One of New York’s newest public sculptures, “Flight: From past to future,” stands vigil over the Hudson River in New York City, where Chilean sculptor Selva Sanjines installed the graceful figures of two birds with their bills raised skywards.
The work was chosen as part of the Model to Monuments (M2M) project, which aims to install the work of new sculptors in public places in New York, and Sanjines’ work will be exhibited for one year.
Sanjines told local daily El Mercurio that the work was born from her observations of the habitat on the banks of the Hudson River: “the change in the light at different hours of the day, the flowers, local birds like the storks, ducks, geese and seagulls, plus the river itself, which has been a protagonist in the city’s history – all of these factors influenced my creative process.”
In an interview with This is Chile, Sanjines described her evolution as a sculptor and her favorite places to visit in Chile.
“I began working as a sculptor around seven years ago at the Art Student’s League,” Sanjines said, “first carving wood, and then stone, and finally modeling clay and wax.”
Her sculpture on the Hudson River mixes cement with aluminum and resin. “For the younger audience, it should be playful and with an easy appeal,” she said, “especially the figures executed in aluminum.” In general, she said she hoped the sculpture would “give people a sense of respect and love for nature, bring (people) serenity while in active motion, a sense of origin and an open-ended story.”
Listing her influences, Sanjines pointed to the classic art of Greece and Egypt, as well as a long line of distinguished sculptors. But ultimate, Sanjines called Chile’s natural landscape “the best sculpture in our country.” Indeed, with the world’s second-highest mountain range, a string of active volcanoes, icy fjords and the world’s driest desert, it would seem that Chile was sculpted by a talented artist, with extreme tastes.
And for art-lovers looking for a more human-scale sculpture? Sanjines recommends the Parque de las Esculturas along the Mapocho River, in Santiago’s Providencia neighborhood, or the Bellas Artes fine arts museum, and public plazas in general.
“Santiago is developing a sense of the market for our artists, and has (also) opened spaces for public exhibitions,” Sanjines said. For a map of more public and private art exhibitions, click here.