Gilded monuments and bronze statues evoke the public art of a bygone era, though we’ve recently been reminded of the potent symbolic value they still hold. Artist Gillian Wearing (b. 1963, Birmingham, England) has been fascinated by these sculptures since childhood. For her, there’s something uncanny about a human form that appears immovable and changeless in a public setting. Wearing has alwasy made art about people, usually presented in unexpected ways, in photography, video, and more recently, sculpture.
This wall mural, located at the First Street Green Art Park, in NYC’s east village pays tribute to the late firefighter and street artist Jef Campion, aka Army of One.
Two of Campion’s signature images are featured on the mural. One is the very recognizabe Bride of Frankenstein, while another is Grenade Boy, which Campion appropriated from Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. (1962), possibly the most famous photograph by Diane Arbus. Suffering from PTSD, along with the physical affects of having been a 9/11 first responder, Jef Campion took his own life in January of 2014, at the age of just 52. RIP.