GIANTS IN THE CITY Curated by ALEJANDRO MENDOZA & NOOR BLAZEKOVIC MENDOZA Celebrating 10 years

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An Exhibition Curated by ALEJANDRO MENDOZA NOOR BLAZEKOVIC MENDOZA GIANTS IN THE CITY Celebrating 10 Years of Public Art:monumental message 2008-2018

Alejandro Mendoza is one of Cuba’s most diverse and intensely driven contemporary sculptors. His career in the U.S., particularly in South Florida, has had far-reaching impact. His work is constantly evolving yet maintains an aesthetic and personal integrity. His sculpture, in particular, is unafraid of venturing into different themes and tones-from defense of natural world to explorations of the personal and collective unconscious. His work boldly explores a wide range of formal concerns and draws on and fuses such diverse references as nature, urban detritus, and the dream state, and he does this in works whose deceptive simplicity and presentational immediacy allows them to be enjoyed by people with cultivated and popular tastes alike. Mendoza genuinely embraces the role of sculpture and art in general as a motofor change in the world.

For all the audacious experimentation in style and media Mendoza engages in, he does not cater to effete sensibilities and settles to have his work admired by smug illuminati. His “Giants in the City,” for example, has gathered 50 + inflatable sculptures by international artists specifically created for this project. Mendoza has taken them to numerous international venues and installed them in publicly accessible grounds, permitting the general population to enjoy the various works whose impact range from the whimsical to the enigmatic and from the purely aesthetic to the socially conscious. Whether it be in his own powerful and distinctive work or in projects such as “Giants,” Mendoza’s spirit is the same--art is a fundamental social and personal need, an undeniable and irrepressible force in our personal and collective presence in this world.

Ricardo Pau-Llosa (born May 17, 1954 in Havana, Cuba, lived in the United States since December 1960) is a Cuban-American poet, art critic of Latin American art in the US and Europe, and author of short fiction.


hialeahgallery The Hialeah Campus Art Gallery is part of Miami Dade College Hialeah Campus’ Cultural Center, originally established with the support of a Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2015 . The center’s mission is to celebrate the arts and culture of the Hialeah and College community by providing students and visitors with opportunities to interact with innovative and unique multi-format exhibitions.

Hialeah Campus



Giants In The City is a traveling art public exhibition that exposes the need of the change in the relation between the artist and society.

Art in public places is not about us, but about others. Does not reveal personal inclinations, or talk about the myth of the artist, instead reveals its civic sense. Does not it intend for people to feel diminished and insignificant, but to glorify them. It’s not about the existing emptiness between culture and the public, but seeks that art becomes public and that the artist becomes a citizen…

Giants In The City resigns to the form of a traditional meaning of the urban monument to offer a new artistic expression that transforms deeply the place of production and reception of the work of art itself; does not relate to the imposition of a symbolic meaning – characteristic of the permanent monument work - but relates to an efimera parallel idea of equality between the space and the time, creating longlasting inspiring dialogues between the work and the spectator. Alejandro Mendoza founder artist/curator www.giantsinthecity.org



Alejandro Mendoza | CUBA

GRASS

Alejandro Mendoza | CUBA Monumental Inflatable Sculpture

Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon GRASS

taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, water-repellent Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon H-20” W 25”x D-6” taffeta, Tearxresistant, windproof, 2016 water-repellent H-20” x W 25”x D-6” 2016




Mariano Costa Peuser | Argentina

ANTI ART MAN Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, water-repellent H-22” | Variable Dimensions 2010

Adopting two elements, an empty frame, and the iconic articulated wooden mannequin Anti-Art-Man series questions the system of art from its very heart, probing “the absurd world of art”, with its games of power and legitimization. The wooden mannequin used as a model by artists represents the acrobatics and juggling acts that an artist “should” engage in order to be part of the art market. Costa Peuser Anti Art-Man synthesizes an unrestricted message were the imagination is responsible to maneuver the arms and body in order to disarm itself in pursuit of its objective: critiquing art as an illusion.




