Gay Liberation by George Segal

Gay Liberation
1980
Pop Art
Bronze, steel, and white lacquer
Christopher Park, New York, USA

Installed in Greenwich Village in 1992, gay Liberation celebrates the historic even that took place in 1969 across the street. On 28th June 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar frequented by LGBT folks. Nothing new in that, however, angry activist gathered in protest, calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality. The Stonewall Riot was the beginning of the Pride movement. These figures were first cast in bronze, and painted with white lacquer. Commissioned in 1972, the piece encountered resistance from the left and the right preventing installation until 1992. It is evident from the sculpture that touch is used as an essential tool in Segal’s humanitarian approach to a human rights issue. The Stonewall Riot was seeking the freedom of same-sex couples to co-exist with society and receive the same protections under law. This once controversial work is now a revered monument in New York City.

George Segal
Pop Art
Born: 26 November 1924, New York, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 9 June 2000, New Jersey, USA

Segal used orthopaedic bandages dipped in plaster to create some the most haunting and memorable figurative art of the 20th century. Life-sized models are seated at lunch counters, waiting in train stations, or poised on the street. The figures inhabit three-dimensional environments evoking every day spaces. The figures appear lost in their own universes. Segal was the most existential of the Pop artists, giving the viewer the time to step out of the fast-paced world.

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