Butterfly Keychain by ELE EME!


A metaphoric exploration through music and literature, which represents the migratory experience.

The main installation took place in June 2014 in Staten Island, New York, it is located at Richmond Terrace between Jewett Avenue, and Rector Street. It is still on display.

Around 1400 square feet of chain link fence was covered by a giant wave of over 18,000 vinyl butterflies, which will be surrounded by 10.000 blue plastic cups inserted into the fence. The combination of patterns gives shape to different iconic elements from New York City landscape.

This work is part a series called La Isla Bonita (The Beautiful Island) developed by Colombian artist Lina Montoya AKA Ele Eme, under the “Ele Eme Project” (LMProject.org), where through the completion of artistic interventions in public spaces, the project seeks not only beautification of urban environments but also an approach and interaction with the community.

Yellow Butterflies is inspired by music, is a tribute to magical realism and an analogy to freedom; it is also the redefinition of the monarch butterfly as an icon of migration, and pays homage to all those who have flown away from their beloved land looking for other scenarios and opportunities. It is the representation of the stories that emerge from the encounter of an individual with a new culture, refers to utopias, dreams, ideals and aspirations that inhabit the collective minds of the different communities.

Presented by the New York City Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program in partnership with El Centro del Inmigrante.

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Additional information

Weight14 oz