MUSETV

Grimanesa Amorós

MUSETV
Grimanesa Amorós

Grimanesa Amoros is an American-Peruvian interdisciplinary artist. She creates light sculptures and installations that have been exhibited at museums in the United States and around the world. Being born and raised in Peru, she draws upon her cultural heritage as inspiration for her large-scale light-based installations. Amoros continues to be inspired by Peru’s history for her art, but does not hold an essentialist or nostalgic view of her subject.

Inspiration for her works are drawn from her diverse interests in the fields of social history, scientific research, and critical theory. Amoros makes use of sculpture, video, and lighting to create pieces that illuminate and spark conversations on our notions of personal identity and community. Through her art, she conveys a sense of ephemeral wonder, which entrances viewers from all different backgrounds and communities. She inspires others to become agents of empowerment.

Amoros studied at the prestigious Art Students League in New York, was a guest speaker at TEDGlobal 2014, became a recipient of the ‘NEA Visual Artist Fellowship’ and ‘NEA Artist Travel Grant’, and has the distinction of being part of the ‘Art In Embassies Program of the U.S.’, among many other awards and fellowships. Amoros has created and exhibited works for significant institutions such as the CAFA museum in China, the Ludwig Museum in Germany, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan, the Seoul National University Museum of Art, the Today Art Museum in China, and the FLAG Art Foundation in New York. She has been commissioned by both Federal and State agencies to create public works for such sites as Prospect Park in Brooklyn, the Pablo Soleri Bridge in Arizona, Times Square in New York, and the Havana Biennial in Cuba.


Nine Inspirations

In Life & In Work

 Peruvian Cultural Heritage

It is incredible to be able to associate yourself with a country, as it strengthens one’s personal identity. My country of origin, Peru, has had a great impact on me, and was catalyst for my sculpture installation series UROS, which was inspired by the Peruvian Uros Islands.  The Uru people live on floating islets, which are built using totora reeds, and require to be maintained on a daily basis by hand. Peru still maintains its traditional ways in crafts and handicrafts. Peruvians believe in Pachamama, our Mother Earth, who provides land and our fortune, for which we give thanks. Being Peruvian has taught me how to honor and respect Mother Earth.

Being Peruvian has taught me how to honor and respect Mother Earth.

 

Maps 

As a young child, my first artistic experience began with my love of maps. I would study and reproduce the maps I found in my house and books. I would spend hours drawing them; my nearby surroundings would disappear as I'd become be so engrossed. Upon discovering my artistic inclinations, my mother enrolled me in art classes. This was a pivotal moment in my life and began my journey as an artist.  

This was a pivotal moment in my life and began my journey as an artist.  

 

Aurora Borealis 

My transition to becoming an artist using light began in 2000 when I traveled to Iceland. I had woken up in the middle of the night and stepped outside, as I couldn’t sleep. I was greeted by a dazzling display of colors spread across the sky. At the time, I wasn’t sure what the phenomena was. Right away I thought to run and get my camera, but then decided that it was best to stay in the present moment and continue to enjoy the Northern Lights. From then on I made it my mission to translate that feeling of witnessing the Aurora Borealis into my light sculptures in order to share it with my viewers.

I was greeted by a dazzling display of colors spread across the sky.

 

Learning 

I’ve always said that ‘all I know, is that I don’t know anything’. My goal in life is always to continue learning and studying from as many people and cultures as I can. By keeping an open mind, I can continue to evolve as both an artist and a human. 

all I know, is that I don’t know anything

 

Traveling 

I’ve traveled the globe and have had the good fortune to experience a variety of different environments and natural wildlife. All of these locations have been great sources of inspirations for me from the deserts of Egypt, to the salt flats of Bolivia, and the temples of Jordan and Lebanon.

from the deserts of Egypt, to the salt flats of Bolivia, and the temples of Jordan and Lebanon

 

Nature

I love ivy, flowers, and natural greenery. They have been central inspirations for several of my pieces, such as HEDERA and MARIPOSA DORADA

HEDERA

HEDERA

MARIPOSA DORADA

MARIPOSA DORADA

 

Ocean 

Being near the Ocean has always given me energy. In Peru, going to the beach is a large part of the culture. My father would take us every weekend as children, and as a young adult, I couldn’t stand having a day go by without visiting the ocean. I used to run onto the shore and grab at the foam bubbles that formed on the beach. The shape and form of the sea foam have stayed with me my whole life, and can be seen in my installations.

The shape and form of the sea foam have stayed with me my whole life, and can be seen in my installations.

 

Architecture 

I’ve always been fascinated with architecture, such as the works of Zaha Hadid, Arata Isozaki, and Herzog and de Meuron. Whenever I prepare to make a piece, I make sure the artwork will have a strong conversation with the architecture of the space. My goal when it comes to my work is to facilitate a natural conversation between the space, installation, and viewers. 

