Wings of the City


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August 19, 2021 by Scott Crosby - Views: 10

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Wings of the City

Greenville’s Falls Park area is renowned for its shops, dining, and for its fabulous Liberty Bridge.

S140-3.jpgBut now through October, it is also the setting for a beautiful group of nine sculptures by the Mexican artist Jose Marin.  The group is titled The Wings of the City – and they are not to be missed.Two of the sculptures can be found in the Peace Center courtyard.  They are titled Split Monumental and Equilibrista 90.  The two portray the attributes of expert gymnasts, including strength, flexibility, and absolute physical control.

Just inside the Peace Center Hall and on display through its two main windows is the third sculpture, Hombre Universal.  Enclosed in a pair of circles, the figure is reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.  The sculptor has clearly been influenced by Classical and Renaissance art forms.  

From the Peace Center, head to the Reedy River and walk along it down to the Liberty Bridge.  

As you approach the bridge you will see below it another sculpture, Wings of Mexico.  

S140-4.jpgThe Wings of Mexico represent “a universal symbol of freedom and hope; as the never-ending and, overall, human dream of flying.”  

On weekends, the steady stream of families to the Wings seems to be non-stop.  One child after another steps up onto the pedestal, and poses in front of the Wings for parents with cameras.

“Freedom and hope …” – those are things Americans take too often for granted.  Most people living in the U.S. have never known anything but an easy way of life.  The rest of the world lives under harsher conditions.

For the people of sculptor Jose Marin’s home country of Mexico – as well as virtually all of the rest of the world – Freedom and hope are a distant, unattainable reality.  Freedom and hope are something they can only see in the quiet world of their own imagination, or hear of in America.  They are never something that is experienced in their day-to-day lives.  

S140-5.jpgArtist or not, well-to-do or poor, well-educated or barely literate, whether visiting the U.S. or when greeting American co-workers visiting in Mexico, it does not take very astute powers of observation to read the impact on their lives of not living in conditions that Americans so easily take for granted.  

Crossing the Liberty Bridge at the other end, two more sculptures can be found nearby:  Archivaldo and El Tiempo.  

Archivaldo is the watchful observer and guardian.  

S140-2.jpgEl Tiempo is especially poignant.  The wear and decay due to the passage of time is apparent, with sections appearing to be worn away beyond any hope of restoration or renewal.  

Down the hill of the park sit two more sculptures.  Angel Perselidas symbolizes a union between heaven and earth, the divine and the human.  Bernardo Oriental, is seemingly poised to take flight:  he wears an aviator’s hat, representing the dream of flying.  

That dream of flight echoes the plight of people in Mexico and most countries outside the U.S.  Flying for many of them is a strongly symbolic physical action which is connected in their minds to the freedom and hope which they can only imagine and never experience.  

As expensive as flying is in America, the impediments placed in the way of flying in other countries makes it far more expensive everywhere else on the globe.  Even more limiting, in most countries of the world the private ownership and piloting of airplanes is illegal.  Hence the symbolic connection of flight with the freedom which is also absent in those countries.

On the other side of the stream at the bottom of the hill in the Falls Park is the final sculpture – possibly the best of all.

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In Abrazo Monumental, a man holds tightly to the woman who is unmistakably someone he loves more than his own life.  Is she slipping away?  Are these her final moments?  The supreme feeling he has for her is obvious, overcoming even her passing.  The feeling captured by the sculptor is remarkable; it is evident to any who view the sculpture.  

Just as clearly, the sculptor wishes that each of us, man or woman, finds a love so great as what he has envisioned and made real in this sculpture.

Sculptor Jose Marin has done a superb job of capturing and expressing a wide range of human feeling and existence.  The display of his sculptures will be at the Peace Center and in the Falls Park only through early October.  

Don’t miss the opportunity to see – and experience – the beautiful sculptures of Jose Marin.

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