15. Public art installation by Maurice Harris opens at the Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center and the Art Production Fund will continue its Art in Focus partnership by presenting a public art installation by Los Angeles-based floral artist, photographer, and founder of Bloom & Plume, Maurice Harris. On view from September 7, 2021, the series of photographs installed at Rockefeller Center are primarily from Harris’ Shades of Blackness Vol. 2 #untouched #nofilter #naturalopulence and Shades of Blackness Vol. 3 Don’t Touch My Hair series. In particular, both series aim to investigate how people of color find their beauty and agency — a journey which Harris himself has and continues to undertake.
A selection of the images in the installation will be presented as vinyl murals and feature portraits of family and community members cast by Harris for their natural beauty. They will be set against a backdrop of gold surrounded by floral compositions assembled by hand — giving each piece a human touch. Empty floral frames alongside the images will also push viewers to consider themselves within the installation. This section of the installation will be located at 10, 30, and 50 Rockefeller Plaza, the street and concourse levels of 45 Rockefeller Plaza, and outside of Rockefeller Plaza. In addition, a mixed-media portion of the installation will be placed in the vitrine spaces of the lobby at 45 Rockefeller Plaza. It will highlight Harris’ niece Elyse, who the artist considers to be his muse. Through creating full-size portraits of Elyse set among lush foliage, Harris hopes to reframe the black experience and showcase a world in which the violence typically inflicted upon women of color does not exist.