Site Specific, Public Art Project, Harbor Park Garage, Baltimore, April 2019
Look 70 feet up and 29 feet across—Edie Beaucage’s site-specific public art project is boldly suspended on the façade of the Harbor Park Garage located adjacent to the inner harbor of Baltimore. For the inaugural project of what will be a rotating exhibition space, Los Angeles-based painter Beaucage draws from her world of characters that populate non-linear narratives and fantastical spaces as they move through acts of work, passion, romance, and leisure. This vinyl translation of a composite trio of Beaucage’s paintings presents light and friendly characters who are casual and good-looking beacons of camaraderie and openness—a gigantic invitation for the citizens of Baltimore to enjoy being out and about in their town.
Created with large expressive brushstrokes, the figures are attired in bright yellow and magenta, stylish hoodies, pants, and boots—Beaucage’s characters function as shorthand for a range of philosophical concepts that undergird the artist’s production strategies. Drawing inspiration from Jacques Derrida’s “presence,” and Edward Titchener’s "empathy,” Beaucage creates congenial and approachable characters who stand alone and also interact with each other. Beaucage borrows from psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s notion of humans as "ultra-social" beings able to live in very large cooperative groups as they individually struggle with the ways they are perceived by each other.
This installation reflects Beaucage’s recurring interest for social connections in active city crowds. These new characters are musicians, DJs, dancers—some are even related to previous personalities from Beaucage’s past bodies of work. This time new names for the characters will come from Baltimoreans, since next month will begin a contest to win special prizes at the Harbor Front Parking Garage by naming this friendly trio. Art lives everywhere in Baltimore!