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What's That Big Head In Miami?

39-Foot Sculpture Comes To Magic City From Chicago

Michelle F. Solomon

Sculptor Jaume Plensa.

Photographer:

Sculptor Jaume Plensa.

A friend of mine asked the other day, "Have you seen the giant head in Miami?" Being knowledgeable about those kinds of things because I am lucky enough to have a job that is steeped in Miami's arts and culture, I was quick with an explanation.

"The giant sculpture is Jaume Plensa's "Awilda," and she was originally positioned in Rio de Janeiro by the sea. Then she was in Millennium Park in Chicago, where she became a popular icon for the city. Awilda coming to Miami returns her to a seaside location."

On Saturday, March 18, at 2 p.m., the Perez Museum of Art (PAMM) will host an art talk by Plensa.

Awilda presents the artist's large-scale portrait of a young girl from his native Barcelona. As a promised gift to PAMM, she is poised to become an icon for the city, her serene face, and closed eyes contemplating the Port of Miami.

Awilda in Miami.

Photographer:

Awilda in Miami.

No doubt, Miami's new girl will become a picture spot for tourists all over the world.

This distorted sculpture of the Dominican girl's face was placed in Chicago's Millennium Park in 2014 in honor of the park’s 10 year anniversary. The artwork near the entrance of Millennium Park, splitting the city’s North and South sides. Originally, Awilda was accompanied by three other bronze head sculptures, all created by Plensa.

The large public art piece in Miami joins other pieces that are creating a conversation about public art in South Florida. Other public art installations include Fernando Botero’s “Maternity” sculpture overlooking the beach in Fort Lauderdale, as well as Argentine artist Fabian Burgos’ murals on the exterior of the soon-to-be completed Brickell Heights and SLS Lux towers.”

"Public installations play a key role in establishing a city's unique identity and I strongly believe Awilda will be embraced as a beloved landmark," says CEO of The Related Group, art enthusiast and philanthropist Jorge M. Perez about the massive 39-foot sculpture that sits on the east end of Museum Park, gazing into Biscayne Bay.

Awilda in Chicago.

Photographer:

Awilda in Chicago.

"Awilda was born in Rio de Janeiro four years ago and the real title, the complete title, is 'Looking into My Dreams - Procurando em meus sonhos.' "says Plensa. "It was paying homage to Yemanjá, who was the divinity of the sea. In my first trip out of Spain which was in Rio de Janeiro I remember I fall completely, fascinatingly in love with this divinity which was floating on the water. And I did a piece that was installed rising up from the water in front of the 'Sugar Loaf'. Jorge [Pérez] found the piece,” said Plensa, “and fell in love with the piece and the piece is here for that reason. He asked me to find the right place to install the piece and obviously the piece is completely related with water.”

 
In celebration of welcoming his majestic sculpture "Looking Into My Dreams, Awilda" to its new home in Museum Park, PAMM will host a talk by world renowned artist Jaume Plensa on Saturday, March 18 at 2 p.m. Art Talk: Jaume Plensa is free with museum admission.

www.pamm.org/ or 305.375.3000

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