Seeing above it all

Detroit Art (6)

Overlooking a city that has received unwelcome international attention lately, the “Man in the City” sculpture project consists of 30 identical orange metal figures located on rooftops throughout Detroit.

As many observers have pointed out, the city of Detroit may be bankrupt but the people are full of talent and can-do spirit. John Sauve, a Detroit native, has exhibited his strikingly simple figures in several locations, including on New York City’s Governors Island. These 43” sculptures change the skyline, cause people to look up, and reward the urban explorer with each discovery.

The artist has also created the Sauvé Art Foundation, which brings a children’s educational dimension to the project. According to Sauve, it “…activates the skyline, and encourages people to look around. In this process of looking and finding, one re-assesses one’s own position in the world and becomes aware of one’s scale…(as well as reflecting on) alienation, ambition, anonymity and fame.”

The figures seem to be watching over a city that is in the process of finding new ways to work through old problems. In my imagination, these orange men see better things on the horizon.

Here is a set of photos I took around the city of Detroit last week.

– Sharon VanderKaay

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