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Hugo McCloud in Art in Focus

NEW YORK, NY - NEW YORK, NY - Rockefeller Center and Art Production Fund will 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 begin on April 11, 2022.

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.

McCloud began his exploration of plastic while in India in 2014 where he observed the frequent usage of polypropylene plastic sacks throughout his journey. By utilizing this material in new works, McCloud continues his practice of incorporating industrial materials as a tool to better understand our similarities and differences as a human race, connection to our environment, and commitment to reversing the negative impact of our carbon footprint.

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.

“I'm grateful for the visual exposure and the opportunity to share this imagery with people that normally would not see my work. Rockefeller Center is obviously a great place to show these works, and I am excited to be following artists that I respect and admire who have participated previously in the Art in Focus program.” - HUGO MCCLOUD

“The way in which Hugo McCloud’s work not only upcycles materials that would otherwise go to waste, but also sparks meaningful conversation, is a testament to the multidimensional nature of public art. The art displayed at Rockefeller Center this Spring will invite New Yorkers to reflect on their own connection to the environment, through both McCloud’s work on display throughout the campus, as well as through the 193 flags currently adorning the plaza with crowd-sourced artwork.” – EB KELLY, HEAD OF ROCKEFELLER CENTER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR AT TISHMAN SPEYER

“We have long admired McCloud’s work and his exploration of beauty, pain and tenderness in the human experience. His choice of medium and subject matter highlights McCloud’s unique perspective on the human experience. We hope visitors are moved when viewing these captivating and emotional public artworks at Rockefeller Center.” - CASEY FREMONT, ART PRODUCTION FUND.

HUGO MCCLOUD lives and works in New York City and Tulum, Mexico. Born in Palo Alto California in 1980, Hugo McCloud is one of the most prolific young artists working today. In a career that has now spanned fifteen years, Hugo McCloud's work has quickly evolved through a process of restless experimentation, bringing inventiveness and fearlessness to the act of making. The artist is engaged in an ongoing quest to elevate and master diverse methodologies and the array of subjects his work addresses. An abiding, unifying theme is Hugo's preoccupation with finding beauty in the everyday. McCloud has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, The Arts Club, London and Fondazione 107, in Turin, Italy. He has also been featured in group exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and The Drawing Center, New York. His work is in the collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, the Brooklyn Museum, the Mott Warsh Collection, and The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection. Hugo McCloud is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery.

ART IN FOCUS is a multidisciplinary program that showcases installations by contemporary artists inspired by the New York City landscape and contemporary life. Artists featured in the series will have their work displayed in a number of prominent and unexpected public locations throughout Rockefeller Center. Art in Focus is presented in partnership with Rockefeller Center and Art Production Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences, and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Past Art in Focus artists include Joana Avillez (Rockefeller Center Holiday Map, 2018), Hein Koh (Braving the Cold, 2019), Portia Munson (Pink Projects, 2019), LaKela Brown (2019), Lucy Sparrow (Lucy’s Delicatessen on 6th, 2019), Angelica Hicks (Rockefeller Center Holiday Map, 2019), Vanessa German (The Holiest Wilderness is Freedom, 2020), Ryan Flores (Low Lifes: An Upside Down Love Letter, 2020), Genevieve Gaignard (2020), Oliver Jeffers (Rockefeller Center Holiday Map, 2020); Hiba Schahbaz (In My Heart, 2021), Sanford Biggers (2021), Hilary Pecis (2021), Maurice Harris (2021), Lisa Congdon (Rockefeller Center Holiday Map, 2021), and Max Colby (2022).

Tishman Speyer is a leading owner, developer, operator and investment manager of first-class real estate in 30 key markets across the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. We develop, build and manage premier office, residential and retail spaces for industry-leading tenants, as well as state-of-the-art life science centers through our Breakthrough Properties venture. With global vision, on-the-ground expertise and a personalized approach, we are unparalleled in our ability to foster innovation, quickly adapt to global and local trends and proactively anticipate our customers’ evolving needs. By focusing on health and wellness, enlightened placemaking and customer-focused initiatives such as our tenant amenities platform, ZO., and our flexible space and co-working brand, Studio, we tend not just to our physical buildings, but to the people who inhabit them on a daily basis. Since our inception in 1978, Tishman Speyer has acquired, developed, and operated 484 properties, totaling 219 million square feet, with a combined value of over $121 billion (U.S.). Our current portfolio includes such iconic assets as Rockefeller Center in New York City, The Springs in Shanghai, TaunusTurm in Frankfurt and the Mission Rock neighborhood currently being realized in San Francisco.

ART PRODUCTION FUND is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Past projects include: Elmgreen & Dragset,“Prada Marfa,” Valentine, TX, Ugo Rondinone, “Seven Magic Mountains,” Las Vegas, Jeff Koons, “Seated Ballerina,” Rockefeller Plaza, NYC, Zoe Buckman, “CHAMP,” LA; Raul de Nieves “When I Look In To Your Eyes I See the Sun,” Miami; Lucy Sparrow “Lucy’s Delicatessen on 6th,” Rockefeller Center, NYC; Nancy Baker Cahill “Liberty Bell”, multiple cities; Sanford Biggers “Oracle”, Rockefeller Center, NYC. For more information, please visit / @artproductionfund

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