NYC Parks Opens Jorge Luis Rodriguez Public Artworks

NYC Parks Opens Jorge Luis Rodriguez Public Artworks

NYC Parks is pleased to present a series of five temporary public art installations by artist Jorge Luis Rodríguez in Tompkins Square Park and East Harlem Art Park in Manhattan. The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future in the East Village and Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque in Harlem celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Growth, Rodríguez's large-scale, permanent work that was New York City's first Percent for Art Project. A public celebration of the exhibits will take place in East Harlem Art Park on Saturday, June 20 from 12:00 p.m. through 6:00 p.m.

Beginning Saturday June 6th, his new piece The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future will be located on the lawn just inside Tompkins Square Park at St. Mark's Place and Avenue A. The 12-foot-tall structure consists of geometric interlocking parts with elements of steel, wood, glass, and a magnificent dome that adds to its mystical symbolism. The work is inspired by the study of celestial bodies: the influence of the sun, moon, planets and zodiac constellations on human affairs and the natural world. Rodriguez invites the public to consider the mysteries of astrology and engage in contemplation and inner reflection while walking through the sculpture.

Starting June 20th, four sculptures will accompany his permanent sculpture Growth at the East Harlem Art Park at 120th Street and Sylvan Place. "I have tried to capture the interaction between trees, birds, insects, flowers, and man. My sculpture may portray a seed sprouting from the ground, an insect transforming into a flower, or a bird changing into a tree. I hope to create an art piece that will serve as a source of enjoyment and inspiration to the community," stated Rodríguez about Growth in 1985 when the sculpture was cast. These additional artworks echo his original concept as they emerge from different areas of the park.

Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque are prior works that are on view for the first time. He created these works shortly after Growth, and they equally represent Rodríguez's interest in nature and the cultural exchange derived from travel to different countries. They are fabricated in painted welded steel, one of his favored techniques, and stand between seven and nine feet tall.

Birdhouse, 1986. Pablo Neruda's poem "Las aves maltratadas," ("The Brutalized Birds") 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.

Fish Spine, 1987. Rodríguez's recollection of fishing adventures in the Caribbean Sea with his brother is captured in this simple elongated spine: assembling nets, preparing bait, casting, celebrating their catch and the final act of consumption that left behind only a vestige of the delectable sea creature.

Hummingbird, 1987. The symbiotic relationship between fauna and flora is captured in this swift, frozen moment that depicts the bird's constant hovering while it extracts substance from nature in a movement so rapid that it appears motionless.

Palenque, 1987. The sculpture is inspired by 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 Palenque, allowed for the recording of light and shadow that provide essential markers utilized in daily life activities such as for the planting of crops and understanding of patterns of astronomical phenomena.


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