Entitled “Seeinjustice,” each statue weighs about 1,000 pounds and made of 200 pieces of thinly-cut African Mahogany, which is finished off with bronze paint
Last summer, artist Chris Carnabuci began working on the idea during the civil unrest that erupted across the country in the wake of police officers killing Black citizens.
“I wanted to capture a moment in time that was historic and significant,” Carnabuci told Artnet News. “I want the art to provide an environment for civil discourse where we can discuss our differences and maybe even come to an understanding of each other’s perspectives.”
Andrew Cohen, a co-founder of Confront Art, spoke about how the power of art can inspire social change.
“At Confront, our mission is very simple: It’s to create amazing public and free art that’s immersive, and that can inspire, and that can promote social justice causes and perhaps connect us and bring us closer together,” Cohen said. “So, we’re proud to present our first installation.”
Terrence Floyd, George’s brother who was in attendance at the unveiling, said the audience should never take breathing for granted.
Let’s just take a deep breath. What I’m actually doing for my brother, because he’s no longer able to do it,” Floyd said. “He didn’t get a chance to do it. And that’s what everyone has to understand, and I want you to know is, don’t waste your breath. Every, every breath you breathe. Don’t waste it. We’re going to do this and love, peace, and unity, and we’re going to keep healing together.”
Deputy Mayor Phillip Thompson commended the strength of the Floyd family who became leaders of a movement in the aftermath of his death.
“I must say that as an African American, the way the Floyd family dealt with the murder of George Floyd, with so much grace and so much dignity, where they never said it’s about our family,” Thompson said. “They said it’s about all of us. And it just touched the hearts of all of us Black folks in America but I think it touches the hearts of so many more people all around the world, and thank you for that,” Thompson said. “These beautiful statues really represent our struggle for the freedom of Black people, for the things that America is supposed to stand for.”
The statues will remain in Union Square for 30 days before being taken to different locations across the city. Eventually, the statues will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to charities linked to Floyd, Taylor, and Lewis.