Chillin' with Liberty
Edition Size: 60
Chillin’ with Liberty is the antithesis of a stereotypical image. Cox had that all-too-familiar, people-of-color epiphany-of-superhero-exclusion moment while shopping at Toys “R” Us. “There are no black superheroes here,” she lamented. As a corrective, in 1998 Cox created a photographic series utilizing her own image as a black super-heroine named Rajé.
Rajé, who wears Wonder Woman’s bullet-deflecting bracelets, sits atop the statue officially known as Liberty Enlightening the World. Though better known as the Statue of Liberty and popularly associated with immigration, it was initially conceived by Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye in 1865 as a monument to celebrate the abolition of slavery in the U.S. The statue was inaugurated in 1886, six years before Ellis Island was opened.
© Renée Cox