As the Landscape of New York City changes, so do the people of surrounding neighborhoods. Amidst those changes, a new kind of artist has begun to emerge, using unique styles and innovative techniques to express their vision of the evolving world around them. The ideas expressed in their work are a direct reflection of the society and culture we live in today. Jordan Baker- Caldwell is a perfect example of this new kind of artist.
Jordan a rising talent in the art world was born in New York City, and raised on the eclectic streets of Harlem as his backdrop to his childhood. When Jordan was growing up back in the ’90s, Harlem was not the gentrified neighborhood it has become. However, with the changes have come new opportunities for the arts.
As an artist and metal sculptor, his work explores spatial and interpersonal relationships with shapes, curves and angles. He masterfully weaves together contemporary cultural references and classical ideals of form and balance. Jordan’s artistry combines found and fabricated objects to create an enlivened visual narrative. He is interested in capturing the essence of a moment in solid form. He creates each sculpture as a still frame from an elaborately choreographed dance.
Jordan began his journey as an artist at the age of eight. He started out drawing, and quickly moved on to creating small clay sculptures that he would exhibit at his school. Both his father a musician and his mother an award-winning jewelry designer, knew the value of the arts and encouraged his growth every step of the way. Jordan knew the path he wanted to take as an artist at a young age and as he matured his transition to working in metal felt like a natural progression.
After graduating from Alfred University with a BFA. He has worked in metal for 10 years, but also incorporates other mediums into his work such as wood and ceramics. He recently had a solo show at Renaissance Fine Art Gallery entitled “Rare Earth.” The inspiration for the show came from the people and energy of New York and centered around the creation of what he referred to as “Modern Artifacts.” His artwork for this show commemorated the present with a series of abstract forms and faces cut from sheets of steel, bronze and brass.
Jordan has been a part of many exhibitions over the years, the latest being the Flux Art Fair, an outdoor exhibition that takes place from now through June 30th in Marcus Garvey Park (Madison Avenue East 120th Steet). His piece, “Golem,” is currently on view in the park near 121st Street and Madison Avenue. Golem stands at about 10-ft in height, and resembles a large abstracted face, made of colorful pieces of scrap metal, including pieces from New York Yellow Cabs, Chinese Food Woks, trucks and vans. Its patchwork look is representative of the different cultures and people of Harlem, paying homage to the history of the neighborhood, while embodying its present spirit of growth. To make it their own, the surrounding community donated some of the scrap metal to create this special piece, which the people have affectionately nicknamed “The Neighborhood Protector.”
Jordan is currently in the final stages of an exciting project involving the creation of a 9-ft tall steel sculpture named “Ascension,” that will become a permanent outdoor installation in the heart of Midtown Manhattan this summer. Ascension is a large, tubular sculpture made of Cor-Ten steel that appears to be balancing on its edge. The piece embodies the idea of growth, and serves as a reminder to stay present and to engage with the world in a caring thoughtful manner.