It’s hard to believe that almost ten years now separate us from September 11, 2001, a tragic, world-changing day forever seared in our memories as we watched the attacks unfold on CNN or encountered it firsthand on the streets of New York and elsewhere. As the anniversary approaches and the discussion begins on how best to remember and retell the events of that day artist Ramón Espantaleón has begun work his personal response. A native of Madrid, Espantaleón not only endured 9/11 while living in the United States, but returned home to experience the Madrid train bombings in 2004. First Apple is an ambitious work that seeks to recreate various scale models of New York City and in some cases to map these three dimensional renderings to the Twin Towers themselves. To create the base Espantaleón painstakingly constructed Manhattan in clay by forming 31,920 volumetric units each representing actual buildings, at a scale of 1/65. These volumes were then used to create pixelated city blocks from which he cast silicon molds that could in turn be used to reproduce each block with epoxy resin and polyurethane. This reproducible method allowed for a potentially unlimited exploration of space, color, material (and in some cases typography) resulting in the varied forms of architectural model pointillism you see above.
In total there are 11 individual artworks soon to be displayed in Madrid and an additional 11 Espantaleón seeks to display in New York. Learn about the project via his web site Landspot. A huge thanks to Ramon for sharing his incredible work with Colossal, and thanks to our mutual friend Jeff for making the introduction!