STAMFORD, Conn. — William Seepaul Jr. was sitting on his couch with his cat, Pumpkin, when he got a call asking whether he was interested in creating a sculpture for a large corporation in Stamford.
His first reaction was, “How did you get a hold of me?” Seepaul, who had been privately commissioned for years, hadn’t done any public installations.
It turned out that the caller had found his business card — a design that Seepaul said he had passed around years ago. But the caller was interested and commissioned Seepaul to the job.
Seepaul recently unveiled his masterpiece — an 18-foot high sculpture that is nearly two office building stories high — at Synchrony Financial headquarters at 777 Long Ridge Road.
Seepaul began the design process for the sculpture in May 2014 by visiting the company. He took 600 to 700 photographs to best understand the location that would house the sculpture.
Quickly, he discovered the site would prove to be a challenge. “It was kind of tricky because the sculpture site was surrounded by mirrored office buildings,” Seepaul said.
After two to three weeks of letting the design form in the back of his head, Seepaul came up with 12 concepts. He presented them in a unique way.
“People need to see and feel these concepts to get an idea, so I went old school,” Seepaul said.
He created models and housed them in dioramas. That way the company could see how the sculpture interacted with the buildings and the trees, he said.
The models were elaborate. Some had 200 to 300 LED lights. “That was a project in itself,” Seepaul said.
Seepaul sent the design to a design firm, fabricator and contractor. The sculpture was simply too big for his studio. But his team came through.
The final design, clad in Synchrony gold, is positioned upward and toward the sky. “I wanted to show some sort of movement to like an upward momentum.”
The ribbon, showing growth, wraps around the pillars, “comforting and protective,” Seepaul said.
He was deeply moved when he drove to Synchrony's campus to see the sculpture for the first time.
“I got goosebumps when I drove around it,” Seepaul said. “It was pretty amazing.”