Standing at 6.5 feet tall and weighing a whopping 300lbs each, celebrated British Trinidadian artist Zak Ové’s figurative sculptures can’t be missed. Forty of these sculptures will be on display for four months at San Francisco’s Civic Center as part of the public art exhibit titled, “Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness.”

These forty sculptures stand upright, holding their “hands up” as a message of contemporary issues on race, politics, and identity. Each sculpture is installed in a precise formation facing City Hall and resembles a Kenyan statuette that Ové has had since childhood and which has served as a muse for him during his career.

The sculptures were first shown in London, however, this will be the artist’s first exhibition of this work in the United States. Ové currently has the figures installed at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Yorkshire, England, under a slightly different title, but they will leave that location in June and move to San Francisco one month later.

At the London location, the statue installation directly referenced Ben Jonson’s play The Masque of Blackness, enacted by Anne of Denmark and members of her court at Somerset House in 1605. The play featured white actors in blackface, reflecting of the societal shift towards a preference for lighter skin in the early 17th century. Ové also alludes to American writer Ralph Ellison’s 1952 acclaimed novel The Invisible Man, a pioneering consideration of racism and marginalized communities in America told through the eyes of its black protagonist.

Almost all of the statues’ weight is concrete in the base. The actual bodies of the statues are made from lighter materials like resin and graphite. Each statue will rest on a three foot by three-foot steel plate to make it more difficult to knock the sculptures over from wind, earthquakes, or vandalism.

The “Invisible Men,” which almost feel like something you’d see on an episode of Ancient Aliens, cost $90,000, and the San Francisco Arts Commission received funding from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and partnered with the Recreation and Park Department to make the ambitious installation a reality.

The City Hall installation will be on view from late July to October 2018.