San Diego based artist John Asaro has partnered with FORGE to create an incredible one of a kind sculpture for the 1460 India project in San Diego's historic Little Italy neighborhood.
Designed to span the 1st to 4th floors of this 28-story apartment building, this stainless steel sculpture is 40 x 200 feet and encloses a 150-car automated parking garage. The sculpture is an abstract representation the fishing history of San Diego's Little Italy.
Asaro’s father, Frank, was 16 when he came to Little Italy in 1922 to join his older brother. There he met his future wife, Josephine, who worked in one of the fishing community’s tuna canneries. Frank joined many other Italian and Portuguese immigrants working on the tuna boats, but the fisherman’s life didn’t appeal to him, so he bought a small building on India Street and opened a barber shop. The family lived in a few rooms behind the business.
John was born in 1937 and he remembers a bustling community where people of different nationalities and languages lived and worked together. The tuna boats were so numerous in the 1940s that sometimes they’d anchor in the harbor for days before they could unload their catch at the cannery docks. Asaro said he and his Portuguese friends were frequently enlisted to “baby-sit” the boats to make sure the machines that churned out fresh ice to chill the tuna didn’t break.