NEW YORK (REUTERS).- Colombian artist Fernando Botero is happy with the intimate attention New Yorkers and tourists pay to his giant bronze statue of a naked Adam at an upscale shopping mall.
The statue along with a nearby Eve -- both in the unmistakable Botero style of being disproportionately round -- stand in the lobby of the Time Warner Center, twin towers at Columbus Circle on the southwest corner of Central Park.
Passers-by regularly handle the penis of the 12-foot- (3.7-meter-) tall bronze statue. The organ, situated about face level to an average adult, has turned a shiny gold.
"Art is communication. The artist communicates with people through art. That people react to the sculpture and want to interact with it is very good," Botero said in a statement on Friday issued through his representative, the Marlborough Gallery.
"That means that the sensuality of the sculpture has been communicated. The gesture of the people reinforces the gesture of the artist when he created the sculpture," Botero said.
The New York Times and the New York Post reported on the phenomenon Friday.
"We have an art dealer that comes in and redoes the patina from time to time, but it doesn't last very long," David Froelke, the center's general manager, told the Times.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Jerry Norton)