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Hugo McCloud

Hugo McCloud Captivates Rockefeller Center with Largest Plastic Painting Yet

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The latest iteration of Art Production Fund’s Art In Focus program invited the artist Hugo McCloud to activate the public spaces at Rockefeller Center—an installation that debuted on April 11 and will remain open through June 10. Indicative of his greater practice, McCloud has filled the location’s vitrines and vinyl spaces with colorful imagery, installations, and portraits that he has made using unlikely materials (particularly plastic bags), collected during the artist’s travels.

“I’m grateful for the visual exposure and the opportunity to share this imagery with people that normally would not see my work,” said McCloud. “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.”

McCloud’s recognizable imagery captivates the eye with bright colors and representations of texture, often used to depict international locations in scenes of people carrying out everyday tasks and acts of physical labor. In this way, the artist invites viewers to appreciate our global similarities and differences, as well as shared concerns. Rendered with McCloud’s carefully-composed plastic scraps, the artist also poses thoughtful narratives that juxtapose themes of beauty and struggle.

Hugo McCloud for Art Production Fund

Hugo McCloud at Rockefeller Center, photo by Daniel Greer, courtesy of the artist and Art Production Fund.

Such is the case at Rockefeller Center, where McCloud’s presentation encompasses his most monumental creation thus far—a large-scale plastic painting located inside 45 Rockefeller Plaza, titled The Burden of Man: Waiting to Breathe, which offers a narrative of migration, hope, and loss. Alongside this work, visitors at the plaza will find its vinyl mural spaces filled with the artist’s anonymous subjects depicted toting baskets or resting next to bicycles fully loaded with cargo. Within the lobby of 45 Rockefeller Plaza is a suite of mixed media installations where McCloud has laid bare connections between people, place, and material by surrounding his paintings with found matter like crumpled paper, cardboard boxes, and scraps of material.

“We have long admired McCloud’s work and his exploration of beauty, pain and tenderness in the human experience,” said Casey Fremont, the Executive Director of Art Production Fund. “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.”

Hugo McCloud for Art Production Fund

Hugo McCloud at Rockefeller Center, photo by Daniel Greer, courtesy of the artist and Art Production Fund.

Hugo McCloud for Art Production Fund

Hugo McCloud at Rockefeller Center, photo by Daniel Greer, courtesy of the artist and Art Production Fund.

Hugo McCloud for Art Production Fund

Hugo McCloud at Rockefeller Center, photo by Daniel Greer, courtesy of the artist and Art Production Fund.

Hugo McCloud for Art Production Fund

Hugo McCloud at Rockefeller Center, photo by Daniel Greer, courtesy of the artist and Art Production Fund.

Hugo McCloud for Art Production Fund

Photo by Kat Harris, courtesy of Art Production Fund.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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