Nnamdi Okonkwo’s Sculpture Depicts Three Women ‘Friends’

“Friends” graces the front of Fifth Avenue on the Park, a condo building in Harlem.

Harlem, NEW YORK—At first glance, there appear to be three voluptuous women sitting together, hanging out, in front of one of Harlem’s recently constructed condominiums.

The bronze sculpture of three “Friends” by Nnamdi Okonkwo was installed in July 2010 in front of Fifth on the Park, a high rise on the corner of 120th Street and Fifth Avenue with views of Marcus Garvey Park.

The plaque on the sculpture explains Okonkwo’s concept: “The large and abundant forms are not only aesthetically pleasing to me in their softness, simplicity and expansiveness. But they also serve to express a monumental and larger-than-life personality.”

Born in Nigeria, Okonkwo lives and works in Fayetteville, Ga.

Photos by Arts Observer

There are 4 comments

  1. Mary Bolling

    I just saw Friends today as I departed NYC from a brief roadtrip. It captivated me and I had to stop to get a photo. It is magnificently stunning and I admire it very much. Upon doing further research about the sculpture, I discovered an article about the controversy and negative comments that ensued when it was initially placed. I could not have imagined! I am so happy and thankful that this beautiful artwork survived the controversy and was allowed to remain in place. Kudo to the artist, Nnamdi Okonkwo!!! I love your work.

  2. Sharla Allard

    I purchased Mr. Okwonko’s “Seraphim” at this November’s Paradise Art Festival in Marlboro, Massachusetts. He is the humblest, most joyful, friendly and accepting sculptor/artist I have met to date. And to remain humble and loving to all when one has achieved such renowned success in the world is, I think, really something to celebrate and, hopefully, to emulate!

  3. Mariaroza Opperman

    Nnamdi your art is amazing and I so appreciate the fact that you show women especially as the people that God has created them to be. They depict real women like most of us are, curvaceous, warm, friendly and communicating with one another. Too many of our daughters are influenced by the unnatural models they see around them, women starving themselves to portray images of stick people. I would love to have a piece of your art, when are you coming to Philadelphia? Would love for you to display your work here. Please let me know if you would be interested to come to the city of brotherly love. As I am from South Africa, I do recognize the essence of the figures you do. Praise God for you, your lovely wife and children. Continue to glorify him in all that you do.

  4. zoila hernandez

    i just wanted to say that i watched a clip of Mr. Okwonko and think on top of him being a spectacular sculptor he is an inspiring person! : ) wonderful to see how God has inspired his life long passions and his dedication to his family. OUTSTANDING!

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