Collect Pond Park, located in downtown Manhattan in NYC, is soon to be the site of a seven foot tall bronze status of Medusa holding Perseus’s severed head.
The site of the status is a small green space in the middle of the bustle, located right across from the NY Criminal Courts at 100 Center St.
According to the website of MWTH, the organization that helped spearhead the project, the idea behind the statue is a reversal of the original tale of Medusa, in which Perseus beheads her instead.
“This narrative of victim-shaming in stories of sexual violence echoes through time, and into the present day “me too” movement. In 2018, Garbati posted a photograph of his original sculpture to social media. This re-imagined Medusa went viral and became a symbol of resistance worldwide, inspiring thousands of women to reach out and share their own stories. Garbati’s Medusa questions the mythic figure’s characterization as a monster, and investigates the woman behind the myth,” states the MWTH website.
“Medusa With The Head of Perseus will be installed directly across from the New York County Criminal Court, the location of high profile abuse cases including the recent Harvey Weinstein trial. Garbati’s Medusa stands facing the courthouse, as an icon of justice and the power of narrative.”
There are several versions of the original story, some of which Medusa was ugly to begin with, others in which she was beautiful. Likewise, in some versions she seduces or was seduced by Poseidon, in others, he forces himself on her. In any case, Athena gets jealous and angry and curses Medusa, turning her into a monster with a head full of snakes and a gaze that turns people to stone if they meet it. Perseus manages to kill her by looking at her reflection from his shield and beheading her.
The statue has been commissioned by NYC’s “Art in the Parks” program. It was designed by Argentinian-Italian artist Luciano Garbati and cast by Vanessa Solomon of Carbon Sculpt Studios, Brooklyn, NY and Laran Bronze Foundry, Philadelphia PA. It will be on exhibit through April 31st, 2021.