All short-lived, lasting just a few weeks or maybe even hours, temporary street art installation is a colourful and engaging addition to the urban background. Some are subtle, while others impossible to ignore. Shocking, fun and often interactive, these urban works bring art to the people rather than confining it to the museums.
In 2012, South African artist Marco Cianfanelli constructed a monument to recognize the 50thanniversary of Nelson Mandela’s capture by the apartheid police in 1962. The profile spans 50 steel columns measuring 21.3 and 29.5 ft. high, each anchored to the concrete-covered ground. The installation of the Nobel Prize winner was erected in Howick, South Africa.
Gifted by BP America, Inc. to the city of Cleveland, inaugurated in 1991 – the ‘Free Stamp’ conceptualized by Claes Oldenburg, is made of steel and aluminum, and measures 28 ft. 10 in. x 26 ft. x 49 ft. The rationale behind the word ‘free’ relates to its original proposed position, just across from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The word ‘free’ was designed to parallel not just the freedom of slaves but also the many today that are still are not free.
For three months in 2012, Venezuelan sculptor Rafael Barrios messed with people’s minds in the heart of Manhattan with his series of ingenious, geometric pieces that were, 20-foot-high optical illusions. There were massive sculptures on the median between the north- and south-bound traffic on Park Avenue. Made of stainless steel, weighing in at some 2,200 pounds, and most, though not all were brightly coloured.