2. You know who I am at the High Line
Located at the High Line on the Northern Spur Preserve at 16th Street is artist Paola Pivi‘s sculpture, You know who I am, a twenty-three feet tall bronze replica of the Statue of Liberty wearing cartoonish masks. Known for art that transposes live animals and common objects, Pivi’s work seeks to expertly combine the familiar and the bizarre. Past projects from the artist include two zebra statues standing on a snowy mountain and a gallery filled with frolicking feathered polar bears in highlighter-bright hues. In You know who I am, Pivi drew from her own experience fighting in a four-year legal battle to bring her son, who had then been living stateless in India, to the United States—a journey which eventually led to Pivi’s son gaining U.S. citizenship. During this time period, the Statue of Liberty came to symbolize the human rights and freedom that her son would benefit from and later grow under.
For You know who I am each mask on the statue represents a stylized portrait of individuals whose personal experiences of freedom directly connect to the United States. Every two months, the masks will be changed, with six different individuals—one of which is based on Pivi’s family—being displayed over the course of the statue’s stay on the High Line from April 2022 to March 2023. The statue follows a direct line to the original sculpture by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi—a design that Pivi achieved by utilizing a historic plaster mold of Bartholdi’s original bronze model, which currently is on view at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Visitors of the High Line can also learn more about the stories behind the individuals responsible for inspiring each mask by exploring the High Line’s website.