“A Flag. A River. A City.”
The mural focuses on the City of Newark’s flag, the Passaic River and the artist’s ongoing body of work, Prayer Bead. All these components coalesce into a striking, fluid public piece. The prayer beads are abstract orbs — a recurring part of various religious traditions. These orbs are usually organized into lemniscates, analemmas, circles, and knots. The colors of these beads reference the West’s embrace of the psycho-spiritual belief system behind Chakras. These three aspects activate a surface (i.e. an interior and exterior wall).
The artist: David D. Oquendo
David D. Oquendo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in New Jersey. His practice revolves around the development of a quasi-spiritual universe. He creates large renderings on exterior and interior spaces that are informed by the environment of in which he is.
Oquendo’s education introduced him to Newark. In 2009, he completed his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University – Newark, earning a BFA in Painting and a Minor in Art History. In 2012, he earned an MFA in Painting from Montclair State University. Oquendo has shown work in New Jersey, New York, Florida, and the United Kingdom. He has also created several murals throughout New Jersey, and New York. Currently, Oquendo is an arts educator through The Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University-Newark and an art teacher at Great Oaks Charter School in Newark, NJ.
This is Oquendo’s first large-scale public mural in the City of Newark.