REFLECTION

Reflection

Realized in New York City in early April 2019, “Reflection” advocates against child trafficking and slavery. It is the biggest mural ever painted in New York city.

The colossal piece that rises on the facade of the Westin Grand Central Hotel in Manhattan, was curated by Street Art for Mankind, a non-profit organization working with prominent street artists from around the world to raise awareness on child slavery. Street Art for Mankind worked in collaboration with the International Labour Organization of the United Nations. This mural coincided with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Labour Organization.

The mural is 44 m high x 52 m wide and covers 2,290 square meters.
It took 210 liters of paint and spray paint to realize the piece.

“The fact that the project was based on child labor and child slavery was something that was actually very, very important to me. It’s the kind of project that I want to be involved in, so I was very excited with that.
I wanted to find a way where I can do multiple layers of children and I figured that the best way to do this was to do a portrait that was so large that the eyes would give an iris area (that would be about 1,5 meters/6 feet from side to side) large enough to paint images of other children.
So, we have this one child which is a white Caucasian child and then we have other children from the 3rd world who were actually photographed in the moment when they were rescued. We have different layers to this situation. We have one child who is probably safe, but there’s actually child trafficking going on in NY city as we speak. We can’t assume that it’s just a problem from somewhere else, there’s also a problem in our own backyards. I think that’s how the final design came about. The idea of the green, the grass and the flowers, is this utopian idea of what childhood should be and the fact that this isn’t always the case. And I like the fact that this is juxtaposed to the concrete jungle, to all the brick and cement in the city.

An inspiring thing about with Street Art for mankind is that they actually raise funds to actively raid and rescue. I mean, think about that, that’s not just talking. That’s direct action. They are raiding places and saving children. It’s a major issue. I’m very happy to be a part of it.”
Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada

“If there was a Golden Globe for Street Art, I believe this mural would get the performance of the year for the quality, size, impact, meaning and performance done by Jorge. It is NYC, it is the biggest, it is very meaningful, it is very visible… and it is creative, elegant and beautiful.”
Thibault Decker, SAM co-founder.

Photography by:

– Ben Lau

– Jaime Rojo
– Raphael González
– Anuvat Thitibordin

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