Accession Number: C.2014.425.1
Dimensions: 66 in X 57 in X 10 in
Dimensions (Metric): 167.64 cm X 144.78 cm X 25.4 cm
Credit Line: © Red Grooms, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Gift of Dr. Albert and Margarita Waxman
Enamel on epoxy sculpture by Red Grooms titled The Shield. The large piece is designed in the shape of a shield with a three dimensional collage of characters rendered with cartoon-like appearances and painted in bold colors. Against a backdrop of Ground Zero rubble, ironworkers, photographers, men in business suits and hard hats, national guardsmen, construction workers, uniformed officers, firefighters in bunker gear, heavy construction vehicles, and the American flag meld together in a synthesis of imagery.
Deeply affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks, lower Manhattan resident and artist Red Grooms felt inspired to create The Shield, a composition that combines painting and sculpture in tribute to the recovery workers at Ground Zero.
The shape of The Shield is reminiscent of a police officer’s badge. The work includes references to photographer Thomas E. Franklin’s iconic image of three firefighters raising an American flag at Ground Zero and to others wearing hard hats, set against the ruins of the Twin Towers. At the shield’s base, Grooms depicts military and law enforcement personnel who were stationed around the World Trade Center site in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when the area was placed off-limits to the public for safety reasons.