A new mural honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by street artist ELLE, is gaining fans far beyond the Lower East Side. The mural, on the former Obey Giant wall at the corner of 1st Ave. and 11th Street, has become so popular, the street artist is now selling prints on her website.
When the project was finished, the street artist posted on Instagram, “Rest In Peace Ruth Bader Ginsberg. May this mural stand as a memory and a celebration of your life. May we honor you legacy, tenacity, end ethos. We will celebrate your work that contributed to making America a country that offers more opportunity for all of us. You stand as our peaceful guardian, overseeing the streets of New York, and we are grateful for your work. Thank you RBG.”
While it was in progress, she also explained,
RBG stands as the centrepiece of the mural adorned by an illustrated poem.
The Flowers to the bottom left are Black Eyed Susans, which represent justice.
Above that, the Brooklyn Bridge- signifying her childhood borough. Above her head; hints of a crown composed of her many collars, as well as a gentle nod to Biggie, the namesake of her nickname Notorious RBG. The justice seemed to enjoy finding semblance with Biggie, as well as the nickname.
To the right of the justice’s head, the turquoise swath depicts the interior of the Library of Congress ceiling. In front of this: the statue of Lady Liberty, and to her right, a second statue: The Contemplation of Justice, who sits outside of the Supreme Court house, originally carved by James Earle Fraser. He claimed that the sculpture represented “a realistic conception of what I consider a heroic type of person with a head and body expressive of the beauty and intelligence of justice.” Under the hand of this sculpture are some of the cases that RBG argued, and with which she had major impact on opportunity and equality for many Americas. These cases are: Reed v Reed, United States vs Virginia, Windsor vs US and Hollingsworth, and Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, constituting same sex marriage and other landmark feats.
The red swath of fabric floating across the painting could perhaps be a cape as Wonderwoman might have worn.
Behind the Contemplation of Justice is an interpretation of the tympanum on the Supreme Court, and to the right of that, the emblem of the United States (the eagle), holding a banner that shows part of a quote that I personally love by RBG; Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”