Client: American Axel & Manufacturing
Location: Silao, Mexico
Completion date: 1999
Artwork budget: $150,000
Gerald Siciliano Studio Design
These images are of one of the two stainless steel relief panels commissioned by American Axle and Manufacturing of Detroit for their new corporate headquarters in Guanajuato, Mexico. Each 4 foot x 10 foot narrative panel chronicles the growth of both AAM and the historic Mexican city. The panels flank the reception desk in the main entrance that leads to the bronze figure group that is displayed at the entrance to the factory floor. The now more than 700,000 square foot corporate headquarters of AAM de Mexico is located in Guanjuato, Silao, Mexico.
Each of the two panels were designed to chronicle the growth and development of AAM (a GM spin off) as it entered and became a major force in the worldwide industry and marketplace. The design, durability and seamless integration into the existing floor plan were crucial to the client and architect. With the entry atrium bathed in natural light what is effectively achieved is an axonometric drawing in stainless steel with a three dimensionality and perspective view as the viewer walks past the ten foot panel. Employing an industrial, state of the art fabrication process these works mimic, take inspiration from and pay homage to the classic Detroit murals of Diego Rivera.
Taking highly identifiable imagery from the AAM investor publications and from hundreds of photo's of a working plant and the new site the artist worked closely with the facility director and corporate principals to develop the shop drawings necessary for the water jet cutting. Working closely with the water jet fabricator these drawings were 'translated' into the appropriate computer files, individually cut and then assembled under the artists supervision. Under the supervision of the artist the installation was performed by the site crew.
Photography of the two panels was hampered by 'logistical' problems with Mexican Customs who confiscated the professional still and video crews equipment and film leaving only the digital images on the artists camera.