Fordham Road is now a little more artsy.
On Monday, July 11, the Fordham Road Business Improvement District unveiled “Silver,” a 10-foot tall sculpture made out of recycled and found materials.
The sculpture sits on the south-side overpass at the intersection of Fordham Road and Grand Concourse. The installation is a collaboration between the Fordham Road BID, the Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program and Kingsbridge-based artist Christian Marche.
The Fordham Road BID had been working with DOT on aesthetic improvements to its area, so participating in the Urban Art Program made sense.
“We were working with DOT because we’re updating our overall master plan for beautification,” said Wilma Alonso, the BID’s executive director. “This program came along in our discussion because installing this piece of art would create momentum for other enhancements in the future.”
Alonso also said the sculpture has been attracting a lot of attention since it was installed.
“Hundreds of people stop every day, since its very edgy you to stop and look at it to really see it. It has been a huge success in our district,” she said.
The concept of using found and recycled materials came out of the BID’s recent environmentally-friendly kick.
“We had a meeting with Christian and we told him for this part of year we were pursuing ago green movement,” she said.
The BID has conducted several initiates to promote recycling within the past year. That helped Marche, 32, bring some of his own ideas to the project.
He tested out his vision by making a 4 x 1 foot prototype of the sculpture, leaving it out on the street. He would then hide around a corner and watch passerby’s reactions.
“From the very get go everyone liked it,” Marche said. “I had a lot of interest. DOT liked it, pretty much anyone who saw it, did.”
Marche was selected in part because he had a relationship with DOT through other Urban Art Program projects, and the fact that he was born, raised, and still lives in the Bronx.
He chose to paint the entire sculpture silver because he felt that the color grey, and the different shades of it, had been taking over various parts of his life, including the walls of his apartment.
“I became obsessed with the color silver,” he said. “I found it very soothing when I walked into my apartment.”
Marche attributed a lot of the sculpture’s popularity to its color.
“When you put a silver sculpture on the street it draws people in,” he said.
He also hypothesized that its many different parts all joined together make people want to take a closer look.
“The way the pieces interact depends on how close or far you are from it,” he said. “Further away, it looks like everything is very integrated. As you get closer, it fragments.”
Perhaps Marche’s favorite thing about the project is its elevated location. As a Bronx boy, he couldn’t have picked a better spot.
“If you ask anyone where the center of the Bronx is, a Yankee fan might say Yankee Stadium,” he said. “But that spot reminds me of a stage. That’s what I consider the center of the Bronx.”