Michael Richards, Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, 1999
at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, through November 17th
A tribute to Michael Richards, the artist who perished in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, opened on Friday, September 8th at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, 24 West 57th Street, NYC. The gallery will be open on Monday, September 11th from 11 am to 6 pm, in honor of Michael Richards' and all the victims of the 9/11/2001 attacks.
The New York Arts Exchange joins with Francis Naumann Fine Art in honoring Michael Richards and all the lives cut short because of those heinous acts of terrorism. Our hearts go out to the first responders and those who worked on Ground Zero, who still suffer from the health-hazards posed by this toxic environment. We remember you. We salute you. We still mourn you who perished on that day or because you stayed to help in the aftermath.
Michael Richards, Are You Down?, 2000
2' 10" x 22' 6" x 22' 6"
Fiberglass, Bronze Bonded Resin, Concrete & Black Beauty Sand
Michael Richards FSP/Jerome Grant Recipient 2000
Franconia Sculpture Park, St. Croix Trail, Shafer, MN
Michael Richards' biography and legacy are available here, on the Francis M. Naumann Fine Art website and also at the Franconia Sculpture Park website, where an installation of Michael's Are You Down? is on permanent display.
Uncannily prescient, this Tar Baby pierced with planes, like St. Sebastian's tortured body pierced with arrows, "... was about death," Michael's art dealer, Genaro Ambrosino explained in the press, and: “ . . . about liberation, freedom, being able to escape. It was a sad message because of what it meant historically … It was like redemption from all that.”
The relevance of Michael Richards' work continues to resonate in ways beyond his experience of America's inability to deal honestly with racism. Take note that he felt optimistic and empowered to make a difference, to right a wrong, to enlighten where there was ignorance or denial. We hope his work will eventually become known for its excellence above all else.
Michael, your light shines on.