Hugo McCloud at Rockefeller Center
Site-specific installation upcycles single-use plastic to create work that sparks a discussion about sustainability
Everyday, Through June 12th
Throughout the Rockefeller Center Campus
Between 49th & 50th Streets and 5th & 6th Avenues
Rockefeller Center and Art Production Fund continue their Art in Focus partnership with a site-specific public art presentation by acclaimed multidisciplinary artist HUGO MCCLOUD. Presented in multiple public locations throughout the Rockefeller Center campus, McCloud’s installation will be on view until June 12th.
McCloud is a multidisciplinary artist and prolific creator who is known for experimenting with non-traditional materials and developing a unique art-making technique. His newest body of work incorporates traditional figurative vocabulary with an innovative process of layering plastic to create visually rich and thought-provoking paintings. Plastic, an everyday material that is difficult to decompose, finds new life in these paintings and encourages a discussion around sustainability. This body of work also continues McCloud’s interest in finding beauty in otherwise overlooked materials.
In 45 Rockefeller Plaza, visitors will find McCloud’s most monumental work to date, The Burden of Man: Waiting to Breathe displayed in the lower concourse. This is the first time that this significant artwork (produced by McCloud using single-use plastic bags during the Covid-19 pandemic) will be exhibited in the United States. This work interweaves narratives, referencing recent international crises both obliquely and directly to address themes of migration, borders, hope, and loss; conditions internationally endemic during the Covid-19 crisis. Epic in scale, the work offers the artist’s unique contemporary take on the rich historic traditions of history and mural painting.
The images McCloud presents in the vinyl mural spaces (located at 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, the street and concourse levels of 45 Rockefeller Plaza, and Top of the Rock) feature individuals engaging in the practice of labor and the transportation of materials. Whether they are pushing, carrying or simply resting alongside heavy loads, McCloud’s figures convey a sense of extreme effort, struggle and ultimately beauty through the handling of these found materials.
The mixed-media installations in the vitrine spaces (located in the lobby of 45 Rockefeller Plaza) feature three new site-specific paintings created for this exhibition at Rockefeller Center. Each painting is surrounded by found materials collected by McCloud during his travels, further connecting the installation to McCloud’s unique art-making process and material usage.