Put Your Hands in the Air and Raise Your Eyes to the Skies as Broadway Reveals Art and Soul

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Wave hello to Broadway’s groovy new artworks! Now’s a great time to catch two brand-new, innovative art installations in Times Square and the Garment District for an instant pick-me-up.

The Garment District present Here by Santi Flores on Broadway from today. Photo: Phil O’Brien

First up, The Garment District Alliance presents Here — 14 oversized concrete and enamel statues that wave a friendly hello to passersby on Broadway between W41st and W38th Streets. The work symbolizes unity, diversity, and individuality and is by Santi Flores, a Spanish multidisciplinary artist whose primary mediums are sculpture and painting and who focuses his work “with the purpose of developing my own artistic languages.”

The artist’s collections have been shown in New York, Berlin, and Madrid. Explaining his creative process, he said: “My artistic life and therefore my life, takes place mainly around plastic arts and music. I do not understand my sculptural or pictorial work without the contribution of music or vice versa. Over the years I have learned and perfected the techniques necessary to create my works, I have been a craftsman before an artist. The change came when I really found my own artistic language. In my work I try to reproduce what I am surrounded by — people, feelings, relationships — doing it in the simplest way that I am capable of so that these expressions or feelings can be perceived by the viewer.”

Raúl Cordero’s THE POEM, now showing in Times Square (with accompanying characters!). Photo: Phil O’Brien

Here, on display through August 29, is the latest addition to the Garment District Alliance’s Art on the Plazas program, a year-round public art initiative through Arterventions, a subpart of the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program. Previous Midtown installations include the entrancing light rings of Serge Maheu’s PASSAGE, Prismaticaa series of multi-hued kaleidoscopes by Canada-based experience agency Creos (also showcased on Broadway and W39th Street last January), Doggy Bagsa colorful collection of giant dog sculptures by artist Will Kurtz which exhibited in the fall of 2020, and the Inside Out Projectan interactive mural in partnership with street artist JR displayed this fall at Port Authority and created with the photos of participating passersby.

A few blocks uptown is Raúl Cordero’s THE POEM, now showing in Duffy Square at W46th Street and Broadway. The sculpture is the latest piece by the Cuban contemporary artist, known for work that melds painting and text-based elements that can be seen in collections around the world — including the Musée National D’Art Moderne Center Pompidou in Paris, France, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo in Spain.

Raúl Cordero’s THE POEM, now showing in Times Square (with accompanying characters!). Photo: Phil O’Brien

His latest exploration of artistic structure and “the relationship between reading and looking” is a commission by Times Square Arts, a subdivision of the Times Square Alliance. And while you may have to navigate the chaotic characters of the city’s center to get there, Cordero’s Midtown installation is a beacon of zen, wrapped up in a 20-foot laurel tower concealing an illuminated haiku poem constructed of purple light bulbs. If THE POEM has piqued your interest, another series from Cordero, HEAVEN IS A PLACE IN THE MINDis currently showing at the Richard Taittinger Gallery on the Lower East Side through April 24. And if you can’t make it in-person, the gallery offers a unique, virtual tour of the exhibit!

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