My work has often examined how art is understood and utilized in interior spaces. In this piece, I was challenged to think about how art functions in exterior spaces in relation to architecture as an adjacent object, like the ships docked nearby.
About the Project
In April, GlaxoSmithKline officially opened its new double LEED Platinum certified facility in the Navy Yard. Designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern, the building has been widely praised for its creativity and modernity. To compliment the aesthetic, a public art sculpture, Five Standards (Dazzle), now stands just outside the building’s main entrance. The piece is the first large-scale, permanent outdoor work by Philadelphia artist Virgil Marti.
He references those ships directly in the piece; the name itself pays homage to dazzle, a type of early twentieth century naval camouflage. The sculpture is comprised of five sixteen-by-seven-foot powder-coated steel and mirror-polished stainless steel structures resembling looking glasses; the design fits seamlessly alongside the GlaxoSmithKline facade, crafted to recall a large transparent ship docked in the Navy Yard.
According to the artist, the shadows and reflections of the sculpture produce a sense of flowing water underneath, creating the perfect compliment for the large ship.
Production of the sculpture was managed by Mural Arts and the work is on permanent display at 5 Crescent Drive.