Famed Argentinian-Italian artist Luciano Garbati unveiled a magnificent towering bronze statue at Collection Pond Park in New York, entitled Medusa With The Head of Perseus. This is Garbati’s second hand at Medusa, a replica of his original 2008 stone-colored sculpture created at his studio in Buenos Aires. The intent, according to Garbati, was to relinquish the antiquated portrayal of Medusa and change the message to one of female empowerment.
In the 4th-century Greek depiction of Medusa, she was a beautiful keeper in Athena’s temple who was harassed, stalked and eventually raped by Athena’s paternal uncle Poseidon. Siding with patriarchy, Athena exiled Medusa and cursed her with a head of venomous serpents and a look that turned men to stone, then sent an assassin (Perseus) to behead her. Perseus then weaponized Medusa’s head for his own personal conquests before handing it over to Athena to mount on her shield.
Inspired as a response to Benvenuto Cellini’s Perseus With The Head of Medusa, Garbati questioned the original Medusa narration for its glorification of victim-blaming, rape culture, and violence against women. In his interpretation, Medusa is courageous. Acting in self-defense Medusa beheads Perseus, avenging her reputation, her enemies, and reclaiming her honor and power. A marvelous transformation from being hunted to becoming the hunter.
Garbati’s masterpiece is a worldwide icon and has subsequently become a tribute to the #metoo movement. His artwork now stands directly across New York county’s criminal court in Centre Street where high-profile cases like Harvey Weinstein were prosecuted. Garbati’s Medusa certainly upstages Lady Justice as often times Lady Justice can be bought and is far from blind. Medusa’s presence serves as a public shaming to those guilty of crimes against women.
Medusa With The Head of Perseus will be on display now until April 30, 2021.
[MEDUSA – BACKSIDE]
[MEDUSA – SIDE A]
[MEDUSA- SIDE B]
[MEDUSA – FRONT & CENTER]
[MEDUSA – BLACK & WHITE]
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