Antony Gormley explains his work One & Only in the Times of London as a dialogue between the chaotic street and the calm of the National Gallery:
I think there is a lovely conversation between that old idea of art — about precious objects, patronage, history — and the contemporary. With One & Other, what you have in front of the gallery are the waves of real life washing against history. […]
The silence and contemplation that are necessary for engaging in beauty in all its forms should be contrasted with the street. The livelier the street is, the more the silence of the National Gallery becomes precious.
My feeling is that you have to allow it. It is a bit like a garden: you have to submit to this growth of popular culture in all its forms. I love the way people are skateboarding there. Trafalgar Square has become a living room for London and the National Gallery has become like Aunt Matilda’s cabinet that has a place in it. It is old and precious, but that doesn’t stop us from playing or opening our Christmas presents in front of it.
Classical Art Can Gain Only When it Collides with Street Culture (Times of London)