Living in New York City is unlike anything I have ever experienced and likely will experience in my life. New York city is called the melting pot for a reason. Heritage, culture, and diversity. There is culture everywhere, any given community or neighborhood can easily contain several ethnic groups. I do not see this phenomenon as a negative thing, I am from Virginia and in Virginia I did not experience such diversity, the diversity that did exist existed along lines of segregation (whether self imposed or not), and those who were from outside cultures were often assimilated into American society and customs. Not so in NYC! NYC is amazing, New York City shows that when groups of people from diverse cultures combine, the result is an increased awareness of human nature. To have customs and rituals that one believes in and to hand them down from generation to generation preserved in festivals and religious events is beautiful. On the other hand, the overlapping, meshing, and restructuring of these ideas, customs, and heritage is what makes NYC so special. Someone who comes here with little cultural awareness leaves in unwavering awe of the human condition.
With that said, a new project is in the works, it incorporates interactions like those from Jacopo Bassano’s The Last Supper, put together with various figures representing the diversity of our City, our nation, our world, and putting the figures on a multi-tier piece of architecture to properly showcase each individual. The figures will be sculpted in various shades of brown so that different skin tones can be represented. Facial features will be both ethnic and European, this project is to have some symbolism in it. Butterfly wings will not be on all figures, those enlightened individuals will have wings, those seeking enlightenment will be growing wings, and those who continue to live in ignorance will be wingless. Everything will be in shades of brown, garments will range from American clothes to rags and togas. Again, the interactions between individuals will be of utmost importance to me, to depict the figures communicating is the show the assimilation of ideas and practices from one person/culture to another. There will be conversation, physical touching, and listening.
Stay tuned, Ive sketched out the rough copy, at this time I feel the piece will have a base with a bout a 12” circumference and rise up 3” before going back stair step style until there is a pyramid of 4, 3” steps. The top “step” will have a couple of figures at most, and the last step can probably contain as many as eleven or twelve figures (yikes!) Id better get to sculpting, I want this ready before a month so that I can include it in my graduate school application slides.