For the last 10 years, Jordan Baker-Caldwell has created the iconic award statues for the Harlem’s Fashion Row Award Ceremony, an annual event honoring multicultural designers, industry leaders and entertainers for their acievements in the arts. Recipients include Producer Swizz Beatz, Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue Elaine Welteroth, Stylist June Ambrose, Next Management President Kyle Hagler, Model/Entrepreneur Audrey Smaltz, Stylist Eric Archibald, Beyonce’s Stylist Ty Hunter, Model Tyson Beckford and Actress Tracee Ellis Ross. Jordan sat down with Amanda Perry to discuss his latest round of awards.
What is the significance of the sculptures you’ve crafted for this year’s awards?
This year I wanted to draw inspiration from the very first HFR sculpture that I made years ago; an award that embodies a sense of power and brilliance, exemplified by the Awardees inspiring achievements in the arts.
The piece itself is a combination of the figurative and the abstract; a human form blended with bold geometric shapes. The angular lines of the piece carry a sense of purposeful direction, while the sweeping curves allude to a feeling of thoughtfulness and creativity.
When and why did you begin working primarily with metals as your medium of choice?
While I work in both clay and wood, metal became my primary medium over 10 years ago. Metal has the amazing ability to transcend its own perceived limitations. It can be both strong, heavy and structural, yet appear light and wistful.
Where does your vision for your sculptures come from?
From everywhere and anywhere: from the subtle curves along the ridge of a friend’s nose, to the movement of cars along a city intersection, to the flow of a crashing wave against the shore of a beach.
I am often drawn to the human form and implied gesture or movement. My work is the lens through which I interpret the world, and I let myself be inspired by whatever comes into my field of understanding, and filter it through my art.