We are pleased to share the unveiling of Water’s Soul, 2020, a new site-specific sculpture by internationally renowned artist Jaume Plensa. Standing 80 feet tall, Water’s Soul is the artist’s tallest public sculpture to-date and will be permanently installed in the Newport development on the Hudson River in Jersey City, New Jersey. The sculpture will be dedicated on site in a ceremony on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
Overlooking the Hudson River directly across from Lower Manhattan, Water’s Soul depicts the serene face of a young subject holding a finger to her lips in a state of silent contemplation. The sculptural portrait, though monumental in scale, humbly gestures for quietude, a beckoning towards empathetic self-reflection. With great ethereal beauty, Plensa’s site-specific installation serves as a tribute to the Hudson River, aligning with the artist’s ongoing interest in bodies of water as proxies for humankind. “Water is a marvelous metaphor for humanity,” Plensa reflects. “One drop of water is quite alone, like a single person, but many drops together can create a tidal wave, and form immense rivers and oceans; When individuals come together to exchange ideas and create community, we can build something incredibly powerful.”
Water’s Soul nods to the historic Hudson River waterfront pier on which it is situated, a locale that bore witness to much of the trade coming in and out of New York City on ferries and rail barges during the 19th and early-20th centuries. Plensa’s site-specific sculpture acknowledges this past while expressing the collective hope for humanity to build a better world. “As climate change already threatens to take hold of our beautiful planet, we must join together to protect water as one of the most precious elements in nature. It is not owned by anyone but belongs to all of us. Water is the source of life, and Water’s Soul is a celebration of life.”
The LeFrak and Simon families, developers of Newport’s waterfront community, selected Plensa to create a work for this site, recognizing the artist’s ability to convey a message of hope for humanity’s future. “Over the course of three decades, Newport has blossomed into a vibrant, diverse community. We are proud to welcome Jaume Plensa’s breathtaking sculpture to this one-of-a-kind neighborhood as we continue to establish Newport within the growing art scene taking shape in Jersey City,” states Richard LeFrak, Chairman and CEO of the LeFrak Organization. “After a generation of incredible work, determination, and investment, this area has been truly transformed from what was once barren land into a vibrant, thriving community,” says David Simon, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Simon. “This magnificent Jaume Plensa sculpture is a phenomenal representation of the cultural sense of place that Newport embodies.”
“It is my wish for Water’s Soul to become an icon for Newport and a landmark that visually connects it with New York City across the Hudson River,” says Plensa. “Just as Water’s Soul acts to unite the city of Jersey City and New York City, we are reminded that water is the great public space that unites and embraces communities as well as people around the world.”
LeFrak is a preeminent, family-owned property company committed to community development and long-term ownership. LeFrak affiliates own and manage an extensive portfolio of real property concentrated in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, as well as South Florida, Los Angeles and throughout the West Coast. Through its affiliated companies, LeFrak has developed and built the majority of its real estate portfolio and is one of the world’s leading property firms. The firm is acclaimed around the globe for the quality of its projects and its properties, its financial strength and conservatism, its entrepreneurial business model and its commitment to long term ownership. Although primarily focused on the residential and office sectors, LeFrak affiliates also invest in numerous hospitality, retail assets, securities, private businesses and energy. www.lefrak.com.
Simon is a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed- use destinations and an S&P 100 company, that has been around for more than half a century. Through strategic development, Simon properties across North America, Europe and Asia provide community gathering places for millions of people every day and generate billions in annual sales. As the largest retail real-estate developer in the world, Simon leads the industry in innovation and was an early champion of urban and suburban redevelopment. Simon and affiliates continue to focus on the needs of the communities in which they operate – from neighborhood shopping centers to Premium Outlet centers; they strive to offer a comprehensive retail and entertainment experience to everyone.
Press release courtesy of GRAY