GEORGE SÁNCHEZ-CALDERÓN

How to Win Friends and Influence People, 2018
Site Specific Installation and performance at Faena Beach
Ritual Burn

Wood, vinyl photocopy, pyrotechnics


George Sanchez Calderon’s artistic practice has involved large-scale installations and actions that responded directly to their context.

His reliance on the iconography of architecture has been a recurring subject of his artistic vocabulary. He has exhibited at the Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz collection, Margulies Collection, MAM, Pamm and the Village of Bal Harbour.



How to Win Friends and Influence People was a facsimile of the “Cape Cod” model home from Levittown, NY. In 1947 the Levittown development ushered in a new era emblematic of the “American Dream” and is considered to be the first suburban community built in the United States.

The sculpture was first exhibited as part of his installation Pax Americana in 2012 at the Village of Bal Harbour. Bal Harbour and Levittown were both incorporated in the same year and were both post-war era American Developments.

Given the recent fires in California, the house becomes a symbol of displacement, a ritual healing, and reminder of the intertwined relationship between urban development and climate change. The house was set ablaze on December 4th, a day associated with Saint Barbara, who in Yoruba traditions in Cuba is syncretized with the orisha Changó (Shangó), God of thunder, lightning and war.

Responding to the imminent housing needs in the U.S. following the Second World War, “Levittown” came to personify a tangible affirmation and aspirations of many individuals. During the same period of time that Levittown was being built, President Eisenhower began developing the American Interstate Highway System, which assisted the process of urban plight.

Ironically, sixty years later, Americans are returning to live in “urban centers” leading many scholars and academicians to acknowledge a perceptual shift in what we consider to be the “American Dream”.


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Historical Contex

The 1947 residential development known as “Levittown” is considered to be the first suburban community built in the United States. Responding to the imminent housing needs in the U.S. following the Second World War, “Levittown” came to personify a tangible affirmation and aspirations of many individuals. During the same period of time that Levittown was being built, President Eisenhower began developing the American Interstate Highway System, which assisted the process of urban plight. Ironically, sixty years later, Americans are returning to live in “urban centers” leading many scholars and academicians to acknowledge a perceptual shift in what we consider to be the “American Dream”.