By Karen Greco
Think Providence looks a little different these days? These are probably the five new sculptures The concept of avenue (TAC) installed stealthily in the city center during the months of May and June. “It takes a while for people to realize that,” says Brian Dowling, TAC’s sculpting program director, with a laugh.
The Sine Wave sculpture, at the corner of Fountain and Dorrance, is a traffic jam. The formal, abstract piece is placed close to Breaking Bad Habits, a sculpture of a stubbed out cigarette (which includes burning embers that glow at night). This juxtaposition is intentional, with the more accessible cigarette serving as a “gateway to another job,” Dowling says.
“The sculptures are the backdrop of the city. How do you place the work in the city, what is behind it, are people walking directly past or is the work seen from a distance,” he explains. he. “We also consider what’s near other works of art – you want them to be in conversation with each other.”
The sine wave changes dramatically depending on the angle from which it is viewed. Peruvian-born, Bridgeport-based artist Carlos Davila often finds inspiration in ancient cultures while imbuing his art with futuristic inclinations. Sine Wave, made up of several triangles, is a geometry game. The spiral draws the eye upwards, where depending on your approach, Superman’s iconic building looms just beyond. The striking orange hue gives the work an optical vibration. “Your eye has a hard time focusing on the edge because the color is so lush,” says Dowling. “It’s super dynamic.”
To take a guided walking tour of the new facilities, which includes Sine Wave, download the app here.