"Freedom," by Zenos Frudakis
"Freedom" By artist Zenos Frudakis, is a Philadelphia based public art display housed on the side of the former GlaxoSmithKline building in Philadelphia. Erected in 2001, the work showcases the figure of a man in four transformative movements that represent his journey from bondage to freedom. Frudakis' sculpture was commissioned by Francesca Shaughnessy, a former psychologist with the Philadelphia School District, and was dedicated in October of the same year.
Backstory and Context
- Zenos Frudakis
Freedom is 20ft long and 8ft high, weighs in at 7000 pounds, and was cast in bronze. Frudakis has said he was inspired by Rodin’s Gates of Hell, and sought to incorporate a myriad of sculptures that would comprise Freedom as a whole. The face speaking the words “Freedom” from which the sculpture’s name is derived, is a mirrored reflection of the artists own face. Similarly, a casting of Frudakis’ hands can also be found within Freedom and were provided by artist Duane Hanson.
Frudakis has stated that “Although there are four figures represented, the work is really one figure moving from left to right. The composition develops from left to right beginning with a kind of mummy/death like captive figure locked into its background. In the second frame, the figure, reminiscent of Michelangelo's Rebellious Slave, begins to stir and struggle to escape. The figure in the third frame has torn himself from the wall that held him captive and is stepping out, reaching for freedom. In the fourth frame, the figure is entirely free, victorious, arms outstretched, completely away from the wall and from the grave space he left behind. He evokes an escape from his own mortality.”