Handforth proposes two pieces for the Metrorail pillars: Metrorail Votive (snakes and tags) and Metrorail Votive (conchs and candles) (2020). One is a cast pewter snake overlaying existing graffiti like a kind of physical drawing, reworking the zig-zags of the tags as the undulations of the serpent; though just a harmless garden snake, as natural as graffiti itself. The second votive is a conch shell and candle piece. The artist notes that “the massive concrete forms of the Metrorail cry out for nature’s intervention, so in their sheer brutality they become the blank paper for ephemeral sensitivity. Almost anything reads as something against a mass of nothing; and the Metrorail is a beautifully overbuilt minimal monument to halted urban progress, like some Neolithic ceremonial avenue heading inexorably south. Of course, the conch is dead, just a single lyrical full-body bone; but the candles are very much alive, fluid, changing and performative. They exist in time and in light, they are the language of intangibles just as the shell is the solid memory of another local fluid animal.”
Mark Handforth was born in Hong Kong. He is a sculptor based in Miami, Florida since 1992. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art at University College, London. He is recognized for his large-scale sculptures. In 2019, he exhibited “Trash Can Candles” at Modern Art, London.