By Jack Rico
If you live in New York City, get ready to “travel” to Vatican City, Italy with the Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel art exhibit. Just a subway ride away to downtown Manhattan, this priceless exhibition inside one of the most expensive train stations in the world, just got more valuable. You’ll be able to see “up close” and appreciate some of Michelangelo’s famed masterpieces from the Sistine Chapel right in the heart of the city without, having to pay an arm and a leg for a plane ticket to Italy.
When Santiago Calatrava designed the Oculus train station, he was inspired by the concave, dome shape of cathedrals —he envisioned the Oculus as a people’s cathedral, and what better exhibit to emphasize his design than with Michelangelo’s renown artwork. The light infiltrates the open space of the Oculus at just the right angle, adding more beauty to these already timeless pieces.
Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel allows art fanatics and exhibit-goers, of all ages, to view and appreciate Michelangelo’s breathtaking ceiling frescoes. Without the hassle of dealing with tourists in Rome and craning your neck just to catch a glimpse of these breathtaking paintings, this exhibits brings the Italian Renaissance to you. Compared to the four years that it took Michelangelo to complete the Sistine Chapel, this passion project only took 7 months to assemble.
From photographing the Sistine Chapel in Rome, to then reproducing such pictures onto 11 ft. canvas, to then finally bringing them to the Big Apple, every canvas reproduction of the original paintings is crystal clear, so clear that you can pick up on the tiniest of details! Or if you have already visited the real deal, you can pick up on the tiny details that you might’ve missed. Art historian, Lynn Catterson, shared just how revolutionary it is to have these reproductions of the frescoes at the Oculus. “I don’t know how many of you have seen the chapel, but you’re standing there, packed, and you’re either dizzy or you got a crick in your neck, trying to see so much that it’s impossible to take it all away, so you buy a postcard and try to remember what you saw,” she said. “What’s nice about this is that you can isolate aspects of it and appreciate it for the way he (Michelangelo) changes 2 dimensional space into 3 dimensional.”
The exhibit brings 34 replicas of the highly acclaimed frescoes, among these 34 reproductions you will find one of Michelangelo’s most well-known paintings, “The Creation of Adam,” as well as a jaw dropping, 40 ft. reproduction of, “The Last Judgement.” (The real one in Rome is 45 ft. so this one is a close contender to the real deal). This exhibit will only be at the Oculus for a limited time, from June 23rd through July 23rd, tickets start at $15 and you can even get a VIP treatment for few extra bucks without breaking the bank. Go to Italy without leaving the New York City this summer and check it out.