Feminists Criticize Recently Unveiled Medusa Statue in Manhattan

A detailed view of Medusa's head from the newly installed statue of "Medusa With The Head of Perseus" by Argentine-Italian artist Luciano Garbati stands in Collect Pond Park on October 13, 2020 in New York City. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the seven-foot bronze sculpture changes the narrative …
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A recently unveiled sculpture of Medusa in New York City is drawing the ire of some feminists, who are asking why a man created a piece of art meant to honor the #MeToo movement.

The Greek mythological statue clutching the severed head of Perseus, called “Medusa with the Head of Perseus,” was unveiled in Collect Pond Park, located across the street from the Manhattan courthouse where Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault, the New York Times reported.

While some have praised the sculpture as being a powerful image of the #MeToo movement, it has drawn criticism from some feminists who question why the work was created by a male sculptor.

Argentine-Italian artist Luciano Garbati commissioned the work, and it was intended to be a feminist response to Benvenuto Cellini’s 16th- century work “Perseus With the Head of Medusa.”

In the original work, Perseus holds up Medusa’s head by her mane full of snakes.

Garbati made a sculpture that could reverse that story, creating it from Medusa’s perspective and giving some insight into the woman behind the monster.

Other critics wondered why, if the sculpture was intended to refer to sexual violence, Medusa carried the head of Perseus and not Poseidon, her rapist.

Other feminist critics questioned why Medusa was pictured as a slim, classically beautiful nude figure when she was described as a monster in mythology.

“I would say I am honored by the fact that the sculpture has been chosen as a symbol,” Garbati said about the debate over his statue.

But Garbati claims his statue is mythologically accurate, saying that it was a direct response to the 16th-century work.

The artist also suggested that critics look to literature from a recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that showed how artistic depictions of Medusa changed from beastly to beautiful, beginning in the fifth century B.C.

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