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Cliff Garten’s “Los Angeles Opens Its Heart of Compassion” Put Forward for Architizer A+ Award

LOS ANGELES, California
March 04, 2015

Iconic Suspended Sculpture Hallmark of Architectural Renaissance in LA’s Historic Koreatown

(March 1, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA) Artist Cliff Garten’s “Los Angeles Opens Its Heart of Compassion” has been put forward for two Architizer A+ Awards. Considered a launching pad for architectural change and revitalization in the heart of LA’s historic Koreatown, the stunning suspended sculpture is under consideration for The Plus Category: Architecture + Light and for People’s Choice Award within the Architecture + Light category in the global architectural award program. Public voting and an international jury of art & design tastemakers will work in tandem to determine winners. Voting for the People’s Choice Award, open to professional and design enthusiasts of all varieties, will commence on March 17 through April 3 via

The selected piece is the latest example of Garten’s trademark and award-winning “civic sculptures” which brilliantly encompass architecture, landscape architecture, and urban infrastructure. The sculpture is situated between the two towers of The Vermont, a mixed-use development featuring retail and residential space, and covers the four floors of the building’s parking structure. It is comprised of a twenty-foot, three-dimensional sculpture suspended from a 75’ x 45’ transparent, undulating metallic screen. The twenty-foot sculpture consists of one hundred laser-cut aluminum petal-like abstractions of a lotus flower, bathed in an intense white light. The surrounding screen moves through a light show of lush changing colors that are enriched by its curved structure and deepened in relation to the amount of natural daylight. The motif of the lotus is carried through the plaza, in etched glass panels that line the public staircase leading from the plaza, to the second floor balcony overlooking the thoroughfare of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The lotus blossom is a recurrent and traditional symbol in Korean art, and its presence and abstraction in Garten’s piece integrates the unique cultural history of Koreatown while addressing the contemporary identity of the neighborhood today.

“There is no one Los Angeles,” states Garten. “But, there are many places within the City blending together, and always changing. The material transparency of ‘Los Angeles Opens Its Heart of Compassion’ and the registration of hundreds of colors on and through its surfaces approximate the shifting demographic of Los Angeles, where one place implodes upon another in a kind of urban kaleidoscope. The delight and strangeness of the colliding traditional and contemporary images held within the sculpture are what attracts attention from the street. The sculpture, like the City, is open to the possibility of its surroundings, embracing the pulse, and people.”

Articulating the past, present, and even future of a district, in a single piece is characteristic of Garten’s work. With more than fifty public sculptures across the United States and Canada, Garten is sought after for his ability to integrate art as an essential and inclusive component of the infrastructure. His repertoire of civic sculptures includes the Ken Hahn Bridge in Los Angeles, CA; the Corridor of Light in Arlington, VA, and Ribbons for the Art in Architecture Program of the General Services Administration at 50 United Nations Plaza in San Francisco, CA. Like its predecessors, one of “Los Angeles Opens Its Heart of Compassion” most significant features is its influence on the public plaza and street below. It, like Garten’s other pieces, changes ones perception of the street and the potential of the street as a place for art in public places. As Architect’s Newspaper states, “[Garten’s] pieces consist of LED-illuminated sculptures, street furniture, and even bridges that, while they visually dazzle, are also capable of transforming neighborhoods.”

“‘Los Angeles Opens Its Heart of Compassion’ is a point of convergence for the urban identity of Los Angeles. It is one part challenging sculpture and one cultural commentary, in an elegant nod to the many cultures that continue to comprise Los Angeles,” states Garten.

Cliff Garten’s “Los Angeles Opens Its Heart of Compassion” is under consideration for two Architizer A+ Awards: The Plus Category: Architecture + Light and People’s Choice: Architecture + Light. The Plus Category winner will be selected by jury and People’s Choice will be selected by public vote taking place March 17 – April 3, 2015. To vote, please visit Architizer A+ Awards winners will be announced on April 14, 2015. For more information about Cliff Garten, please visit