|"El Vendedore de Raspao" (Snow cone vendor)|
You might be wondering how the exhibit came to be in Fort Myers. Allure condo developer Eduardo Caballaro is putting together two super luxurious towers on Fort Myers' waterfront. Caballaro and Carmona were childhood friends in Cartagena, Colombia. When Caballaro shared Fort Myers' history (particularly the role of the Caloosa Indians) with Carmona, the artist felt his exhibit--with its focus on people who might otherwise go unnoticed--would fit right in. The fact that he could help his friend promote his new condo development didn't hurt either.
|Janice and I with "Brisas"|
Fort Myers' Public Art Committee was tasked with determining where each sculpture would be located, ensuring that foot traffic wouldn't be impeded and dealing with other logistics. The sculptures are scattered across downtown and are fabulous. At each stop there's a brochure with a map and a short description of the sculptures to guide you. (You can also get a copy by clicking here. Neither the images nor the pictures here do the sculptures justice.)
The iron giants stand between 7-10' tall and weigh in between 700 and 1000 pounds. (The cost of getting the works here must have been astronomical.) The rusted patina is intentionally created using a special sandblasting technique.
Janice and I had the chance to hear the inside scoop on some of the works with an Allure representative. "Brisas" shows the strength of both women and the wind. The wind has lifted the woman's skirt, showing off her shapely butt cheeks. She's not concerned, however, about appearing immodest. Instead, she is harnessing the power of the wind with her umbrella. When viewing the work, you get no sense that she is being overpowered. Her feet are planted firmly on the ground and there's a sense of defiance in her posture. It's kind of like Marilyn Monroe meets the "Game of Thrones" Mother of Dragons. Happily, "Brisas" will be staying in Fort Myers to welcome people to Allure.
|"Vendedora de Frutas"|
One of the most exciting things about the exhibit is the conversations being sparked between strangers about the art. It's difficult to walk by a sculpture without stopping to take it in. And as others do the same, it's only natural to chat about what you are seeing. It's a very cool way to create community.
I'll definitely return to Fort Myers to enjoy the sculptures again before they head off to Spain (perhaps, as Janice suggested, with a step ladder in tow so I can get even more up close and personal with the works). The exhibit was originally scheduled to close at the end of the March, but rumor has it that it's been extended to the end of April. If you have travel plans in your future, Carmona's "Duo Sinfonica" is on display at the Fort Myers airport.
A huge thanks go out to Allure for bringing this special exhibit to our area.