Photo by Cody Rasmussen

Title of Work: Newark Portal Flow

Artists: Gera & Werc
Hometown: Gera was raised in Newark; Werc is from Mexico; both live in Brooklyn
On The Web:
Instagram: @w3rc, @geraluz

(As told by Gera): “When we heard about the project, we were so excited because we love research, and we love history, and public art and community empowerment is what we’re focused on. So we liked the guidelines, where the art had to tell something about the city. With Portal Flow, we decided to create our own iconography. So it’s not the Statue of Liberty you see on the mural, it’s Newark’s Lady Liberty. She represents the earth, the spirit of flight and its creatures, like the cranes in the Passaic River. The Port of Newark, on the right, represents the male, the mind and the industries that shaped the city. The male and female meet, and magic follows. The waters move, the cranes fly and the energy is alive in all the fish and ships carrying their goods. Every element in the mural is symbolic. The fish in the mural is a brook trout, the New Jersey state fish. The lion in the center of the design is an homage to the architectural ornaments of Penn Station. The containers are a recurring element of the port. They reflect Newark’s international economy and public art…The project was special for me because I grew up in Newark, and my grammar school was two blocks away from where we were painting. Now when I come home and I’m out with my family, we’ll be doing something like picking up barbecued chicken and the guy at the counter will go, ‘Oh, you’re the artist.’ My family loves it. They’re so proud.”

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