There are lots of public art installations across NYC this fall…and the newest one may be the most symbolic.
A seven-foot-tall bronze Medusa statue has popped up at Centre St. in Lower Manhattan — right across from the NYC County Criminal Court. Erected by the Medusa With The Head (MWTH) Project and the NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program, the statue “inverts the narrative of Medusa, portraying her in a moment of somberly empowered self-defense.”
According to Ovid’s epic Latin poem Metamorphosis, Medusa was famously hunted down and beheaded by Perseus, after she was cast out of the kingdom as a monster for being raped by King Poseidon. In the sculpture, she defends herself against her oppressor and beheads him instead. You can read more about the mythology in their press release here.
The sculpture was created by Italian artist Luciano Garbati back in 2018. When he posted the photo of his creation on social media initially, the statue became a symbol of the modern “me too” movement, “inspiring thousands of women to reach out and share their own stories.” MWTH is now an artist-led project engaging the narrative habits of classical imaginaries, their role in present culture, and visions of the future.
The location across from the courthouse is quite poignant, as it is where the Harvey Weinstein trial took place.
Medusa With The Head of Perseus will be on view from October 13, 2020 – April 30, 2021.
featured image source: Courtesy MWTH Project