a momentary lapse of liberty
I was intrigued by the work of Daniel Arsham. His
personal renditions of famous sculptures inspired me to
create an art piece on Liberty “freedom without
oppression” through the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of
hopes and dreams. Although it may appear solid and
invulnerable it is at grave risk of no longer supporting
the aspirations of “your tired, your poor, your huddled
masses” as well as being adversely impacted by global warming and climate change.
I chose to use wax as the medium for my sculpture because it allowed me to play with the concept of building, rebuilding, and repurposing. We bought a statue of liberty model to cast a mold. This proved to be hard. Due to numerous undercuts and delicate areas, it was not able to be cast in plaster, so I had to get creative with the mold. It had to be flexible, easily applicable and able to hold wax. The first thought was a simple solution: a brush-on latex mold, but due to time constraints, this was not possible. I then tried an innovative use of pour-on latex molding in layers. This experimental molding technique worked well and came off cleanly and with fine detail. However, I remained apprehensive about how well the mold would hold wax. After resealing the mold with hot glue and slip, and stringing a wick through it, the wax was poured in. 7 hours later, there was a beautiful wax mold of the Statue of Liberty! ready to be melted.
My art depicts both the physical and metaphorical collapse of the Statue of Liberty. As the institutions of democracy crumble around us, the Statue is losing its symbolism as a guardian of the nation’s ideals. It is simultaneously being physically eroded by the effects of global warming and climate change. However, I remain hopeful that just as wax can be melted and repurposed into something new and beautiful, the fundamentals of our country will allow us to reach beyond our political hatefulness and societal divide into another beautiful world