Locust Projects' parking lot is the current home to CenTrust, 2012 by George Sánchez-Calderón. CenTrust was first exhibited in New Work Miami 2013, curated by Rene Morales and Diana Nawi as part of the last exhibition of the Miami Art Museum before they move to Museum Park and are renamed the Pérez Art Museum Miami. The bank was designed by I.M. Pei and considered Miami’s first international star-architecture project.
“George Sánchez-Calderón’s best known works involve event-based productions and quasi-participatory installations consummated at a large scale—from a one-night circus sideshow featuring trained opera singers and acrobats to an 80%-scale replica of Le Corbusier’s Ville Savoye erected at a notoriously squalid spot beneath a highway overpass in the Overtown neighborhood of Miami.
CenTrust (2012) consists of a massive, rectangular slab of granite that once marked the entrance to the former downtown Miami headquarters of the Centrust corporation, which collapsed in scandal amid the savings-and-loan imbroglios of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Sánchez-Calderón discovered the 15,000-pound object in the back lot of a privately owned warehouse in Wynwood, where it had been sitting for nearly 25 years, its value reduced to its potential resale for conversion into kitchen countertops. By purchasing it from its present owner and then re-installing it on a public street, the artist converts the artifact into an unusually aggressive example of readymade sculpture, imbuing it with new levels of meaning through an act of radical recontextualization.
Inscribed on both sides with the defunct institution’s evocative branding–which features an uppercase central “T” for “Trust” capped with flames–the artifact recalls an oversized tombstone, serving as a reminder of a painful moment in local and national history while indirectly alluding to the global financial crisis of 2008. The 47-story building that the Centrust stele once stood in front of was designed by the world-renowned architectural firm of I. M. Pei. Completed in 1987, it remains a much admired landmark for the city, owing especially to its spectacular, seasonally themed light displays. Although the skyscraper was controlled by the savings-and-loan company for barely three years, and although ownership of the property subsequently changed hands among several entities including Bank of America, in Miami it is still often colloquially referred to as the Centrust Tower. For longtime residents of the city, Sánchez-Calderón’s intervention may engender an uncanny effect, a shock of recognition akin to running into an acquaintance thought to be long lost.”
– Rene Morales, Gallery Notes from New Work Miami 2013, Miami Art Museum (precursor to PAMM)
ABOUT THE ARTIST
George Sánchez-Calderón was born in New York City in 1967 as the son of Cuban exiles. His family re-located to Miami, Florida where he has chosen to live the majority of his life. He has worked without gallery representation from 1995-2005. The development and realization of his projects are a testament to his resolve and need to create. He has been especially successful in completing site-specific projects despite the need for various sources of funding and their inherent logistical obstacles.
Sánchez-Calderón received his Masters degree in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995 and Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from Florida International University. He had his first one-man exhibit at the Franklin Furnace Archive in New York City in 1996. His work is in the permanent collection of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Margulies Collection, Craig Robbins Collection and the Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz collection. Sánchez-Calderón is also the recipient of the Oscar B. Cintas Fellowship and the South Florida Cultural Consortium Award.
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