I make sure the artwork will have a strong conversation with the architecture of the space.

 

Humanity

My fellow humans have always been great sources of inspiration, and my work always has a goal of connecting the viewers to the piece. I’ve always felt it’s important to honor the viewers time. If I can capture just a few seconds of someone’s time in order to make them think, feel inspired, and awaken their creativity, I will have done my job.

to make them think, feel inspired, and awaken their creativity

Works

GOLDEN WATERS

Date: 2015

Media: LEDs, diffusive and reflective material, custom lighting sequence, electrical hardware
Dimensions: 40 ft x 135 ft x 18 ft
Location: Soleri Bridge Scottsdale Waterfront, Canal Project | Scottsdale, AZ
Credit: Courtesy of the Scottsdale Public Art/Scottsdale Cultural Council, photos
by Grimanesa Amorós Studio

The ancient Hohokam Indians, located in northern Arizona, as early as 300 AD, were one of the first cultures to rely on irrigation canals. The communities environmental engineering improved access to river water and helped improve the lives of the inhabitants.

Evolving from these ideas and Inspired by the natural Arizona’s canals, GOLDEN WATERS, is a large-scale temporary light-based installation. This project is mounted on the secure structures of The Soleri Bridge, located just southwest of the intersection of Scottsdale and Camelback Roads.

I was also interested of how our bodies react and are defined towards a relationship to any given environmental condition. As a result, one can feel the presence of the water and nature just by standing next to it. The piece will seemingly rise from the canal waters, as they are one with the existent canal.

The vertical and horizontal lines on the structure aim to express a metaphor that the dynamic balance between urban and natural forces can be experienced simultaneously. The viewers will be drawn to the work and will see the emphasis the piece has on its perspective of nature and landscape.

ARGENTUM

Date: 2018
Media: LEDs, diffusion and reflective material, custom lighting sequence, electrical hardware. stainless steel.
Location: 80 White St. New York, NY
Credit: Photo Credits to Grimanesa Amorós Studio

ARGENTUM pulled it’s inspiration from 80 White St’s newly renovated building.

Having steel as the material choice of the piece was influenced by the industrialism of lower Manhattan. All throughout New York’s history, Manhattan was the hub of industry. This boom in city wealth and the creations of bridges in the area, led me to think about the building blocks of the city.

80 White Street has become home to the Artist in Marketplace (AIM) Program, which can be found on the second floor of the building. AIM’s original headquarters was in the Bronx, and has now relocated to Manhattan. This program aims to connect artists to the art world, much like how steel supports an entire building.

ARGENTUM is comprised of two main sections. The left side is based on the island Manhattan, while the right represents the Bronx. New York started in lower Manhattan and expanded all the way to the Bronx. These two boroughs represent the limits of the city and the development of the future.

The relationship between 80 White Street’s steel foundation and AIM's new future in Manhattan inspired me to combine two vital parts of the building; it’s foundation and residents. I decided to use stainless steel, but not the conventional reflective one. The stainless steel that’s being used is mirrored, but not as much to where the viewer can see their perfect reflection. The image one sees is blurred and slightly skewed, making it seem almost like silver, hence the name ARGENTUM. As the piece occupies most of the entrance, the viewer is constantly interacting with it. When entering and exiting the building, the observer sees themselves, but much like light’s speed, it can never be fully captured and only appreciated in movement.

PINK LOTUS

LOCATION: 700 5th Ave. New York City
MEDIA: LEDs, diffusion film material with etched drawing, custom lighting sequence, electrical hardware
DIMENSIONS: 26 ft Length x 31 ft Height x 8 ft Depth
YEAR: 2015

The first time I saw a pink lotus was in Shanghai, and I was immediately memorized by its beauty, shape and movement. It is known to be a source of enlightenment, purity and abundance.

The earth, water and air, are universal elements, dynamic powers from the natural world, and also from an idea of balance. It is primarily this spiritual principle that is anchored in my work and is a determining factor for my perspective and perception of nature and landscape – being present and active as possible.

The site-specific space for PINK LOTUS is the landmarked facade of The Peninsula New York. I intend to activate and highlight the façade above the main entrance, especially the round window and framed by the 2 carvings of Greek goddesses Ceres and Diana, because I see the area as the heart of the hotel and enjoy the parallels of these female figures and the breast cancer cause. As in all my work, PINK LOTUS will be in dialogue with the existing architecture and history of its surroundings.

As artists, we become mirrors of this complex universe... it is from this perspective that I am always thinking ways to communicate with the viewer.

My work is an ongoing investigation of the human condition such as migration, interpersonal relationships, and the roles of women in today’s society.

Photo credit: Katie Vajda

Photo credit: Katie Vajda