By American artist Teresita Fernández, Fata Morgana is a 500-foot-long sculpture comprising mirror-polished discs that create kaleidoscopic canopies above the park’s central pathways and recreational areas.
“My concept was to invert the traditional notion of outdoor sculpture by addressing all of the active walkways of the park rather than setting down a sculptural element in the park’s centre,” said Fernández.
“By hovering over the park in a horizontal band, Fata Morgana becomes a ghost-like, sculptural, luminous mirage that both distorts the landscape and radiates golden light.”
A Fata Morgana is an optical phenomenon that forms across the horizon line, distorting objects in the distance — boats, islands, and the coastline — such that they become completely unrecognisble to the human eye.
Alluding to this rare occurrence, Fernández’s sculpture introduces a visual, shimmering element to the park that engages visitors in a dynamic experience and warps the landscape surrounding them. Each of the suspended mirrors are perforated with intricate patterns reminiscent of foliage, referring to Madison Square Park’s botanical resources.
As sunlight filters through, abstract flickering effects sift through the horizontal metal forms, casting a golden glow across the expanse of the work, paths, and passersby.