Controversial Statues Are Falling Across the U.S., but This Texas Town Is Erecting New Ones

Controversial Statues Are Falling Across the U.S., but This Texas Town Is Erecting New Ones

Artist Steve Russell poses inside his Rockport studio on July 7, 2021 alongside his latest project, "Cultural Interface," a series of nine-foot-tall statues depicting the first meeting of Europeans and indigenous people's along the South Texas coastline. The first set of sculptures will be installed just outside downtown Rockport by the end of the year. Russell claims the project showcases Texas history, but some Native Americans claim the work is offensive.The most controversial statue in the bayside town of Rockport doesn’t stand outside a county courthouse or mark the location of a Civil War skirmish. It doesn’t honor a Confederate general or draw protesters armed with sledgehammers and ropes. Instead, the sculpture stands unfinished in Steve Russell’s cramped, paint-splattered studio, towering above easels, dusty furniture, and decades’ worth of artwork. Sheathed in body armor, the nine-foot-tall Spanish conquistador has a complexion the color of a rusty penny, his eyes peeking out beneath a bulky military helmet. The humanoid figure can seem, at first glance, like a sixteenth-century version of Frankenstein’s monster. “Everyone who has come in the door has had to try not to trip over themselves,” said Russell, the gravelly voiced 74-year-old artist behind…View Original Post

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Source: Texas Monthly