25-Foot-Tall “Oracle” Statue To “Black Culture” Unveiled In Rockefeller Center – IOTW Report

Smithsonian Magazine

Through June 29, members of the public can visit (and eventually interact with) another monumental addition to the Manhattan landmark: artist Sanford Biggers’ Oracle, a 25-foot-tall, 15,280-pound bronze sculpture. Unveiled last week, the work depicts a person or deity with an enormous head who sits majestically on a throne in front of Rockefeller Center’s Fifth Avenue entrance.

Oracle is the latest entry in Biggers’ Chimera series, which merges European statues and African masks in an interrogation of sculptural art’s history and power, reports Sarah Cascone for Artnet News. The work is Biggers’ largest-scale Chimera commission to date, notes a statement from exhibition co-organizer Art Production Fund.

As Biggers tells Artnet News, he drew inspiration from the ancient Greek Temple of Zeus and African religious art, especially that of the Luba and Maasai cultures. Per the statement, the artist was also intrigued by ongoing scholarly conversations about the whitewashing of European sculptural history and “black-washing” of African sculpture. More

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