Think Providence looks a little different these days? It’s probably the five new sculptures The Avenue Concept (TAC) stealthily installed around downtown over the months of May and June. “It takes people a while to notice,” says TAC’s sculpture program manager Brian Dowling with a chuckle.
The sculpture Sine Wave, at the corner of Fountain and Dorrance, is a traffic stopper. The formal, abstract piece is placed in close proximity to Breaking Bad Habits, a sculpture of a stubbed out cigarette (that includes burning embers that glow at night). This juxtaposition is by design, with the more accessible cigarette serving as “a gateway to other work,” says Dowling.
“The sculptures are a backdrop to the city. How you place the piece within the city, what’s behind it, are people walking directly past or is the work viewed at a distance,” he explains. “We also consider what’s in proximity to other artworks – you want them to be in conversation with each other.”
Sine Wave changes dramatically depending on the angle it is viewed. The Peru-born, Bridgeport-based artist Carlos Davila often finds inspiration in ancient cultures while imbuing his art with futuristic leanings. Sine Wave, made up of multiple triangles, is a play on geometry. The spiral draws the eye to the top, where, depending on your approach, the iconic Superman building looms just beyond. The arresting orange hue gives the work an optical vibration. “Your eye has a hard time focusing on the edge because the color is so lush,” says Dowling. “It’s super dynamic.”
To take a self-guided walking tour of the new installations, which includes Sine Wave, download the app here.
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