And now an art piece of extraordinary size. Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada writes in to tell us about EXPECTATION: “a large ephemeral sand painting portraying the likeness of Barack Obama, located in the Catalan city of Barcelona. It was created before the 2008 US presidential election using a large-scale vector graphic, a GPS topography system and approximately 650 tons of sand.”
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The work’s grand scale (1 hectare / 2.5 acres) embodies the immense sense of hope felt by Barack Obama’s supporters and raises a mirror to reflect the source of that hope. Obama has awakened an enormous yearning for change that runs deep beneath decades of disaffection with the political establishment.
The outsize scale of EXPECTATION also allowed Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada to allude to the global impact of this election. For people around the world, the symbolic power of an Obama presidency would be without precedent in modern history.
Sand painting is the art of pouring colored sands onto a surface to create an image. These sand paintings are used as rituals for healing purposes by Native Americans, Tibetan monks, Indians and Australian Aborigines.
The technique of sand painting was used by the artist as a metaphor for the healing that needs to take place in order to improve our future and to secure a safer world for future generations.