In remembrance of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, LaGuardia Community College is hosting a multi-media exhibition by 15 artists, many from Lower Manhattan who were eye witnesses to the tragic events. Brooklyn Editions prepared and printed large scale images of some very haunting and powerful sculptures by Michael Richards. They are prophetic for their chilling vision. In 1999 Michael Richards cast his own body in plastic resin to create “Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian.” St. Sebastian was an early Christian martyr who was executed by being shot full of arrows. However, in this sculpture it was a Tuskegee Airman who was was being pierced by multiple airplanes. He made the life size self-portrait in 1999 and was killed on Sept. 11, 2001 during the World Trade Center attack while in his art studio on the 92nd Floor of the Twin Towers. While his work dealt with a much different theme; the metaphor of the all-black Tuskegee Airmen’s Squadron of the Second World War, men whose images Richards (using himself as his model) often returned to in his work. The Tuskegee airmen were awarded more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses but at the same time their Alma Mater was used for illegal experiments on black men to test the transference of syphilis. The contrast between the freedom of aviation and the metaphor of airmen crashing and being attacked speak to greater social issues. The exhibition opens at Saturday September 10th and will be on display through November 23rd.
Remembering 9/11 Exhibition at LaGuardia Community College curated by Kristin Jefferson
The original sculpture is on display at The North Carolina Museum of Art