A portrait so big it is best seen from a low-flying plane has gone on display on the National Mall in Washington, DC. It is so large it can even be seen from space.

Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada created the six-acre (2.3-hectare) photograph-like image of a young man's face between the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial, two of the US capital's biggest tourist draws.

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada's work, Out of Many, One, is seen on the National Mall in Washington, DCAFP

He calls the image Out of Many, One – which is the English translation of the Latin motto E Pluribus Unum found on the Seal of the United States.

To design the image, he took photographs of 30 men between 18 and 25 years of age in Washington. He then selected portions of each face and combined them into one composite image. "It's not the face of America. It's the face of one of the hundreds of millions of faces that America has," the artist said of the portrait.

He used satellite imaging to map out how to reproduce the face by placing about 10,000 wooden pegs in the ground with a global positioning satellite antenna. Eight miles (13km) of string running from peg to peg formed the template for laying down the sand and soil in a reproduction of the drawing.

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
The GPS mapping device that the artist used to position the 10,000 wooden pegs and miles of stringAFP
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
Rodriguez-Gerada demonstrates how he placed GPS topography polesAFP
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
Rodriguez-Gerada smooths dirt by hand inside the lines of string on the JFK Hockey Field along the north side of the Reflecting Pool on the National MallGetty
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
Rodriguez-Gerada's Out of Many, One is exhibited on six acres and can be walked throughReuters

Rodriguez-Gerada, who said he was trying to push the boundaries of portraiture, used 2,300 tons of sand and 800 tons of soil to create the image.

The best view of the portrait is from the top of the 555-foot-high (170-metre-high) Washington Monument or from planes landing at or taking off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Visitors can walk around the portrait on the ground until it is removed at the end of October.

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
Tourists photograph the six-acre sand and soil portrait from the Washington Monument's observation deckGetty

Out of Many, One is the first US face-scape for Rodriguez-Gerada, a Cuban-American artist raised in New Jersey but now based in Barcelona, Spain. He has previously created giant portraits in Northern Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.

In this gallery, IBTimesUK presents some of his large-scale works. See www.jorgerodriguezgerada.com for more.

Jose Rodriguez-Gerada
In 2013, Rodríguez-Gerada created Wish, a portrait of a local girl spanning an 11-acre site in Belfast's Titanic Quarter...Reuters
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
... The photographic image, made of topsoil, sand, grass and stones, was one of the largest realistic portraits ever createdwww.jorgerodriguezgerada.com
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
Expectation was a giant mandala in the likeness of Senator Barack Obama, created before the 2008 presidential elections. The portrait was made with 650 metric tons of sand and gravel on a Barcelona beachwww.jorgerodriguezgerada.com
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
In 2010, Rodriguez-Garcia created a portrait of a little girl named Gal·la who lived in the Delta del Ebro in Catalonia, Spain, using shade material and wooden posts...www.jorgerodriguezgerada.com
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
...The artist said his sun stencil portrait, which could be seen on Google Earth, was "made to bring attention to the problem of sunlight/heat that cannot escape back into space because of greenhouse gases"Google
Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada
To mark International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2012, Rodríguez-Gerada created Mama Cash, a huge land portrait the size of two football fields in Amsterdam. The portrait of an anonymous Central American woman was designed to raise awareness of Mesoamerican women who are illegally targeted and terrorised for defending human rightswww.jorgerodriguezgerada.com