Felling Goliath

Simultaneously broken and whole, the monumental head of Goliath by Nicolas Holiber lies on the granite of Tribeca Park. Commissioned by the Parks Department as Park of the Art in the Parks program, the work will be on view until September 20, 2015. A conglomeration of wood, plastic, and metal, Holiber’s sculpture eradicates the fanciful illusion of Goliath as an infallible beast. The typical David and Goliath power-dynamic is reversed; the viewer looks down upon the decapitated head of goliath, examining the flaws of the beast from a more realistic perspective.

Through representing the beast physically flawed, the artist comments on the falsity of human fears, and the wild power of the human imagination. As remarked by the artist himself: “New York is the Goliath.” Our fears of failing compound, forming looming goliaths in our lives, which at times feel unconquerable. Subconsciously planning for the worst, our goliaths grow to reach immeasurable heights. However, as Holiber’s sculpture of Goliath reiterates, Goliath can be felled. Stepping back and looking upward, one can reassert one’s dominance over Goliath. The individual blocks that constitutes Goliath’s form in Holiber’s sculpture represent fears that can be proven false, blotches of color that can be erased to reveal the raw origin: truth. Made for the public and a reflection of the public, Holiber’s head of Goliath is open to interpretation.

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