This Pointy Remix of Michelangelo’s David in Brooklyn Was Designed to Be Seen by Drones


Passing through the intersection of Washington and Prospect streets in DUMBO, the giant white spike with the irregular edges might make you do a double-take. The newly installed public sculpture happens to be a copy of sorts of one of the most familiar and frequently copied artworks in all of art history: Michelangelo‘s “David.” British artist Nick Hornby‘s new commission features the iconic sculpture’s outline on the ground, its contours all converging at one single point 12 feet up. Only someone looking from a bird’s, god’s, or drone’s perspective will be able to see the outline of “David,” hence the work’s title, “Bird God Drone” (2013).

The triangular sculpture, a mashup of Renaissance aesthetics and mathematical principles, was carved from a composite material by a robot to be accurate to within .8 millimeters, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. It was commissioned by Brooklyn real estate giant Two Trees Management, and installed at the verdant corner in partnership with the Art in the Parks program of the New York City Parks.

Other works based on digital tweakings of “David,” including an upturned version of “Bird God Drone,” were featured in Hornby’s recently-closed exhibition at Churner and Churner in Chelsea. Another of Hornby’s all-white, robot-rendered sculptures is featured in the Museum of Arts and Design‘s exhibition about cutting edge fabrication technologies, “Out of Hand.”


Get a glimpse of “Bird God Drone” as seen by an actual drone:

Bird God Drone, 2013. Nick Hornby from Nick Hornby on Vimeo.

— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)

(Photos by the author.)