The legacy of liberal iconÂ Ruth Bader GinsburgÂ is being remembered with a gigantic new street art mural in New York City.
Street artist ElleÂ painted the three-story depiction of the late Supreme Court associate justice â€• who died in September at the age of 87 â€• on the corner of 11th Street and 1st Avenue in the East Village.
The piece also features Lady Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.
â€œIâ€™m super honored to be able to paint her portrait in New York,â€ Elle told HuffPost, hailing Ginsburg as â€œquite the force to be reckoned with working behind the scenes to push equal rights in America.â€
California-born Elle â€œfell in loveâ€ with street art after dropping out of art school and moving to New York at age 21.
She wheat-pasted pieces around Brooklyn before becoming â€œsuper obsessedâ€ with graffiti and getting sponsored by a spray paint company.
Elle then â€œtook all of my free spray paint and started asking people if I could paint their walls for free.
Elle spent the rest of her 20s honing her craft in New York, later a year in France, and is now mostly on the road worldwide painting her collages of â€œthe all-powerful female â€” but no one in particularâ€ for clients and at festivals, to the extent the coronavirus pandemic allows.
â€œI chose the name Elle because it means â€˜sheâ€™ in French,â€ the artist explained. â€œI realized there were very few women graffiti artists, so I wanted to get up for the ladies.â€
TaskForce, an agency working with arts, culture and social change, commissioned Elle to paint the portrait of Ginsburg.
When she couldnâ€™t find a suitable wall in the Midwood or Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn, from where Ginsburg hailed, the nonprofitÂ LISA Project NYC found her space in the East Village in Manhattan.Â
â€œI donâ€™t typically paint portraits,â€ said Elle, who spent two weeks on the mural. â€œBut when I was invited to create the piece for RBG there was nothing more that I wanted to do than to paint a memorial piece for her.â€
The piece took on a special significance, Elle said, following President Donald Trumpâ€™s election defeat by President-elect Joe Biden.
â€œI love New York, New York loves RBG, and I think itâ€™s fair to say that nearly the entire city was elated about the election results,â€ she said. â€œRBG is a hometown native of this city â€• and she will forever be loved and an icon here.â€
â€œWe are beyond thrilled to see Trump ousted,â€ the artist added. â€œAnd I think this portrait of RBG represents that continuation of hope and joy that this city badly needed after such a hard year with COVID-19.â€
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