Release Date: Jun 27, 2014

Nearness by Arlés Del Rio
July 8–August 18, 2014
Broadway plazas between 42nd & 44th Streets and Duffy Square at Broadway & 46th Street

Nearness 2

(New York, N.Y.) June 27, 2014 — Social, political, and cultural boundaries will be tested and (literal) barriers broken with Arlés del Rio’s interactive installation in Times Square this summer. Nearness will be installed in the plazas of Times Square from July 8–August 18, 2014. The installation is presented by Times Square Arts in partnership with Cuban Artists Fund and supported by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

In this installation, del Rio uses space and physical barriers to force visitors to focus on breaking through what is forbidden to achieve their individual longings. Nearness consists of 17 life-sized sculptures—made of galvanized steel, iron, and concrete—that incorporate human cutouts of various sizes, creating play between the artwork and the audience. The silhouettes allow participants to pass through the panels which metaphorically represent the social, political, cultural and personal barriers that keep us away from one another.

Arlés del Rio said, “Nearness deals with restrictions, distance, the forbidden, how what you long for can be achieved despite impediments. Persevering silhouettes going in and out trespass social, political, cultural and personal barriers, seeking to solve an uncertainty trapped in human illusion.”

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “Arles del Rio's installation demonstrates the continued need for individuals to break through barriers, both literally and metaphorically, in order to create a greater sense of acceptance and togetherness. We felt his work has particular resonance at a time of reconstruction in Times Square, when portions of the Square are off limits. Del Rio allows us to invert the notion of restriction by making his fences symbolic gateways for people.” 

Carlos Pomares, Executive Director of the Cuban Artists Fund, said, “The Cuban Artists Fund is pleased to collaborate with Times Square Arts on our fifth art project which underscores the significance of presenting exceptional artistic expression in non-traditional settings, enabling public access for thousands. This ongoing dialog between our two distinct cultures demonstrates the common values we share as one people.”

This is the fifth collaboration between Times Square Arts and the Cuban Artists Fund. Past projects include Goodbye My Love by Esterio Segura (2013); Watching You! by Leslie Sardiñas (2012); 42nd Street Mural by Sofia Maldonado (2010); and Black Sun by Alexandre Arrechea (2010).

Media Opportunity with the Artist:  The artist and members of Times Square Arts and Cuban Artists Fund will be available to the media on Tuesday, July 8 at 11:00 a.m. on Broadway, between 43rd and 44th Streets.
R.S.V. P. to Daniela Stigh at

Installation Schedule:
July 8 – 19  Broadway between 43rd & 44th Streets
July 20 – August 1 Broadway between 42nd & 43rd Streets
August 2 – 9  Broadway between 43rd & 44th Streets
August 10 – 18 Duffy Square at Broadway & 46th Street


Arlés del Rio was born on November 6th, 1975, in Havana, Cuba. This Cuban artist has participated in many national and international exhibitions including The XI Havana Biennial, and his public installation "Fly away" was part of the Behind the Wall Project also exhibited at The XI Havana Biennial and The 8th Floor Gallery in NYC. Recently, Arlés participated in collective exhibitions such as "Premio Maretti" and "Stealing Base". He was nominated for the 2012-13 Vermont Studio Center Fellowship Award sponsored by the Reed Foundation. His work is part of private and institutional collections in the US, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland and Greece.

Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by ArtPlace America and ArtWorks. Visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @TSqArts.

Cuban Artists Fund, founded in New York City in 1998, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to supporting artists of Cuban ancestry and providing the public with programs aimed at creating broader appreciation for Cuban arts and its global impact both historically and in today’s society. Specifically, CAF supports artists by helping to identify resources and people to create networks for Cuban artists, arts and culture groups, and cultural exchanges. CAF has a particular focus on presenting and nurturing artistic work by Cuban artists in New York City. Visit for more information, or find us on Facebook and Twitter @CubanArtistsFnd.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund advances social change that contributes to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Visit Follow us on Twitter @RockBrosFund

Media Contacts:
For Times Square Arts:
Gia Storms (212) 452-5205│
Daniela Stigh (212) 843-8269 │