(Charcoal, 18″ x 24″)
The tower in reality is the old Madison Square Garden Tower. The statue is Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Diana.
There are two versions of this statue: Diana 2 is iconic, a woman warrior carrying herself beautifully. Diana 1 was awkward, less graceful. This first Diana was destroyed in a fire, paving the way for the the creation of Diana 2. This new statue was stuck atop the aforementioned tower for a while, but afterwards, she inspired recreations in museums worldwide.
At the time when I created this, I was facing a major surgery for scoliosis. In this work, I relate Diana’s fire to my surgery. My pre-surgery self is Diana 1: awkward, unnatural. At the center is Diana 2, the image of what I will become. To the far right in the background is the tower, representing being stuck in the painful period of recovery afterwards. The title, “Pertinax Libertatum,” is Latin for “Stubborn Freedom.” I chose this because despite my fear, I knew I too would go on to be free of my tower and to inspire.