Cuomo unveils winning design for NYC’s first public monument to LGBT people

Posted On Mon, June 26, 2017 By

Posted On Mon, June 26, 2017 By In Art, West Village 

To coincide with pride weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that artist Anthony Goicolea had been chosen to design the first official monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to be commissioned by the State of New York. According to the New York Times, the statue will be built near the waterfront piers in Hudson River Park. The monument’s design features nine boulders bisected in places with glass, which can act as a prism, emitting a rainbow pattern. Governor Cuomo formed the LGBT Memorial Commission after the deadly attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. in 2016; A request for designs for a new memorial went out in October of this year. Hudson River Park’s waterfront piers have figured prominently in the history of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Governor Cuomo said in a statement, “From Stonewall to marriage equality, New York has always been a beacon for justice. I am now proud to announce Anthony Goicolea’s stunning design for this monument–selected for the way it complements the landscape and communicates a timeless message of inclusion.”

Mixed-media artist Goicolea, who lives with his husband in Brooklyn, told the Times that the boulders were inspired by Stonehenge and Easter Island, burial mounds and African stone circles. The Georgia native, whose parents fled Cuba, said of his historic influences, “It feels like there are certain shapes and patterns that are encoded in our DNA as humans that transcend any particular culture and speak to how we are unified in the larger scheme. I wanted to create a space that feels familiar, even though it is new.”

He described his first visit to the West Village after growing up in Georgia: “It was really eye-opening. I had never seen people–gay people–engaging in this way. There was no apology for it.”

Of his monument design, which shows people–including a gay couple–sitting and relaxing on the boulders, he said, “I wanted something usable and functional, and that was not going to take away part of the space. I wanted to communicate with the river and the piers. I really want it to be part of the area.”

[Via NYTimes]

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