"Sometimes, our hands are the biggest walls. They can cover our eyes, and we can blind ourselves to so much of what’s happening around us." - JAUME PLENSA
For this 24 ½-foot outdoor sculpture, Spanish artist Jaume Plensa constructed a towering figure of a teenage girl, who shields herself from the outside world by covering her eyes with her hands. Previously installed at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the work is part of an ongoing series, in which the artist monumentalizes the likenesses of young women in public spaces. The protective gesture seen in this particular sculpture speaks to the weight that societal turbulence and uncertainty places upon an individual.
And yet, as the artwork provokes reflection on exclusion and concealment, it also urges viewers to recognize their individual responsibility in addressing issues of global relevance, and brings into question the possibility of true retreat from an interconnected world.
Jaume Plensa is best known for large-scale public artworks, such as Crown Fountain (2004), an iconic interactive video sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park.