Astoria, Queens, NY
Casted Mixed Media (Bronze, Winterstone, Cement)
My idea for this "Amplify" open call is titled: 'Botanical Boombox'. Botanical Boombox is an outdoor sculpture that is a small scale Greenhouse in the form of Boombox sitting atop a concrete and wooden pedestal. The Boombox is made of a steel box frame with clear resin faced panels shaped like a boombox (See my current public sculpture 'Going Back to the Meadows' for resin Boombox example). All sides of this Botanical Boombox will be clear resin, including the roof top design. Inside this Boombox will be planted a series of plants and flowers that symbolize the voice of voiceless that sprouted from the concrete of tough neighborhood and low income housing within Queens (Queensbridge LIC, St. Albans and Hollis Jamaica Queens). The Boombox symbolizes the Amplification of these voices that used music and Hip Hop culture to talk about personal and community issues growing up in their respective neighborhoods. This boombox is a symbol for hope and emergence of young BIPOC communities that used their voice to announce their conditions resulting in the growth of the most popular form of musical expression in the history of the world, Hip Hop. These flowers, each personal stories of individuals, with support from family, friends and community (sun, water and attention) grew and bloomed out of concrete, attracting worms to butterflies, listeners and viewers while connecting communities globally. Reminds me of the proverb, out of a muddy pond 10,000 flowers bloom. The supporting Gallery exhibition will be photographs of flowers and plants in the respective neighborhoods.
Sherwin Banfield is a Queens, NY based mixed-media artist with recent work attempting to explore journeys of identity and ancestry. Sherwin's creative practice tends to deconstruct the imaginative and physical journey of identity within his preferred subject matter, the human experience. While exploring the journey of his subject, he would seek to draw a connection between their personal stories and established culture, frequently imposing mythological and imaginative ideas as accessories within his sculptures. His portrait busts and figurative works are expressions of mood meant to draw out the inner identity of his subjects. Accompanying each sculptured identity are accessories of light, sound and/or cultural references that hyper realize this identity to compliment the organic design of their facial, skull and anatomical structure. The goal is to create a projection of attitude and aura within his sculpted figures. Recent projects build upon experimental ideas of encompassing various mixed materials with traditional sculpture, lighting and/or sound that he refers to as Illumination or Sonic Sculpture. His recent public sculpture “Going back to the Meadows’ fused the identity of Queens Hip-Hop Legend LL Cool J, with his musical legacy into a sonic monument. The intention is to showcase multi-dimensional contributions by Hip-Hop Legends, as Sculptural Monuments. Sherwin holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design with honors, continued his studies in Fine Art Sculpture at the Art Student’s League of New York while showcasing his work in multiple group shows. He is a recent recipient of the Queens Council on the Arts Queens Art Fund Grant, Artport Residency, the Socrates Annual Emerging Artist Fellowship, the Fantasy Fund Fellowship at Modern Art Foundry and the Art Student’s League of New York Model to Monument Fellowship.
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