Model Of Manhattan, Carved Out Of 2.5 Tons Of Marble [Slideshow]

Manhattan being the center of the universe and all it was probably inevitable that someone would come along and do to it what sculptors have done to gods and saints and kings and queens since Greco-Roman days: render the place in a giant slab of marble.

“Giant” might actually be something of an underestimate. This thing clocks in at 2.5 tons. 2.5 tons! Your average SUV weighs less.

Even more impressive, though, is the excruciating detail that the artist, Japanese-born, L.A.-based Yutaka Sone, managed to squeeze out of the material. Take a look at the closeups above.

Sone drew on photos, Google Earth images, and even several helicopter rides to build the model to scale.

The point? Let us consult the press release:

Whether architectural or natural, landscapes predominate in Sone’s oeuvre. The overall shape of the island can be seen to bear a subtle visual resemblance to the physical form of a snow leopard, an animal which features widely throughout the artist’s works. Interested in the contrast between man-made and natural, Sone frequently refers to the reclusive mountain cat as a metaphor for both solitude and distinction.

And here we were thinking it was a custom job for Donald Trump’s bathroom!

Little Manhattan will be on view at Art Basel in Switzerland later this month, through the David Zwirner gallery.

[Images courtesy of David Zwirner]