Shinji Murakami
Human Shape

The year 2020 will be an unforgettable year in the history of humanity. Will our world ever return to a world before the coronavirus? As an artist, I’ve been working on this human-shaped sculpture – two people holding hands and facing one another – for the better part of two years. At first I created pieces for my friends: Catinca and Jamil in their wedding costumes; a pregnant Raphael with Terrence. Since these works, I have felt an urgency to participate more broadly and render this sculpture in a way meaningful to many people.

For the past months, Donald Trump and Joe Biden have inundated our media as they campaign to win the 2020 elections. For better or worse, they are the human symbols of this time, not just in America, but also abroad.

Their presence is shockingly polarizing, when really, their goal should be, must be, the same: to do what is best for the people they serve. I hope this work, in 5 or 10, years takes on a softer meaning, one reflecting the fact that we helped each other and survived together through the most difficult situation of our lives. This is my memorial work of art for the year 2020.

2020: Masters of relevance, 2020, wood, glue, aluminum, alkyd paint, screw and wall mount, 31 × 40 × 2.5 in

*This work of art does not take any political stance. Please vote and make your voices heard.

Adam and Eve (machete), 2019, wood and alkyd paint

Catinca and Jamil’s City Hall ceremony

Jamil and Catinca (machete), 2019, wood and alkyd paint

Raphael and Terrence’s wedding

Terrence and Raphael (machete), 2019, wood and alkyd paint