ContraFuerte, by Miguel Antonio Horn. Philadelphia.
The piece was revealed to the public in 2021. Photo: @haydeecinha.

Do you know 'ContraFuerte'? The sculpture by Miguel Antonio Horn

The renowned work of this artist with Latino roots can be seen in Philadelphia.


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Installed in 2021 in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, in an alley off Cuthbert Street, is ‘ContraFuerte,’ an imposing sculpture that seeks to convey a profound message for the contemplation of humanity.

Created by emerging contemporary artist Miguel Antonio Horn and highlighted by Nuestro Stories as a “modern Latino history maker,” the work was commissioned under the Percent for Art program, which requires that a percentage of major renovation and construction budgets be mapped to site-specific public art installations.

About the Sculpture

Emerging as part of Philadelphia's commitment to enriching its urban landscape with meaningful artistic expression, 'ContraFuerte' takes the form of multiple human figures struggling to hold up a bridge by lifting each other up.

Deriving from one structure built against another to provide support, its name, according to the description of the striking art installation, seeks to represent humanity's eternal struggle, questioning its ability to unite and maintain the bridges that have been forged.

The public artwork, which can be seen day and night, was built with carved metal pieces that were interlocked into human shapes stacked one on top of the other, offering different perspectives depending on where it is viewed from.

Horn invites viewers to appreciate the process of creating 'ContraFuerte' through an Instagram profile, from the inspiration in the artist's mind, to its three-dimensional representation.

“Miguel Antonio Horn's ‘ContraFuerte’ encapsulates the power of human imagination, translated into tangible art that sparks contemplation and fosters dialogue. And there’s no doubt that his Latino culture has influenced his style,” highlights Nuestro Stories.

About Horn

Miguel Antonio Horn is a sculptor from Philadelphia with Colombian and Venezuelan roots and a decidedly Mexican influence in his work.

Certified in 2006 by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Horn was also a dedicated five-year apprentice to Mexican artist Javier Marín.

He has been noted in the art community for creating large format sculptures using digital and analog processes in a variety of media.

His artworks have been exhibited at the Tamaulipas Museum of Contemporary Art, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the University of the Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Vancouver Biennale.

Horn, who has several permanent public installations in the Philadelphia region, Canada, and Mexico, has received grants for workshops and artwork locally and internationally.

From 2011 to 2019, he contributed to the exhibition and public outreach programming for the West Philadelphia artist-run Traction Company, and later founded El Cubo, in the Parkside neighborhood of Philadelphia as a space for experimental projects and programming.

If you live in Philadelphia or are close to visiting it, be sure to visit this inspiring and impressive work of unlimited Latino creativity and talent.


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