Artwork doesn’t get much more monumental than Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada’s Wish. The Earth portrait, which recently opened in Belfast, covers a full 11 acres and is made of 4,000 tons of local sand, soil, grass, and stone. The image of a six-year-old local girl that it depicts makes almost no sense for a viewer within a few hundred feet. To get the full effect, you’ll need a plane or, at the very least, one of Belfast’s tallest rooftops.
To make the image, Rodríguez-Gerada used a sophisticated GPS-based device to plot the coordinates, and placed out 30,000 wooden stakes. Then, with the help of a local construction company and the fire department, he moved the material into place. It took four weeks to complete.
A Cuban-American, Rodríguez-Gerada is well-known for his enormo art. He etched out this woman in Amsterdam (to defend women’s rights), these pictures in New York and Barcelona, and drew a giant picture of Barack Obama back in 2008. In the 1990s, he was part of the culture-jamming movement made famous by the writer Naomi Klein.
Unfortunately, Wish is only temporary. The field in Northern Ireland will be bulldozed after December, when the Belfast Festival closes.