The other city: exchange, the consequences

/ 10 June, 2013

Open and provocative, New York always challenges you. One of its challenges is the Park

Avenue Mall project, a contest founded in 1967 and sponsored by the Sculpture Committee of The Fund for Park Avenue and the Public Art Program of the City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation. Every year, hundreds of artists from around the world send in their esthetic proposals, which are evaluated by members of the Park Avenue Malls Sculpture Advisory Committee in collaboration with prestigious gallery directors, curators, and collectors. This project has attained a prominent, culturally important place both locally and globally, thanks to a number of internationally renowned artists who have exhibited their sculptures there.

This year, Alexandre Arrechea was one of those hundreds of prestigious artists: he accepted the challenge and submitted his exhibition proposal, NOLIMITS, to the Park Avenue contest. Arrechea had worked on the idea for about two years, and says that his main interest was to find a way to summarize his investigations into architecture and power as sources of inspiration. Thanks to his refined sensitivity and talent, and fortunately for all admirers of good art and Alex himself, New York accepted his NOLIMITS project like an offering. The members of the committee that evaluate artists’ proposals unanimously decided to award him the prize. In the history of this contest, only three other Latin American artists have exhibited their work: Botero, Barrios and Soto.

Arrechea’s project was a bid to establish that aforementioned dialogue with New York’s architecture, and in a precise way, by using 10 of the city’s most iconic buildings: the Chrysler, Flatiron, Empire State, Citicorp and several that are on Park Avenue itself, such as the MetLife (formerly PanAm), the famous Seagram and the Helmsley, which divides the avenue in two.

In NOLIMITS, we can appreciate a convergence of the spirit of New York City and the artist’s attitude toward it. It is a projection defined by the city’s influence on him. New York, the infinite city, where everything, or almost everything, is possible. The artist responds to her without the slightest concept of censorship, with no limits on language.

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