Los Angeles-based sculptor Nijel Binns who recently announced the pending unveiling of a seven foot Tupac Shakur statue in Georgia this fall, recently unveiled his latest completed work, a monument to fallen LAPD officers in front of the Hollenbeck police station.
Binns was commissioned for the project via an art competition he had entered and won. The statue is of a three quarter life size woman grieving.
Binns explained the significance of the monument during a recent interview with the Sentinel.
“The unveiling of that monument could not be properly understood without connecting it to the events that happened 25 years ago,” said Binns.
“Twenty five years ago, I created, in response to the riots I created the Mother of Humanity monument, that 16 foot tall bronze piece that we know so well in Watts. She is 16 feet tall and coincidentally 6 and 1 equals seven.
“So, here we are 25 years since the riots and 5 plus two equals seven. The fact is, is that it took me seven years to create this particular monument to fallen police officers. What I realized in the process is that the theme of motherhood started with birth, meaning the Mother of Humanity monument.
“And it came full circle with the unveiling of this particular monument of a woman with her head covered and her hand hiding her face buried in grief. So, it came from birth with the Mother of Humanity monument to the acknowledgement of death with the fallen officers memorial.
Binns said he chose the three quarter size to represent the sense of diminishment in the event of death and grief.
“If you’ve ever seen anybody grieving they just look smaller having gone through that experience,” he said.
The statue is Binns’ fifth for Los Angeles.
“I feel fortunate to be able to serve the city of Los Angeles,” Binns said.
“From the Nate Holden performing arts to the John Mack, president of LAUL to Mervyn Dymally, I’ve been fortunate to be able to gift the city of Los Angeles through my works. I hope to be able to continue to do that…”
Binns’ next work will involve another larger than life Mother of Humanity monument in Cameroon, set to reach over 300 feet.