Monday, June 29, 2020

Washington Square Bloodied

In the aftermath of yesterday's incident of police brutality against New Yorkers participating in the Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality, someone has made a bold statement in Washington Square Park.



Early this morning, I went by the park to find the statues of George Washington on the Arch vividly splattered in blood-red paint. (Below his feet on one side, graffiti from weeks ago still shows "fuck12 since 1492.")







On the other side of the arch, more blood splatter. (Above more faded graffiti: "Stolen Lands FTP.")



Crime scene body outlines ring the fountain, one after another, their torsos and heads blasted with red as if shot dead.




While some of the paint was still wet, bits of rubber balloon left behind, detectives surveyed the incendiary work of graffiti art.



A cooler full of watery, blood-red paint stands open before the spectacle.



This will be temporary, paint washes off, but the lives lost to police brutality will never be made whole. This statement is a reminder that the city has blood on its hands. Yesterday's violence erupted when police arrested people for graffiti--and the crowd of queers resisted. We might remember Michael Stewart, a graffiti artist killed by the NYPD in 1983. And Stonewall, as we all know, was a riot.



There's a tradition of putting political graffiti on the Washington arch. It has survived it. Many times. It'll survive again.




Meredith Jacobson Marciano, 1978


Carole Teller, 1980

*UPDATE: Within a few hours, the statue is made white again:


photos of cleaning by Ann Pellegrini












1 comment:

genevieve said...

This is horrible. The defacing of statues and historical moments is dumb and anger misplaced. I wonder if these people know anything about these figures?