Move Over Moses and Zoroaster: Manhattan Has a New Female Lawgiver
Frenzied commuters in New Yorks Flatiron district have been stopped in their tracks in recent days by an unlikely apparition near Moses, Confucius and Zoroaster. Standing atop the grandiose state courthouse is a shimmering, golden eight-foot female sculpture, emerging from a pink lotus flower and wearing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburgs signature lace collar.
Staring regally ahead with hair braided like spiraling horns, the sculpture, installed as part of an exhibition that opened last week, is the first female to adorn one of the courthouses 10 plinths, dominated for more than a century by now weathered statues representing great lawgivers throughout the ages all of them men.
Shahzia Sikander, 53, the paradigm-busting Pakistani American artist behind the work, said the sculpture was part of an urgent and necessary cultural reckoning underway as New York, along with cities across the world, reconsiders traditional representations of power in public spaces and recasts civic structures to better reflect 21st-century social mores.
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