Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Human Project, by Steven Cosentino

I'm not very familiar with this artist - and I don't find his paintings to be particularly engaging. However, I stumbled across this piece of "social art" he created and found it to be pretty impressive. Below is his description of the project - a massive portrait "painted" with the discarded clothing of homeless people. Note especially the "ghost image" left after the work was destroyed...

The Human Being Project
In 1999, Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services was informed that its landlord, St. Agnes Church, was selling the hundred year old building that housed the entire social service program for the homeless. A real estate developer planned to build a high rise apartment on the site. To protest the move, I decided to paint an image of a "Human Being" on the roof, using discarded clothes from the center as the "paint". The image measures 65x35 feet and was featured in the New York Times. The building was destroyed along with the "Human Being" and fifteen of my murals inside. Hundreds of homeless people were displaced.

Attempt by St. Agnes to cover up the image before the sale of the building. The church ripped up all the clothes and painted those areas black. The mismatch of blacks (paint and tar) produced this black version.

Cosentino Studios

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