Nicolas Holiber’s Colossal Head of Goliath Unveiled in Tribeca Park

Nicolas Holiber, Head of Goliath (2015), in Tribeca Park, New York. Photo: Nicolas Holiber.
Nicolas Holiber, Head of Goliath (2015), in Tribeca Park, New York. Photo: Nicolas Holiber.

Yet another of the season’s highly-anticipated public artworks (see New York’s 10 Most Beautiful Public Art Shows for Spring) has finally been unveiled: Nicolas Holiber‘s colossal Head of Goliath is now on view in Tribeca Park (see Nicolas Holiber’s Head of Goliath Kicks Off New York’s Spring Public Art Season).

The piece was commissioned by the Parks Department as part of the Art in the Parks program, and succeeds Korean sculptor Gimhongsok’s Bearlike Construction, a bronze teddy bear cast from the humble garbage bag, which artnet News featured in its list of Our 6 Favorite Public Art Shows this past July.

Holiber, a Brooklyn artist, created the four-foot-tall, ten-foot-long, mixed media sculpture using reclaimed materials such as shipping pallets gathered from across the city. The statue lies on its side, a grotesque yet mythic figure who has been defeated.

Drawing on the art historical tradition of such Old Masters as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Titian, Holiber presents a modern interpretation of the Biblical tale, in which the future King David, then just a young shepherd boy, armed only with a slingshot, is able to kill the giant Goliath. The artist sees parallels between this timeless tale and the experience of living in modern-day New York.

“People come to New York to be the underdog and beat whatever obstacle is in front of them,” Holiber explained in a statement. “For myself and many friends of mine, New York is the Goliath. . . . Head of Goliath will be a connection to the past and serve as a symbol of the classic underdog tale that is shared by so many in this amazing city.”

“Exhibiting in the park presents a unique opportunity to observe how the outdoor environment and NYC in particular will affect the sculpture. I’m looking forward to seeing how the piece will weather and change over time, thereby using the park as a catalyst to transform Head of Goliath into a modern ruin,” added Holiber.

Nicolas Holiber’s Head of Goliath will be on view May 4–September 20, 2015. A reception celebrating the installation will be held in the park on May 16, 2–5 p.m.


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