Crown is a response to the on-going protests supporting Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the fight to end systemic racism and inequality. In Russell Craig’s modernized version of the Neoclassical masterpiece Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix, the allegory of liberty is represented by a black woman. Surrounded by the contemporary iconography of the BLM movement and marches, she leads the charge in the City’s continued fight against systemic racism. The figures come together to form a crown in the age of Coronavirus.
This new work at Municipal Services Building is a powerful statement on behalf of Russell, his generation, and peers. As a former participant in the Graterford Prison Program and the Guild, Craig’s work is emblematic of the City’s core values of criminal justice reform. We are proud to live in a city where the door is open for returning citizens to become part of the creative sector, since frequently that door is shut.
Crown is phase one of this project. Russell will continue working with the Guild and the city to wrap the piece around the building, visualizing the thoughts and feelings people are having about this unique time period.
City of Philadelphia