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Jaume Plensa: Echo

One of the most beautiful works of public art I have ever seen.

A 44ft tall of a girl’s face rises in the middle of Madison Park, which itself, is an anomaly within one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan. What do I love about Echo? Everything. The monumental scale, the stark white color, and its ability to push the rest of Manhattan into the background.

The ability to engage the viewer and create intrigue in the community are marks of successful public art. But for me, the most important, is the element of surprise. The people of New York City pay little attention to their surroundings, despite the fact that they are feats of architecture. But Echo is getting people (and this longtime city resident) to look up again in wonder.