The colossal piece made by Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada that rises in the Westin NY Grand Central Hotel facade in Manhattan was curated by ONG Street Art For Mankind in collaboration with the International Labour Organization of the United Nations for its 100 years anniversary. The total size of the mural is 2.290 sqm. 44 m high x 52 m wide which makes it the biggest mural in New York. It took more than 1 month to complete the artwork. 210 liters between liquid and spray paint were used during the realization of the piece. It has been seen/reached by over 100.000 people.
The #ILO100Murals were created to commemorate a historic moment: the 100 years of the International Labour Organization. The ILO was established in 1919, after the First World War, on the understanding that universal and lasting peace would not be achieved without social justice.
Street Art For Mankind is a non-profit organization working with prominent street artists from all around the world to raise awareness on child slavery through the power of art.
About the idea depict in the mural, the artist said: 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 metres, 6 feet from side to side) to be able to paint within the iris the 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. So, 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. The idea of the green, the grass and the flowers is this uthopic idea of what childhood should be and the fact that this isn’t always the case. And I like the fact that was a juxtaposition to the concrete jungle, to all the brick and cement in the city.
One with the things I was very, very happy with SAM is that they are actually raising 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.
I can just imagine those poor parents trying to do something good for their children and their children disappearing and being sex slaves or being forced to work to death in horrific conditions. It’s a terrible reality.