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Massive artwork to appear at the National Mall, Washington DC
26 Aug 2014

This autumn will see a massive new artwork by Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada put in place at the National Mall, Washington DC.

The piece, a large scale landscape portrait, is a commission from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery called 'Out of Many, One', and incorporates pictures of people who have been snapped in Washington.

It is set to be positioned at a ten acre large area, and is six acres wide.

Visible from space, as well as the rather closer to home Washington Monument, the work will be a composite image that people visiting the Mall will also be able to get up-close to.

The artwork is going to make use of some 10,000 wooden pegs, a huge amount of string, 800 tons of soil and 2,000 tons of sand.

Portrait Gallery director Kim Sajet has said that Cuban-American Rodriguez-Gerada’s work shows that portraiture is boundaryless.

"Who we are, how we perceive others, those we recognize and those we place in high esteem constantly shifts over time. Portraits and the people they represent can be as big as we are willing to imagine," Sajet added.

The new work is set to start being made this September, and will be finished come the month's conclusion. It comes out of a partnership between The National Portrait Gallery, the National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall.

When the artwork's time at the Mall is over, the dirt and sand used to make it is going to to be worked into the soil there, meaning the ground's condition will actually be left better off than before the installation.

According to the Smithsonian, Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada has been creating similar urban portraits since 2002. His variety of 'facescapes' have gone on show in Spain, Northern Ireland and other locations. 'Out of Many, One' is the first one to be put in place in the USA.

“‘Out of Many, One’ reflects what the National Mall stands for—democracy, diversity and freedom of expression. It will provide visitors with a unique national park experience and, in keeping with our mission, will improve the soil for better turf in the future," commented Bob Vogel, National Mall and Memorial Parks superintendent.ADNFCR-408-ID-801744406-ADNFCR

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