Updated: Sep 23, 2020
This summer (2020), I toured some of our fabulous South Florida cities. In particular, I was looking to photograph art sculptures representing each city’s display of expression and its culture. I wanted to know what is beyond just what we see in each city and write a blog post on it.
South Florida is so rich and diverse in culture. It seemed like a fun field trip and a great excuse to venture out during COVID-19 and break up my routine. I started in the city of Coral Gables, a Mediterranean revivalist city full of tropical landscapes and home to the University of Miami. The City Beautiful, as they like to call it, is known for many landmarks such as the Biltmore Hotel, where Al Capone stayed many times, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, the Merrick House, and the famous crystalline Venetian pool.
Coral Gables city art is displayed at Le Jeune Road (42nd Ave) and Coral Way (SW 24th st) across City Hall. “Pause” is a luminescent, ontological artwork that mysteriously disappears as you drive by. The artist of this beautiful piece, Rafael Barrios, is an internationally recognized Venezuelan-American sculptor. Barrios was born in Louisiana and studied as a young man in Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, Venezuela. In his later years, he studied Fine Arts in Canada and the United States. He masters ontological curiosity art. In “Pause,” Rafael represents the human mind as it “levitates,” literally hitting a pause button just as you would while watching a movie.
My interpretation of this piece is stopping all the noise in life and pausing: smelling the roses, carpe diem, taking in what matters most, and hitting the reset button. I genuinely enjoyed knowing what is behind this fabulous masterpiece that disappears before your very eyes. I invite you to see it for yourself, especially at night, when its vibrant color stands out and brings modern art alive amid a very traditional city.