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2011 Miami Times




Artist Rainer Lagemann Wants to Art Up Blah Metrorail Pylons

Categories: Art
When most people look at the Metrorail, they think nothing of the hundreds of gray columns supporting the 22-mile-long structure. When artist Rainer Lagemann looks at it, though, he sees a blank canvas for public art. 

He calls himself "an artist for the human body." Born in Germany, he only began welding in 2005 while living in California. Before that, he jumped between jobs in architecture and interior design around the world. In 2009 he left San Francisco to scope out the Miami art scene and after a brief stint in New York, has found a home in the 305 

His life-sized sculptures are modeled off poses made by sprinters, swimmers, and even yogis. A year and a half ago, he added the climbers to his repertoire. He sees this particular series as "young, hip, and body-oriented -- everything Miami is." 

Earlier this month he started a campaign on Kickstarter called "Climbers over Miami." His mission is to raise money to fund a public art project that would attach these figures to the "grey and sad looking" columns all along the Metrorail. He needs $3,500 to pay for the first sculpture if his dream will become a reality. He says his goal would ultimately be for 25 installments total so they can be found not only downtown, but on the entire length of the track. 

With backing from the non-profit Beethoven Society, he plans to creating the first one underneath the Brickell station. A primary wind tunnel test is necessary to ensure they're safe but once that is done, the next step would be to pick subsequent spots. 

So far he has raised about 40 percent of his goal. On the site, you can pledge anywhere from $1 to $9,900. Different donation levels come with unique incentives like a signed print of one of the climbers Lagemann created to one of 13 body part sculptures. 

"In the meantime I work on regular stuff for the galleries, but this is a project where I will not make any money but it's really dear to my heart."

Those wanting to donate can do so until September 5 via Kickstarter.

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