New York’s governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday that the artist Anthony Goicolea has been chosen to design the state’s first commissioned monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. Cuomo created the LGBTQ Memorial Commission in the aftermath of the June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida as a way of honoring the fight for equal rights and to remember victims of hate, intolerance, and violence.
The commission sent out a request for designs for the new memorial last October. Goicolea’s design—which features nine boulders, some bisected with pieces of glass that act as prisms and can refract rainbows—was inspired by sites like Stonehenge and Easter Island, as well as burial mounds and African stone circles. It will be installed in Hudson River Park near the waterfront piers.
The multimedia artist told the New York Times that creating his submission for the tribute was “a cathartic experience.” Having grown up in Georgia, Goicolea said that he had “never seen my community reflected back at me” and that his first trip to the West Village was “eye-opening.” Reflecting on his design, the artist said, “It feels like there are certain shapes and patterns that are encoded in our DNA as humans that transcend any particular culture and speak to how we are unified in the larger scheme. I wanted to create a space that feels familiar, even though it is new.”