Permanent Site-Specific Public Art Project

The Lee Building, Harlem

FRENTE FEROZ  |  New York, NY  2005

Giscombe Realty Group LLC is a full service real estate company, whose core business is leasing, sales, and management of retail, office, and residential buildings.

This project was commissioned by real estate developer Eugene Giscombe for the Lee Building in Harlem, New York. Photo by Grimanesa Amorós Studio

Media: acrylic, convex lens, LEDs, custom lighting sequence, electrical hardware
Dimensions: 12 ft x 53 ft x 40 2/3 ft

ARTIST STATEMENT (English / Espanol)

Since I was a teenager living in Peru, I’ve always wanted to do a project in or about Harlem, because I was intrigued by its cultural importance. 125th Street is the heart and soul of this vibrant area. It is a place where cultural, political, and social ideas are produced and exchanged. I am still learning about the complexity and the nature of this neighborhood as a whole.

The installation was created by projecting colored lights in a deliberate, looped sequence, controlled by a computer, onto rear projection screens covering large windows. Over-sized silhouettes of animals made of painted black foam board create moving shadows in the windows. The sequence begins just before sunset and ends just before sunrise. The lighting controller calculates these astronomical events based on the location of New York City (40° 46’N x 73° 58’W) and its five time zone west difference from Greenwich / Mean Time. As the seasons change, the controller tracks the exact times of dusk and dawn, as wells as accounting for Day Light Savings Time.

Frente Feroz is meant to capture the attention, however fleeting, of passers-by on the street and commuters on the adjacent MTA Metro North platform. The location becomes a port of intrigue for one of the most diverse areas of New York. The installation has the capacity to evoke responses that are as varied as the population. Every individual that views the silhouettes will have a different and lingering interpretation, making it public yet personal. The display creates a desire to return to the location, as well as to bring others to view this unique scene.

This installation was inspired by Mr. Giscombe’s passionate interest in exotic, wild animals, and Harlem itself.

” Annual family visits to an aunt in rural Watkins Glenn, New York; summer camp in the Catskill Mountains, along with Boy Scout camping trips instilled a thirst to discover the mysteries of nature so foreign to city living. Time and circumstances allowed me the freedom to satisfy a youthful urge to explore nature and wild places in the US and abroad. This wildlife montage featuring wild animals from every corner of the earth represents my attempt to share with city dwellers the wonders of nature around the world right here in Harlem. ”
– Eugene Giscombe