Out of Many, One
A composite portrait of anonymous young men from different ethnic backgrounds. The artwork gives homage to the diversity that is at the core of what being an American is and celebrates this in a time of continued racial bias.
The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery has commissioned me to create a six-acre portrait on the National Mall in Washington DC. The “face-scape,” was created out of 2,000 tons of sand, 800 tons of soil and 8 miles of string. It is so large, that it can be viewed from space.
Titled “Out of Many, One” (the translation of E Pluribus Unum) the portrait was rendered using high accuracy satellite topography technology which positioned 10,000 wooden pegs that draw out the piece. It is a composite portrait of anonymous young men from different ethnic backgrounds that I met and photographed while walking on the National Mall. Visitors can experience the face-scape by walking through it, from the top of the Washington Monument, while flying into and out of Washington, DC, or via images taken by satellite.
The installation began in early September and was inaugurated on October 1, 2014. In its entirety, this work was made possible by donors and in-kind donations. Since “Out of Many, One” is made purely of organic materials, it will be tilled back into the soil at the end of October fulfilling my prerequisite that my work have no environmental impact.