What the H!

Harlem nights are lit up, thanks to a two year project that has come to fruition in the form of an illuminated giant “H” suspended from the Riverside Drive Viaduct at the corner of 125th street and 12th avenue.  The ‘H’ in Harlem is the largest public art installation in the History of Harlem, measured at 66 feet wide and 35 feet tall.  Comprised of aluminum, steel, and lights, the sculpture is a juxtaposition of white plasma lighting in the “H” vs LED-lights in the oval frame.  The size of a tick tack, plasma bulbs are full spectrum emitting twice the luminosity of a street light, LEDs have small slivers of the spectrum which are amplified here to create visibility but not connectivity.

Artist Bentley Meeker, a Harlem resident for 13 years, is known for juxtaposing different types of light.  He believes that light as a medium and not just a tool evokes an interesting multi-sensory experience, through juxtaposition it is intended for the viewer to heighten their relationship to light.  “The upshot in all of my work is to create a relationship between humanity and light.  It goes beyond visibility.”  Meeker is the author of “Light x Design: 20 Years of Lighting” has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art and Burning Man Festival, and is well known for work by his event lighting company catering to many high profile clients.

The project is a collaboration between West Harlem’s Community Board 9, The NYC Department of Transportation, Th 125th Street Business Improvement District, The West Harlem Art Fund, and the artist, in commemoration of the culturally vibrant energy of Harlem.

“The ‘H’ in Harlem” will be on view through September 25th

for more information on the artist Bentley Meeker please click here