“Pacific Soul” by Jaume Plensa, located outside the Pacific Gate residential tower. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Internationally-renowned artist Jaume Plensa’s first public sculpture in San Diego was installed over the weekend at the landmark Pacific Gate residential tower under construction downtown.

The Barcelona native, who is known for creating monumental sculptures in cities across the world, said his 25-foot-high San Diego work is inspired by the nearby ocean.

“I hope my sculpture will be an icon for the city, embracing a diverse community which is always changing yet always intrinsically connected to the ocean,” he said.

“Pacific Soul” was installed at the corner of Pacific Highway and Broadway in front of Bosa Development‘s nearly complete, 41-story luxury residential tower. When it opens early this year, Pacific Gate will feature 215 residences priced from $1.1 million.

“We are passionate about elevating downtown San Diego onto the international stage,” said Nat Bosa, president of the company. “We are confident that Plensa’s international presence in the fine arts, and the millions of people his sculptures have touched, will bring attention and visitors from the around the world.”

The new sculpture, which was still behind construction fencing on Monday, is composed of ribbon-like characters from eight different alphabets that combine to create the shape of the human body.

Plensa’s other West Coast public installations include Endless V (2012) in the Beverly Gardens Park in Beverly Hills, Laura and Awilda (2014) in the collection of the Palm Springs Art Museum, and Echo, a monumental portrait in the collection of the Seattle Art Museum and installed at the Olympic Sculpture Park.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.