Artist: Jaume Plensa
Title: Minna, 2022
Medium: Stainless Steel, 16.3 ft x 12.3 ft x 16.4 ft
Location: Pride Park
Generously donated by Irma and Norman Braman to the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places Collection
Fascinated by the duality of the tangible and intangible, Jaume Plensa creates monumental sculptures that appear to transcend time and space, despite their formidable size. His works in the public realm are celebrations of life that elevate their own physical material to the unseeable.
In the mesh portrait Minna, Plensa explores the concept of the invisible in everyday life. For the artist, the most important things in life are invisible such as love, compassion, and hope. Paying homage to that concept, he distances himself from rendering specific individuals and instead lingers upon a sense of humanity made up of steel mesh, drawn in space. The stainless steel lines defining the topography of the skin are precise, illustrating how amazing our own form is from the outside. Yet, what remains amidst the subject’s delicate mesh also represents the intricacies of the inside, such as the inside of an ear. Plensa evades the need for completeness, instead stirring viewers to weave together the faces from material lines that define the final border between space and emptiness. Minna is the essence of this intervention–the unfinished face traversed by light, reminding viewers that we are all beautiful outside, but even more beautiful inside.
Standing at 16 feet tall, Minna floats weightlessly in a continuous dialogue between the material and immaterial. This serene portrait evokes a sense of stillness and serenity, despite being situated amidst the bustling urban landscape of Miami Beach. The ephemeral sculpture appears to shift in form from every angle, reaching almost total invisibility when the portrait seems to disappear amongst its surrounding. In the evening however, the sculpture takes its most dramatic form with the intricate mesh articulated by light. As light illuminates Minna, the collective dreams and potential of humanity have the capacity to celebrate.