Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Here's a lady of the law to be obeyed - she's watching you.

She stands tall and triumphant in front of the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse. The courthouse, which was built in 2000, contains the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit which comprises Hillsborough County (of which Tampa is the county seat.) No one can pass this lady without noticing. I think she speaks to everyone who passes her way - in and out of courtrooms – lawyers, judges, bailiffs, judges and yes, the accused for sure. She speaks loudly and with force. How to describe the sculpture in a word? Magnificent. If I’m allowed a second word, she’s gorgeous. Veritas et Justitia is the formal name given the statue by the internationally-known artist, Audrey Flack. Calling her Lady Justice just does not do her justice. Plus she’s so wonderfully different than so many others who grace courthouse entrances and the tops of buildings, giving a sense of justice and fairness to our legal system. She perfectly represents balance and equality...in her own classy way. A contemporary interpretation of classical sculpture in the ancient Greek and Roman traditions, the artist created a classical figure but her presence is modern, forceful and incredibly alive. Very powerful. If the artist wanted to add a strong yet beautiful presence to the courthouse entrance she succeeded beyond question. The statue, ten foot tall and weighing 2,000 lbs., is cast in bronze, patinated and gilded. But no matter the amount of bronze and gilding, every piece of public art commissioned and installed in Tampa and Hillsborough County generates controversy and opinion. Veritas et Justitia elicited comment both positive and negative when it was unveiled in 2007. In my opinion, the artist succeeded immeasurably well. Audrey Flack is a pioneer of Photorealism and a nationally recognized painter and sculptor. She holds a graduate degree and an honorary doctorate from Cooper Union in New York City and a BFA from Yale University. She has taught and lectured extensively. Her work is in major museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American. Notice as you click and enlarge the photo (and you must to appreciate this fine work) that the lady does not hold the scales of justice, as do most other statues of this kind, and is wearing a most interesting blindfold, not solid so her justice is truly blind, but has tiny slits for her eyes. The greenish cast to the bronze is intentional and is set off handsomely by the gold leaf and crown of stars. I hope you agree that Veritas et Justitia is a magnificent sculpture.

6 comments:

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

fascinating commentary about a beautiful and original statue. I have never seen such a portrayal of the lady symbolizing justice. I guess one could say that the sheerness of the blindfold in comparison to the normal portrayal of lady justice is matched by the flimsiness of her robes in comparison to the typical portrayal of justice.

Thank you for your comments and for following my Daily Photo site about Costa Rica. Like Tampa, in Tamarindo we have the pleasure of watching the sun set into the ocean, unlike the east coast of Florida, where the sun rise comes out of the ocean, but how often does one see the sun rise?

Tash said...

time the old lady justice got modernized - absolutely gorgeous and fits with Florida really well. Reminds me of the updated Columbia Pictures logo - "The actual model is Jenny Joseph, a homemaker and mother of two children now living in the Houston area. She was an exceptionally gracious and unassuming model, and received very little compensation for her work in 1992. The face of the Columbia lady is perhaps one of the most famous in the world ... and it happens to belong to Ms. Jenny Joseph."

Vogon Poet said...

I agree: it is magnificent by any standard. I'd like to thank you for introducing this great artist, Audrey Flack.

Lois said...

She is rather impressive!

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Anonymous said...

Nice Statue, I also believe this statute is more representative of our judicial system. obviously she can see through the blind fold. In our justice system, fairness has nothing to do with it. She only sees what she wants to see and that depends on who you are and who you know.

Johnny