Jaume Plensa, Water’s Soul, 2020. Courtesy Gray Chicago/New York. Artwork © Jaume Plensa Studio. Photo: Timothy Schenck.

Have you noticed the 80-foot sculpture on the edge of Newport Pier in Jersey City? “Water’s Soul” by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa depicts a woman with her finger to her lips. She appears to be “shushing” the NYC skyline. The artwork was commissioned by Newport developer Lefrak and Simon Property Group. Plensa’s art installations can be found in Spain, France, Japan and Germany, among other places and his sculptures are frequently giant-sized heads or torsos.

Jaume Plensa, Water’s Soul, 2020. Courtesy Gray Chicago/New York. Artwork © Jaume Plensa Studio. Photo: Timothy Schenck.

A dedication for “Water’s Soul” took place on October 21 and a new walkway on the Hudson River waterfront is now open for year-round public access. The sculpture was created in the artist’s studio in Barcelona and shipped to the site in 23 containers. But what does it mean?

Jaume Plensa, Water’s Soul, 2020. Courtesy Gray Chicago/New York. Artwork © Jaume Plensa Studio. Photo: Timothy Schenck.

“It is my wish for ‘Water’s Soul’ to become an icon for Newport and a landmark that visually connects it with New York City across the Hudson River,” says Plensa. “Just as ‘Water’s Soul’ acts to unite the city of Jersey City and New York City, we are reminded that water is the great public space that unites and embraces communities as well as people around the world.”

“The water, when it moves, makes a special sound, very special,” Plensa said in a interview suggesting the message is “to keep silent…to listen to the profound noise of the water talking to us.”

“Water’s Soul” will be a permanent fixture in its new home on the waterfront.

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