Earlier this month the public art initiative installed 4 sculptures by artist Jorge Luis Rodriguez on the streets of Harlem as part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program.
Lenox Avenue and 119th Street, Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Hummingbird, 1987
Hummingbird was inspired by the Symbiotic relationship between Fauna and Flora, captured in this swift, frozen moment that depicts the bird’s constant hovering while it extracts sustenance from nature in a movement so rapid that it appears motionless.
Lenox Avenue & 123rd Street, Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Fish Spine, 1987
Fish Spine was inspired by the artists childhood memories of fishing in the Caribbean sea. The recollection of fishing adventures in the Caribbean sea with his brother is captured in this simple elongated spine: assembling nets, preparing bait, casting, celebrating the catch and the final act of consumption that left behind only a vestige of the delectable sea creature.
East 106th Street & Lexington Avenue, Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Birdhouse, 1986
Birdhouse was inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem “Las aves maltratadas,” (“The Brutalized Birds”) and also references the conduct of birds that assemble en masse in public places. They perch, nest and produce their offspring in an array of environments. Their survival is affected by the behavior of mankind, as well as the forces of nature.
East 106th Street & Third Avenue, Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Palenque, 1987
Palenque was inspired by the artists frequent travels through Mexico and Mayan architectural devices used to record the passing of celestial events. The interplay of openings in the “roof comb” of buildings, such as those observed in the town of Palenque, allowed for the recording of light and shadow that provide essential markers utilized in daily life activities such as the planting of crops and the understanding of patterns of astronomical phenomena.
The Public Art Initiative is an ongoing program created by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance to encourage artists and curators to propose temporary public art works to be installed in parks and open spaces throughout Harlem. Funding for the public art initiative was provided in part by the Harlem Community Development Corporation.