Tag Archives: statue of liberty

Abigail DeVille’s Light of Freedom in Madison Square Park

light of freedom at night photo by gain worley
All Photos By Gail

On the Friday before Joe Biden’s electoral victory was officially announced, I had a late afternoon appointment near Madison Square Park. It was already twilight when I exited onto Fifth Avenue and 25th Street and I decided to walk home to take advantage of an unseasonably-warm evening and what I think of as the romantic atmosphere imparted by the newly-restored standard time. Darkness at night: what a concept. As I crossed Broadway I noticed a new piece of public art in the park which resembles the Statue of Liberty’s torch, entitled Light of Freedom. New York native Abigail Deville is the artist. I snapped a few photos and then continued on my way.

light of freedom at day photo by gail worley

This past Saturday, I had the chance to check out Light of Freedom in the daylight, where it’s easier to see that the torch’s flame is comprised of disembodied mannequin arms; something which I find very appealing.

light of freedom flame detail photo by gail worley

Let’s zoom-in for a closer look.

Here’s is an excerpt from Madison Square Park Conservancy’s statement on the piece:

Light of Freedom carries many cogent symbols. DeVille has filled a torch — referring to the Statue of Liberty’s hand holding a torch, which was on view in Madison Square Park from 1876 to 1882 — with a timeworn bell, a herald of freedom, and with the arms of mannequins, beseeching viewers. The scaffold, which prevents access physically and metaphorically, recalls a work site, an insistent image on the urban landscape. But the scaffold is golden, summoning the glory of labor and the luminosity in the struggle that can lead to change.  Formative to Light of Freedom are the words of the abolitionist, author, and statesman Frederick Douglass, who proclaimed in an 1857 speech delivered in Canandaigua, New York: “If there is no struggle there is no progress.” The torch refers to the light of democracy and its foundation in ancient systems of government by citizens.

DeVille has described working on this piece: “In my research, I have found that the first Blacks to be brought to New York City were eleven Angolans in 1626. That makes people of African descent the second-oldest group of settlers in New Amsterdam, after the Dutch. Unfortunately, history has erased the contributions and victories of this group. I want to make something that could honor their lives and question what it means to be a New Yorker, past, present, and future.”

light of freedom at night 2 photo by gail worley

Light of Freedom will be on Exhibit in Madison Square Park Through January 31st, 2021, so see it while you can!

Dorothy Iannone’s I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door On The High Line

I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door
All Photos By Gail

Dorothy Iannone is a Berlin-based artist whose works focus on eroticism and the female sexual experience. Inspired by Egyptian frescoes, Byzantine mosaics, and ancient fertility statues, Iannone depicts the act of lovemaking not as an act of taboo, but rather as an act of spiritual union and transcendence. While now commonly lauded as transgressive and radical, her work, which often portrays her love affair with the late artist Dieter Roth, has been subject to frequent censorship since the 1960s. Iannone and Roth began creating work side-by-side after Iannone moved to Europe in 1967, and the two artists influenced each other’s works greatly for almost a decade. Overlooked for much of her career, Iannone’s magnetic and highly influential work finally began to receive widespread recognition in the late 2000s.

Continue reading Dorothy Iannone’s I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door On The High Line

Liberty Buddha

Liberty Buddha
Photo By Gail

This wheat paste mash up of our Lady Liberty and the Buddha was spotted by me on West 38th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues in NYC! Artist unknown!

Statue of Liberty Mural By Sego, East Harlem

Statue of Liberty By Sego
Photos By Gail

I was walking west from the 6 train at 103rd Street on the way to the Museum of the City of New York when I spotted this very cool mural, which looked to me at first like a Native American interpretation of the Statue of Liberty. It turns out that the artist is Mexican muralist Sego, and this striking piece is done in his signature organic style. Entitled Freedom and Emancipation of The Natural World, the mural was painted for the Monument Art Festival, which took place in October of 2015.

You can see the Mural for Yourself at the Corner of Madison Avenue and 104th Street.

Statue of Liberty By Sego

Modern Art Monday Presents: Hank Willis Thomas, Liberty

Liberty
Liberty (2015): Fiberglass with Chameleon Auto Paint Finish (Photo By Gail)

In Liberty, Hank Willis Thomas renders a two-dimensional image as a three dimensional sculpture — modeled after an original photograph that appeared in Life Magazine in 1986, which featured a Harlem Globetrotter in front of the Statue of Liberty, spinning a basketball on his finger. Interested in popular culture, photographic history and sports as a metaphor for individual and collective struggle, Thomas created a life-size sculpture of the moment by casting the arm of retired NBA All-Star, Juwan Howard.

Liberty is part of Thomas’s Punctum series, which draws inspiration from the French philosopher Roland Barthes’s idea of the punctum: that “element which rises from the [photographic] scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces,” Using this concept as his foundation, Thomas selects a specific area of an image and re-presents it as Sculpture. Through cropping and isolation, he encourages us to contemplate framing itself: what is left in or out of a photographs, narrative, or an account of a historical event, and why?

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.