Allison Kotzig | SLOVAKIA Allison Kotzig | USA

THE THE HEDGE HEDGE Monumental Monumental Inflatable Inflatable Sculpture Sculpture Rip stop nylon, Rip stop nylon, 70 70 denier denier nylon nylon taffeta, taffeta, Tear Tear resistant, resistant, windproof, windproof, water-repellent water-repellent H-15” x W 15”x D-5” H-15” x W 15”x D-5” 2013 2013


Bartus Bartolomes | VENEZUELA

HEAVEN

AT THE END OF THE HEAVEN THE ENDLESS HEAVEN

Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, waterrepellent H-20” x W 15”x D-3” 2013




“An intriguing Giant pushing the boundaries of what is considered personalized drawing or hand signmaking combined with text, prints and hand colors. My main subject matter is constantly questioning history and how contemporaneous events marked our ordinary life. As an artist I juxtaposed exotic influences from as far as Africa, Asia, Europe, South and North America to articulate a discovery of asymmetrical iconography art contrasts between East and West, expanding metaphoric visions, transcending barriers of time in the plastics imagery and converging into a new archeology of meta-signs and poetry.



Yovani Bauta | Cuba

HERE I AM

Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, water-repellent H-10” x W 35”x D-10” 2010

My work has always dealt with the human body and this continues with this monumental giant sculpture leg and foot for GIANTS IN THE CITY 2010. By its very nature, the inflatable sculpture is but a whimsical child-like celebration of who we are, our upside-down body parts swaying delightfully in the Miami breeze and yet ultimately tethered tightly to the ground where they belong.



(Left to right) Dario Posada | Mariano Costa - Peuser | Miguel Fleitas | Yovani Bauta



Anouck Jourdaa | France

PURSING LIPS

Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, water-repellent H-20” x W 18”x D-5” 2012


When we sat down and discussed what shape my giant should take, founder Alejandro Mendoza envisioned two typically feminine accessories: a giant lipstick or a giant purse. I chose the purse for its round plump shape but also for its symbolic value. As Erykah Badu’s Bag Lady, I wanted my purse to be giant but as light as air. ‘Pursing Lips’ is a pun on the word purse and the phrase ‘to purse one’s lips’, which means to put your lips in a round shape, to blow a kiss or a candle. Pursing lip breathing is also a technique used to relax by blowing air through the lips. One side of my giant has pursed round lips and the other one is blowing air. It represents how we all can strive to live lightly no matter how big our past luggage is.




Miguel Fleitas | Cuba

THE BREAST PROJECT Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, water-repellent H-10” x W 35”x D-10” 2010


The word “breast” is a metaphor for women in general. In the early 1990’s women’s health issues, the effect of altered and idealized female images and the artificial breast obsession came to everyone’s attention. “The Breast Project” series is a multi disciplinary project that examines contemporary female imagery in popular media. I have create a Giant breast to challenge our contemporary ideas of beauty and to counter stereotypes and depict non-idealized women and men.



I am honored to be part of the Giants in the City. As a Miami Dade Public School art teacher and artist, I wanted to be part of such a prestigious project that gives artists the opportunity to make and exhibit large scale public works. I was also drawn to the Giants because of the project’s accessibility to the public. The public is not intimated by these sculptures even though some of them reach 30 some feet in the air. A lot of the viewers are for the first time experiencing public large scale art works. In my case, my inflatable lets others interact and be part of the creative process. My giant consists of an “L” shaped wall that extends 30 feet by 15 feet horizontally and it is 15 feet tall and the public is invited to paint, draw, and write on it. It is great to see and talk to people of different ages, backgrounds, cultures, religions, races, that come to see the Giants in the City. This is a great way for those that are not too familiar with the visual arts to get educated and learn about it.

Yamel Molerio | Cuba

YOU ARE CONFINED ONLY BY THE WALLS YOU BUILD YOURSELF Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, water-repellent H-10” x W 35”x D-10” 2010





Luis Kaiulani | Hawaii

BIG RED CLOVER

Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, water-repellent H-10” x W 35”x D-10” 2010



Big Red Clover is the culmination of a cycle of sculptures that were made in aluminum and that I wanted to represent in large scale with a monumental inflatable piece that collects all the implicit expression in this series. The organic notion of the line gives us volume and form to feed the figure of the sculpture.




Noor Blazekovic | VENEZUELA Alejandro Mendoza | CUBA

THE MIRROR

Monumental Inflatable Sculpture Rip stop nylon, 70 denier nylon taffeta, Tear resistant, windproof, water-repellent H-15” x W 15”x D-5” 2013

The mirror universe is the perfect system of justice and balance. Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it. ... There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.


Noor Blazekovic | Venezuela Alejandro Mendoza | Cuba in collaboration with

Luis Valle | Nicaragua Diana Contreras | Peru Monique Lassooij | Holland Ciro Quintana | Cuba Allison Kotzig | USA Buddah Funk | Colombia