Jim Rennert, ‘Think Big,’ Union Square Park, New York City. Photo by Ilana Novick.

Reading the Streets: Jim Rennert’s ‘Think Big’

NEW YORK – A stone-faced businessman stands at the southeast corner of Union Square Park, staring up at the sky, looking for … inspiration? Relief? Solace? A reminder of what heat is and how we will one day feel it again? Jim Rennert’s Think Big is a 12-foot-tall sculptural Rorschach test for viewers’ emotional state.

Perhaps if you’re feeling inspired and productive, you’ll agree with the Parks Department, that the man reminds us “that if we ‘think big’ we can attain anything.” Maybe you’re struggling with a deadline and believe the statue is secretly asking the sky, “why me?” The man could be rejoicing in the power of the American Dream, or bemoaning his place in a corporate machine.

I was on the side of weariness, until I dug a little deeper into the sculpture’s history. Before its current residency in Union Square, a partnership between the Union Square Partnership Business Improvement District and the Parks Department, Think Big started at 2 inches tall, which even I have to admit gets a point for positive thinking in this debate.

Come decide for yourself through May 4.