While it’s tempting to call what Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada does “street art,” his Terrestrial Series isn’t experienced in quite the same way as a mural. He recently unveiled two gigantic pieces — one in San Antonio, Texas and one in Paris — that can only be comprehended fully from a bird’s eye view. Viewers on the ground have a unique access point of being able to walk through the portraits, which form a cohesive whole only from above.
Rodriguez-Gerada’s portraiture might seem straightforward, but the subjects he chooses always have a social significance to the places where he creates his work. His new piece in San Antonio, “Nyssa,” was painted on the site of what is believed to be the first human settlement in the San Antonio area. The subject of the piece is a mixed-race girl who symbolizes the many cultures that coexist in the city. While San Antonio has had troubled race relations in the past, “Nyssa” looks hopefully into the future.
The piece Rodriguez-Gerada created in Paris, “Grounded Gratitude,” is one of the largest realistic portraits in existence. Spanning 4,000 square feet, it can now be seen from Google Earth. Created for the In Stu festival, “Grounded Gratitude” is an homage to Nicole Picquart, an activist for the rights of the poor.
Rodriguez-Gerada also recently created a mural in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Isauro Arancibia Education Center, a school especially for children living in poverty. Titled “David,” the mural pictures an 11 year old boy who is a student at the center. The piece seeks to put a human face to the school’s plight. Currently, it’s in danger of being demolished to make room for a new bus line, and Rodriguez-Gerada created the piece to draw attention to the good work Isauro Arancibia Education Center does for the community.
“Nyssa,” San Antonio, Texas:
“Grounded Gratitude,” Paris, France:
Screen shot from Google Earth
“David,” Buenos Aires, Argentina: