In Celebration of Hip Hop’s 50th Anniversary, Interactive Installation ‘Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings’ by Sherwin Banfield Will Be on Public View at columbus park Until November 2023.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso today unveiled a public interactive sculpture honoring the life and legacy of Brooklyn’s hip-hop legend Christopher Wallace, also known as “The Notorious B.I.G.” or “Biggie Smalls.” In partnership with BRIC, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP), Dumbo Improvement District, and NYC Parks, Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings by Sherwin Banfield will be on public view in Downtown Brooklyn’s Columbus Park through November 2023, with an exclusive mix curated by DJ Mister Cee playing on solar-power speakers Mondays through Saturdays from 11am to 6pm. The multimedia sculpture celebrates B.I.G.’s Diasporic sound rooted in American, Jamaican, and African rhythms and enshrines his legacy of excellence and artistry in Brooklyn. At the afternoon unveiling, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, artist Sherwin Banfield, BRIC’s Chief Programming Officer Deron Johnston, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s President Regina Myer, and Dumbo Improvement District’s Sayar Lonial joined Brooklyn Borough President Antonio to make buttons, enjoy performances by DJ itsParlé and Victory Music & Dance Company, and give a (Notorious) B.I.G. welcome to the sculpture’s new home.

“It was Biggie who said the words that I live and lead by: ‘Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way,’” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Biggie knew that putting love in his lyrics meant everything from grieving in public to celebrating together; it meant talking about violence so we can finally end it and healing together as one people. His legacy is a challenge to us all to do better and do right by our neighbors, and I’m so happy to have the chance to honor him during hip hop’s 50th anniversary with this incredible sculpture for all of Brooklyn to enjoy. Hip hop is more than a genre, it’s a way of creating community, and this public art installation reflects that. Thank you to artist Sherwin Banfield for the beautiful sculpture, and thank you to BRIC, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP), Dumbo Improvement District, and NYC Parks for making this (Notorious) B.I.G. welcome possible.”

Artist Sherwin Banfield describes the public art installation as “a sustainable Sonic Sculptural tribute dedicated to the legacy of Christopher ‘The Notorious B.I.G.’ Wallace.” The art piece stands at nine feet tall, runs on solar power, and is made of bronze, resin, stainless steel, winterstone, wood, audio, and lighting. Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings is made possible by a grant from the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund, a partnership with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Dumbo Improvement District as part of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The sculpture was first unveiled in November 2022 at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge as part of the NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said, “Biggie changed the world of hip-hop and his lyrical skills inspired me and countless others. I’m proud to join Borough President Reynoso to celebrate the life and legacy of Brooklyn’s very own hip-hop legend.”

“This sculpture beautifully captures Biggie’s larger-than-life impact and legacy – for hip hop, for Brooklyn, and for all of New York City,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “Through his art, Biggie spread love, represented his neighborhood and his community, and influenced generations of musicians and artists across the world. I’m grateful to Sherwin Banfield for crafting such an innovative and unique tribute to this Brooklyn legend, and I thank Borough President Reynoso, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Dumbo Improvement District, and BRIC for helping to bring this piece to such a prominent location in downtown Brooklyn. This collaboration is a great example of how our Art in the Parks program can bring New Yorkers closer to bold new artistic projects while connecting us with our city’s diverse cultural history.”

“BRIC is thrilled to support this remarkable tribute to Biggie, the legacy of 50 years of Hip-Hop and the Planet of Brooklyn,” said Wes Jackson, President of BRIC. “Using the medium of sculpture as Sherwin Banfield has, is also a testament to the vast creativity within the Culture. Thank you to the Borough President and our partners, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Dumbo Improvement District, and NYC Parks, for bringing us all together around this tribute.”

“Today’s accompanying activation is a celebration of Brooklyn-born talent, and a legacy that continues generation after generation,” said Carmen Hernandez, Director of Youth and Family Programs at BRIC. “We are happy to partner with Victory Music & Dance Company and local teaching artists to bring this sculpture to life!”

“Downtown Brooklyn is an introduction to a unique history, sophistication and culture within Kings County. The Notorious B.I.G.’s connection to Downtown Brooklyn runs deep. Born & raised in Brooklyn, his poetry is peppered with mentions of his home town since his time attending Downtown’s George Westinghouse High School. ‘Spread Love, it’s the Brooklyn Way’ is a clear stand out of his artistic legacy,” said artist Sherwin Banfield. “By immortalizing The Notorious B.I.G into a respected sculpture, we introduce to Brooklynites, New Yorkers and his millions of fans around the world a unique cultural opportunity to experience this tribute in B.I.G.’s Downtown Brooklyn while adding diverse representation in New York’s public spaces. Thank you to the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund for making this tribute possible, to our Borough President for making this space a cultural destination on the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop and to BRIC for making this occasion a special memory for Brooklyn, New York and beyond. In the words of B.I.G. – Where Brooklyn at?”

“The projects made possible by the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund, such as Sherwin’s piece, position art as a way for the community to connect with Brooklyn’s rich cultural history,” said Regina Myer, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Biggie’s music was dedicated to emphasizing unity, love and hope — values that are as relevant in Brooklyn today as they were fifty years ago when hip-hop was born. We are thankful to the Borough President, the Dumbo Improvement District, BRIC, NYC Parks and Sherwin Banfield for championing the purpose of our Fund by bringing this incredible installation to another prominent location in our neighborhood.”

“This is such an incredible tribute to a Brooklyn icon,” said Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the Dumbo Improvement District. “We are so happy to be able to share this work with the whole borough.”