Cuban Born, American street artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada has just finished painting the biggest mural in New York City titled “Reflection” that advocates against child trafficking and child labour.
The mural has been recognised as the biggest mural in New York City with the total size being 2.290 sqm. (44 m high x 52 m wide). Jorge’s message is BIG… put a STOP to child trafficking and slavery. Currently there’s over a hundred million children that are in slavery today, with more than 22,000 innocent children that die every year due to work exploitation.
The colossal piece with a message to match 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 Organisation of the United Nations for its 100 years anniversary.
“The fact that the project was based on child labour and child slavery was something that was
actually very, very important to me. It’s the kind of project that I want to be involved in, so I was very excited with that.” Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada
“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.” Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada
“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.” Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada
“If there was a Golden Globe for Street Art, I believe this mural would get the performance of
the year for the quality, size, impact, meaning and performance done by Jorge. It is NYC, it is the biggest, it is very meaningful, it is very visible… and it is creative, elegant and beautiful.” Thibault Decker, SAM co-founder.
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