Whether soaring 20 feet above a bustling city street or punctuating a serene park, Jorge Blanco’s vibrant, aluminum sculptures are instantly recognizable. The playful silhouettes—depicting everything from human forms in motion to fruit and abstract shapes—are his vehicle for spreading joy. “Art is communication and feeling,” says the Sarasota-based artist, whose practiced sculpture for nearly 50 years. “I always have the same intention in my work: communicate happiness, energy and enthusiasm.”
Blanco’s penchant for art began in his native Venezuela. As a child, he discovered Auguste Herbin’s colorful and geometric paintings, which had a profound impact on his work. While Blanco’s early sculptures portrayed darker subjects, his artistic language shifted to express a more positive point of view upon meeting his wife, Elena, in 1984. “The world has two sides,” Blanco explains. “One is sad, scary and painful, whereas the other is about beauty, smiling and comfort. I choose to focus on the latter because it is encouraging.”
Bold primary hues or bright white coloring are hallmarks of his work, which include 30 permanent public sculptures, in addition to private commissions, throughout the U.S. and abroad. His pieces directly reflect the inspiration he finds in day-to-day life, whether that be sports or the color of a piece of fruit.
Before embarking on a new sculpture, Blanco closely surveys the site where the work will live, observing shadows cast by the sun, wind conditions, vegetation and surrounding architecture. Each design originates as a humble paper sketch, evolving into a model and then a technical drawing before reaching its final machine-cut, powder-coated form. “It’s important to me that people smile when they see my work,” Blanco muses. “It is a gift that encourages me to continue working.”