F ollowing highly successful public pop-up exhibitions in Flatbush, Brooklyn and Union Square earlier this year, which attracted tens of thousands of viewers and worldwide media attention, Confront Art will be bringing two powerful and renowned sculptures of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor to auction, with proceeds from the sale of the works supporting the non-profit organizations We Are Floyd and the Breonna Taylor Foundation.
“We are still very much fighting for justice for Breonna,” says Tamika Palmer, mother to Breonna Taylor. “This project not only captures Breonna’s spirit, it is a monument standing for a call to justice for her, and the others who have suffered the same fate, and a beautiful way honor her life.”
Sculpted by artist Chris Carnabuci, the two works were previously part of Confront Art’s SEEINJUSTICE Series: George Floyd & Breonna Taylor. The SEEINJUSTICE series was inspired by the faces and stories that sparked the 2020 civil rights movement not only across America but throughout the world, and was conceived as a way to engage viewers, and encourage critical thinking and proactive social change. Both the Floyd and Taylor works are composed of layers of CNC cut plywood, showcasing the artist’s signature style. Each layer is precisely measured, stacked, and pinned to capture a realistic 3-D portrayal of Floyd and Taylor. Carnabuci’s sculptures are based on 3-D models by father-son duo Daniel Edwards and Rodman Edwards.
The one-of-one FLOYD statue stands 6-feet-tall and was recently refurbished in November following infamous acts of vandalism during the pop-up exhibitions. The incident in Union Square happened only two days following the unveiling of the work, and was captured on camera and broadcast around the world highlighting the type of discrimination the sculpture stands to combat. The Floyd sculpture was previously unveiled to the public on Juneteenth for a public exhibition in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
The sculpture of Breonna Taylor is of a smaller scale than the later and larger edition that was on public view alongside the George Floyd sculpture in New York, and was actually the first model produced by Carnabuci. LÁOLÚ NYC ’s signature art form on the sculpture and base includes a variety of coded symbols and Yoruba iconography that take inspiration from the civil rights and social justice movements, the details of Taylor’s life and tragic death, traditional Yoruba culture, Black culture, American history, and much more. Among them include the "Oya" spiral, a symbol and signifies the cycle of life and its continuity; black and white justice scales representing the fight for racial justice and equity; a thunderbolt representing the Yoruba deity Oya, a woman deity among the most powerful deities and known as a fierce warrior; and a drum to celebrate Taylor’s life, as the drum is commonly used throughout traditional African music and symbolizes the beat of life.
“The symbols used throughout the Breonna Taylor sculpture come together to tell of an overarching tale. On their own, each symbol can be seen as a reenactment of Breonna’s horrific murder with details that highlight her stolen opportunity to start a family to the the 36 bullets that seized her life. As a whole, the symbols come together as a declaration of continued protest against the death of a woman that gave birth to a movement.”
Láolú Senbanjo otherwise known as “Láolú NYC,” is a Nigerian bred, Brooklyn based performance and visual artist, singer, songwriter, musician, human rights lawyer, and activist. Famous for his visual art contribution to Beyonce’s Grammy-winning album Lemonade, Láolú has provided his signature style known as the “Sacred Art of the Ori” and “Afromysterics” to create a powerful interpretation of Breonna Taylor’s story.
“My work is heavily influenced by my Yoruba culture. Everything you see, down to the spiral shapes and unique faces stems from my roots as a Nigerian and is inspired by the traditional Oshogbo art style. I refer to the patterns within my work as Afromysterics, a term I coined in 2007 that describes the mystery of the African thought pattern.”
LEAD IMAGE: SASHA BIANCA