The Phillips Collects: ROZEAL

Curatorial Assistant Camille Brown on ROZEAL’s gold ‘n Brown of, uh . . . ‘Merica, which was recently acquired by The Phillips Collection.

ROZEAL (aka IONA ROZEAL BROWN) (b. 1966, Washington, DC; lives in New York, NY) traverses cultural identity through her art. In Gold ‘n Browns of, uh . . . ’Merica, ROZEAL blends Black and Native American iconography in her redressing of the Statue of Liberty. ROZEAL replaces the torch—a symbol of enlightenment—with a microphone connected to a boom box which stands in for the tablet of law. Lady Liberty’s crown becomes a Native American headdress, accompanied by large gold earrings. Gold is flecked throughout the canvas, most prominently in the gold shoe lace that runs across her hands to the boom box.

How does the reimagined attire of the Statue of Liberty work to expand visualizations of America? If you could adorn Lady Liberty, what would she wear?

ROZEAL, Gold ‘n Browns of, uh . . . ’Merica, 2020-21, Mixed Media on cardboard, 43 x 23 in., The Phillips Collection, Acquired from TerzoPiano, DC, and Director’s Discretionary Fund

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