Public Art Fund Unveils ~ Elle Pérez: from sun to sun




at Morningside/hancock place

Public Art Fund launched a multi-work installation, extending through 100 sites across New York City. The installation, sun to sun, is the work of photographer Ellie Pérez, and consists of a suite of sixteen new photographic works displayed on bus shelters in over thirteen neighborhoods citywide. We caught some of the images along 125th Street in Harlem, and one along Madison Avenue in El Barrio ~ sharing below.

Frederickk Douglass Blvd (8th Ave)

Ellie Pérez: sun to sun is meant to offer the public a moment to engage with photography at larger-than-life scale and to encounter works during their daily routines. The image above is located on the north side of 125th Street, on the west side of Frederick Douglass Boulevard, across the street from the Magic Johnson Theater. In the distance, you can see the mosaic, Spirit of Harlem created by artist Louis Del Sarte.

At Morningside/hancock place

The friends and family members captured in Pérez’s photographs illustrate their impactful relationships – many extending over 15 years. By focusing on the facets of New York’s urban landscape that are a product of time, they draw attention to the subtle histories woven into the city’s fabric.

The image above, located on 125th Street at the intersection of Morningside Avenue and Hancock Place, sits next to the tiny Roosevelt Triangle Park alongside the Richard Hunt bronze sculpture, Harlem Hybrid.

At St Nicholas Avenue & 125th Street

“Elle Pérez observes the beauty of their surroundings and captures the humanity of these places, cumulatively revealing a kind of meditative self-portrait,” says Public Art Fund Assistant Curator Katerina Stathopoulou. “Pérez’s new body of work creates a powerful synergy between familiarity and abstraction, achieved through photography’s precision in describing surfaces. We are excited for the public to experience these large-scale works whether on their daily commute or while exploring neighborhoods, and hope they inspire points of connection and conversation.”

At Amsterdam & 125th Street

This collaboration between Public Art Fund and JCDecaux establishes a new exhibition platform for the non-profit, bringing two, 14-week solo exhibitions a year to 100 of JCDecaux’s advertising spaces on bus shelters across all five boroughs. The exhibition series will create a continuously evolving platform to present artistic voices at street-level for all New Yorkers.

For the initial iterations, one hundred bus shelters will serve as spaces to showcase the work of photographers, enabling artists to create topical new bodies of work in New York City. This collaboration builds on Public Art Fund’s rich history of transforming the city’s ubiquitous advertising spaces, including the seminal exhibition series Messages to the Public (1982-90), which brought art to Times Square’s first digital billboard with 80+ artists including Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, Lorna Simpson, and David Wojnarowicz; the group exhibition Commercial Break (2017), which featured digital works by 23 artists on advertising platforms across the city; and most recently Ai Weiwei’s citywide exhibition Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (2017), for which Public Art Fund presented works on 100 JCDecaux bus shelters across all five boroughs, among other traditional advertising platforms, for the first time.


Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 125th Street

The image above is located on 125th Street, just east of Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and across the street from the famed Apollo Theater, with renovation on the historic Victoria Theatre just a few doors further east.

125th Street on the west side of Lenox Avenue

The images above and below are on either side of the very busy Malcolm X Boulevard/Lenox Avenue at 125th Street. In bright pink, you can see Victoria Secret, next to Olive Garden, next to Whole Foods. Alongside Whole Foods (corner of Lenox Avenue at 125th Street) is the current NYC Department of Cultural Affairs installation by artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Stop Telling Women to Smile ~ which is across the street from what was the historic Lenox Lounge (now a Wells Fargo Bank).

125th Street on the East side of Lenox Avenue

In the image above, the north west corner of Lenox Avenue at 125th Street will become the new headquarters for the National Urban League along with a Civil Rights Museum.

Madison Avenue at 106th Street in East Harlem

The image above was found in front of the George Washington Carver Houses on the corner of Madison Avenue at 106th Street. We believe this is the description for this photograph, “In one photograph, a student and an outdoor education teacher are shown planting evergreen shrubs and raspberries in the garden of their public school in the Bronx.”  Directly across 106th Street is the Jackie Robinson Educational Complex ~ home of the Graffiti Hall of Fame (the 2019 Edition of The Graffiti Hall of Fame to take place August 24-25).

If you walk West 125th Street early in the morning before the shops open, you can catch many of the original Franco the Great gates, painted in the 1970s.


Throughout the summer and into the fall, we hope to explore many more of the bus shelters in El Barrio, the Bronx and more.

Elle Pérez: from sun to sun is curated by Public Art Fund Assistant Curator Katerina Stathopoulou and will be on view through November 24, 2019.