(Image Copyright © DigitalGlobe and Courtesy of Satellite Imaging Corporation)
Satellite image of “Wish” art by Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada a portrait of a young girl making a wish covers eleven acres of the Titanic quarter of Belfast. Approximately 30,000 wooden pegs, 2,000 tons of soil, 2,000 tons of sand, plus grass, stones and strings were used to make the portrait. Adjacent buildings allow viewings until December 2013, but it is most comfortably viewed by aerial or satellite photo.
Wish was eighteen months in the planning, and one month in execution, with a huge team of volunteers. As Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada had envisioned, the Belfast community very much collaborated with and supported the project, from construction companies to the fire brigade. The portrait is based on a photo of an anonymous six-year-old Belfast girl that he had taken on one of his many trips to get to know and love the city in the prior eighteen months. Rodríguez-Gerada wanted to lift the pure moment of a child’s wish to the magnitude of a universal statement, particularly in the context of city like Belfast. For the artist it was the enormity of people coming together in support on such a large scale that amplified such a simple moment to a profound level.
Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada is a Cuban American contemporary artist. He is a founder of the New York Culture Jamming movement and an innovator in the international urban art scene. Since the late 90´s he has been replacing the faces of cultural icons chosen by advertisers with the faces of anonymous people to question the controls imposed on public space, the role models designated and the type of events that are guarded by the collective memory.
Rodríguez-Gerada´s unique direction was mentioned in Naomi Klein´s book No Logo and was a precursor of the use of anonymous portraits now common in street art. His spectacular interventions are created for the sake of bringing awareness to relevant social issues. His large scale time base works avoid negative impact on the environment, challenge the conformity in contemporary art and allow for a reflection that goes beyond the completion of the piece to focus in its concept, process, and the metaphor that comes forth because of the material chosen. Visit Jorge’s website and more works of art.