First published in the Fall 2019 edition of Art Hive Magazine.
Starting on September 6, giants will be coming to parks and libraries throughout Broward County’s nine commission districts.
They’re part of “Searching for Giants,” the first-ever countywide display of monumental inflatable art. Nine, two-day outdoor exhibitions will be open to residents and visitors through Oct. 26. Then, the giants will make a reappearance in late November on Fort Lauderdale Beach at the annual Riptide Music Festival.
for Giants,” a project by Broward Cultural Division, in partnership with Greater
Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and Entercom, is an exciting
lead-up to Riptide, the County’s signature event.
People who find and post a photo of the inflatables on Instagram – tagged @BrowardArts with the hashtag #ArtAcrossBroward – will be entered into a contest to win two Riptide “Meet the Band” passes at each of the nine locations.
for Giants” is the brainchild of Meredith Clements, the marketing director of
Broward Cultural Division, who describes the displays as having wide-ranging
appeal that will capture the public’s imagination. “This is a great example of
how the county is able to provide accessible arts programming that is
thoughtful and creative – programming that encourages people in our communities
to interact with each other as well as interact with the art.” As people go
looking for the giants, the county’s leadership also hopes they will discover
gems within their own neighborhood.
towering 20- to 30-foot inflatable sculptures include such forms as a pink and
green lollipop, yellow submarine, peace sign and a giant hugging human.
They’re all part
of Giants in the City, created by Cuban-born artist Alejandro Mendoza.
studied art in Cuba, then moved to Mexico, Argentina and the United States. As
a sculptor, he understood that the medium of sculpture can be costly—the mold alone to create a
bronze statue can be thousands of dollars. Then there’s the cost of the
materials, an architect and working with the city to put a piece on
2008, he decided to think big with what he calls his “giants.” Using ripstop,
the same material used to make parachutes, he was able to create inflatable
sculptures while also introducing a more accessible way for artists to create
Giants in the City was born.
are an inclusive form of art. The pieces are colorful, approachable, and stir
up conversations – Which do you like best? Why did the artist choose this
subject; or why so big? What does it remind you of? What type of public art
would you want to make?
pieces break the rules,” said Noor Blazekovic, Mendoza’s wife and Giants in
the City co-founder. “They broke the rules of monumental sculpture… because
these monumental pieces, they are all inclusive. They want you in. They want
you to be part of it.”
“There are 1.9
million residents of Broward County who live in a vast geographic area,” said
Tara Rose, “Searching for Giants” project manager. “What is important to me
about this project is that it brings art into communities beyond Fort
selecting the inflatables and their locations, Clements and Rose made sure that
they were reflective of the diverse communities that make Broward County so
unique. It was essential that the artwork and the artists who created them
showcased that diversity.
you see them you smile,” Blazekovic said of the giants. “We need more positive
messages. We need to inspire everybody. Not everybody will go to a gallery,”
she notes, “but everybody can consume ‘Giants in the City.’ They’re amazing;
they truly are a gem.”
The locations and dates for each “Searching for Giants” exhibition can be found at ArtsCalendar.com/Giants.