About the Exhibition
Public Art Fund announces a multi-work, 100-site exhibition by New York-based photographer Elle Pérez to inaugurate its new partnership with JCDecaux. Opening on August 13, from sun to sun, by Elle Pérez, will feature a series of works on bus shelters citywide that continues Pérez’s exploration of representation, identity, and heritage among the Puerto Rican communities of the Bronx where the artist grew up, as well as the expanded Latinx diaspora. This collaboration between Public Art Fund and JCDecaux will establish a new exhibition platform for the non-profit, bringing two, 14-week solo exhibitions a year to 100 of JCDecaux’s advertising spaces on bus shelters across New York City. from sun to sun will be Pérez’s first public art commission and will be on view from August 13 through November 24, 2019.
Through close collaboration with the subject of each photograph, Pérez creates arresting images that often reveal intimate everyday moments. Their work, particularly their portraiture, highlights the distinct beauty of each individual and the environments through which they self-define. Form, color, and composition weave among the conventional categories of portraiture, landscape, and snapshot photography to address subjects as diverse as body perception, gender identity, and underground nightlife culture. As their practice has developed, Pérez’s photographs have become more autobiographical, often featuring people and subjects personally connected to them. Originally from New York City, Pérez will create a new series of photographs for this exhibition that explores specific locations of personal relevance to the artist, such as along Fordham Road and Westchester Avenue in the Bronx. Pérez will highlight the relationships between people and places, and the multiple layers of identity that exist within this context.
“Elle Pérez is a groundbreaking artist whose piercing and intimate photographs invite powerful connections between subject and viewer," says Public Art Fund Assistant Curator Katerina Stathopoulou. "With from sun to sun, Pérez will have the opportunity to work within the infrastructure of the city and exhibit their photography for the first time within the diverse communities where the images were made, making this a deeply personal project. We're thrilled to bring Pérez's photography to such a public platform and for their work to inspire individuals to embrace points of similarity and humanity among the seemingly disparate people that comprise this city."
The JCDecaux exhibition series will take place twice a year, creating a continuously evolving platform to present artistic voices at street-level for all New Yorkers. For the initial iterations, one hundred bus shelters will serve as spaces to showcase the work of photographers in the public realm, enabling artists to create topical new bodies of work in New York City. This collaboration builds on Public Art Fund’s rich history of transforming the city’s ubiquitous advertising spaces, including the seminal exhibition series Messages to the Public (1982-90), which brought art to Times Square’s first digital billboard with 80+ artists including Jenny Holzer , Alfredo Jaar, Lorna Simpson, and David Wojnarowicz; the group exhibition Commercial Break (2017), which featured digital works by 23 artists on advertising platforms across the city; and most recently Ai Weiwei’s citywide exhibition Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (2017), for which Public Art Fund presented works on 100 JCDecaux bus shelters across all five boroughs, among other traditional advertising platforms, for the first time.
“JCDecaux is excited to continue to use our street furniture in innovative ways, now providing a framework for street level art for New Yorkers through our partnership with Public Art Fund. We look forward to seeing our bus shelters host the striking work of Elle Pérez in a major exhibition that highlights Latinx culture throughout our shared community,” says Gabrielle Brussel, JCDecaux Executive Vice President of Business Development & Properties.
Elle Pérez: from sun to sun is curated by Public Art Fund Assistant Curator Katerina Stathopoulou.
Specific bus shelter locations to be announced in Summer 2019.