After standing tall for 135 years, the Statue of Liberty is due for a rest—at least, according to artist Zaq Landsberg.
Landsberg just erected his own 25-foot-long Statue of Liberty in Morningside Park that lies in the grass—her hand supports her crowned head with a face that looks both peaceful and pained. Honestly, we get it. Lady Liberty is striking a pose we all can identify with right now.
The installation, called Reclining Liberty, went up last week with the help of Friends of Morningside Park, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council), New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ).
According to Landsberg, the sculpture, which is finished with copper paint and an oxidizing acid to mimic the real statue, takes the pose of the giant reclining Buddha statues in Asia. By merging the two symbols together, it forces the viewer to reconsider what the Statue of Liberty represents, which is what many of us have had to do this past year.
"Is the U.S. as an entity forever upright and tall, is it an eventual decline and fall, or is there another stage for the country that will transcend this symbol altogether?" Landsberg asks. "After all the events of 2020, and the unmooring of pretty much every American institution, this question is not just theoretical."
Connie Lee, the president of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, says Reclining Liberty is "effortless to engage with."
The statue, which you can pose with and even sit on, will be sitting on a sloping hill near 120th Street and Morningside Avenue through April 2022.