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Michael Richards (Artist)
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Artist
    (August 2, 1963-September 11, 2001)
    Born in Brooklyn, New York
    Michael Rolando Richards
    Jamaican-American sculptor
    Artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (1995-1996; later relocated to a studio on the 92nd floor of Tower One of the World Trade Center)
    Best known for his sculpture, 'Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian,' displayed at the 'Passages: Contemporary Art in Transition' Studio Museum art show, in 1999
    Died during the terror attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001
    He shares a name with an actor known for playing Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld.
    He was born in Brooklyn, but several sites inaccurately list his birthplace as being in Jamaica.
    He is almost singularly known for his eerily prophetic art-piece depicting a pilot's body being pierced with multiple airplanes.
    That he used himself as the model for the sculpture further engendered it to conspiracy theorists who claimed that he 'predicted' his death in the 9/11 terrorist attacks (in some cases, just endearing him to bloggers who consider it to be a poignant metaphor for his life).
    In actuality, the piece was one in a larger collection of works comprising his 'Tuskegee Collection' which consisted of sculptures depicting African-American pilots and their planes in creative, symbolic arrangements.
    He was of Costa Rican descent, and was raised in Kingston, Jamaica.
    He received a Master of Arts from New York University.
    He had spent ten years working on the 'Tuskegee Collection.'
    He had an earnest fascination with aviation throughout his life.
    He had an infinitely promising career as an artist before his untimely death.
    He was a recipient of the prestigious Franconia Sculpture Park-Jerome Fellowship, in 2000.
    The grant funded a more elaborate Tuskegee Airmen-themed work, since displayed prominently at the Franconia Park, in New York.
    He was a the Lower Manhattan Arts Council Fellowship recipient, which provided him with the means to lease his 'Studio in the Sky' at the World Trade Center.
    He was the only LMCC participants residing in the Towers - out of fifteen - to be present on the day of the attacks.
    He has long been a suspect for the identity of The Falling Man.
    His most famous work pays direct homage to the story of St. Sebastian and the Brer Rabbit 'Tar Baby' legend (in the context of the Tuskegee Airmen). It later became a permanent exhibit in the collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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