What My Dad Gave Me by Chris Burden is the latest project from the Public Art Fund and Tishman-Speyer, one of the owners of Rockefeller Center.
It's a 65-foot tall model of a skyscraper built out of around one million custom-made, nickel-plated steel beams that replicate the pieces in A.C. Gilbert's original 1913 Erector Set. No. 1
It took Burden's lackeys almost a year to construct [in sections] at the artist's Topanga Canyon studio. Then it was test-assembled, dismantled, flown out of the canyon by helicopter, and shipped to Manhattan for re-assembly.
Burden has been working in the medium of Erector Set replica parts for nearly ten years. In the NY Times article previewing What My Dad Gave Me, the artist makes much of the significance ot using actual toys:
They’re the tools we use to inculcate children into how to be adults, how to live in the world, but because they’re for children, there is this potential in them that’s never realized...I mean, children could have made that, [i.e., the 65-foot skyscraper] theoretically, but they would never have enough time or parts.What My Dad Gave Me is up right now, obviously, and gets its official opening party on Wednesday night.