York

Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:43pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A million pieces of stainless steel toy parts assembled into a nearly seven-story model skyscraper glimmered under the hot sun in New York on Tuesday, in American artist Chris Burden's latest project.

The 16,000-pound (7,250-kg) "poetic interpretation" of the 30 Rock Building at Rockefeller Center was made of replicated Erector set pieces from the toy created by A.C. Gilbert in 1912, Burden said.

"He was inspired by the buildings to build this toy system and I used this toy system to build a building," Burden said.

"It's a poetic interpretation of 30 Rock, it's not a model of it. It references all the tall buildings in Manhattan," Burden said, standing near his 65-foot (20-metre) tower.

The project, assembled by 20 to 30 people using screwdrivers, began in late 2006 and was put together in Los Angeles County and trucked across the country in two parts.

"It's very reflective, sort of like a faceted jewel, really picks up the light," Burden said.

The exhibit, titled "What my dad gave me," will be on display through July 19 at Rockefeller Center.

Burden, who lives in Los Angeles, was born in Boston in 1946. He received attention as a performance artist in 1971 when he was shot in the arm for the sake of art in a performance called "Shoot."

(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Cynthia Osterman)

<p>People walk past artist Chris Burden's 65-foot tall skyscraper sculpture, constructed out of toy parts, in the plaza at Rockefeller Center, in New York, June 10, 2008. REUTERS/Chip East</p>