Paola Pivi’s American Moment

Apr 17, 2022 223

BY: Nick Erickson

Folks walking the High Line this week are pulling out their iPhones to photograph a funny new sculpture, “You Know Who I Am,” at the end of a spur spur in a valley of buildings on West 16th Street. Measured to the torch, the 5-meter-tall bronze copy of the Statue of Liberty – her classic face and straight Greek nose topped with an emoji-esque mask of an Asian boy – stands like a question mark asking visitors to make two incongruous points with each other.

Connect: The draped, classic figure everyone knows, and a cartoon face with a button nose and startled eyes. Italian-born artist Paola Pivi took one of America’s most famous symbols and made it new and strange. First she meticulously copied the figure down to her fingernails from a plaster cast of an original bronze by the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. 

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