Some New Yorkers love it; others loathe it. But the 36-foot “Bust of Sylvette” has greeted passersby in a plaza on the Village-SoHo border since 1968.
Sylvette has been around long enough to get landmark status—which it achieved in 2008, along with the three I.M. Pei-designed Silver Towers apartment buildings it fronts between Bleecker and Houston Streets.
Technically it’s not even a Picasso sculpture but a “reinterpretation” of his much smaller “Portrait of Sylvette,” completed in 1934.
Pei asked Picasso to design a monument for him, so he had a collaborator recreate Sylvette by sandblasting her into 60 tons of concrete.