Bronze busts honor Floyd, Taylor and Lewis in New York

The statues, created by Chris Carnabuci, stand 10 feet tall on platforms and “honor life and continuing messages through art, linking three iconic people,” Confront Art said in a press release.

Confront Art said that “the series is inspired by the events of 2020 and has seen many people take a stand for justice,” echoing the late congressman’s philosophy.

“We were hoping to spark the same passion that spilled into the streets in the summer of 2020,” Lindsay Eshelman, co-founder of Confront Art, told CNN. “It was important for us to spotlight emerging leaders and the voices of the movement.”

CNN previously reported that the Carnabuci bust of Floyd first appeared in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to celebrate Juneteenth’s recognition as a federal holiday. The statue, made only of birch plywood at the time, was unveiled by George Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd. The Southern Poverty Law Center claims the bust was disfigured by a white nationalist hate group.

“They took possession of the statue, not only because of the subject matter, but because, for the first time, someone brought a large-scale public artwork to their community, which is sometimes overlooked for locations more “deserving”, “Eshelman said. “That’s our goal. Art is inspiring. Art is a catalyst for conversation, and bringing these pieces into communities where they spark conversation and inspiration… well, then our mission with these statues will be a success. . “

But Andrew Cohen, the other co-founder of Confront Art, told CNN he was not worried about the safety of the room in Union Square.

“We’re not scared – I don’t know what’s going to happen in Union Square: it’s on display, but there are cameras and police everywhere.”

Since Floyd’s bust was disfigured, Carnabuci has restored the room. Given a plywood shortage, he used the same Okoume mahogany used on the other two statues before giving the three pieces a bronze metallic finish.

“The paint will help lessen weather damage or man-made damage,” Carnabuci told CNN. “It gives it a nice advantage. Last night when it was dark, I saw for the first time what it looked like in artificial light: I was amazed at how it came out.”

The exhibition marks the first time that the three statues have been shown together publicly.

Eshelman and Cohen created Confront Art to “create meaningful work that will tell the story of this moment for generations to come,” their organization’s website says.
Sculptures by Lewis and Breonna Taylor

During the launch of the series, Eshelman and Cohen worked closely with the Floyd and Taylor families, as well as the We Are Floyd Foundation, the Breonna Taylor Foundation and “The John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation”.

The choice of Union Square was also deliberate. In an Instagram post, the organization highlighted the site’s historic role as “a gathering space for freedom of expression and assembly for a mosaic of all religions, races and ages.”

“We are honored to be working alongside Confront Art to bring Chris Carnabuci’s installation SEEINJUSTICE to Union Square,” said Jennifer Falk, Executive Director of Union Square Partnership. “As a long-standing venue for public events in pursuit of social change, we pride ourselves on Union Square’s history as a space where New Yorkers and people everywhere can come together in the name of of freedom of expression, a heritage that we will always protect and defend. “

The exhibit also included a Friday night candlelight vigil, a speech by Terrence Floyd, a live painting with a world famous painter, and a dance party. Qween Jean, Chelsea Miller, Paperboy Love Prince and Ashley Sharpton also spoke at the event.

Cohen says Confront Art may be planning additional events during the installation on October 14, George Floyd’s birthday. However, he points out that Union Square is a public place and any organization wishing to host events featuring the statues should simply do so.

“We keep it open as public art in a public space,” he said. “We encourage people to be there.”

“SEEINJUSTICE” will be open until October 30th.

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