*2020 New York Community Trust Van Lier Artist Fellow


‘Wax Monument IV (Free Wax)’, 2020Wax; wicks; and mulchFlag: 72 × 132 × 8 inches, Queens Mulch Map: 180 × 180 inches
Images by Nicholas Knight Studio; KMDeco Creative Solutions: Mark DiConzo; and Sara Morgan

About ‘Wax Monument IV (Free Wax)’

A monument to living history, this wax flag can be set alight from multiple-wicks and rests perpendicularly upon a pulverized black dirt base shaped like the borough of Queens. Rendered in black and white, the wax flag is reminiscent of – but not equivalent to – the U.S.’s own flag and emblem of patriotism. Alive with transformative potential, the work invites participation, mark-making, melting, and molding of a malleable symbol.

Audio Guide

Click below to listen to the artist speak about their work.

Audio Guide Transcript

Hello, my name is Sandy. Thank you for visiting the park, and this, my contribution to the space, Wax Monument IV (Free Wax). I really hope that this message finds you well. If everything is working correctly, you should be looking at, what maybe was formerly, a 6 ft x 11 ft black and white wax flag. The base it stands on is a mulch map in the shape of what we might call “Queens”. I started this Wax Monument series by taking the form of historical monuments, turning them into little candles, and widely distributing them. To make this 4th iteration of the series, I made its shape out of wood, and cast it layer by layer over a series of weeks. I’ve made this flag as a sort of offering. Now it is our flag. I invite you to do what you want with it. To me, giving yall agency with this object activates a sort of democracy that so many parts of our public lack; parts of our public, where we lack agency, that I call unemancipated spaces. Giving people the power to determine an aspect of their aesthetic surroundings feels like a new sort of emancipation. Please melt this monument, bring things and add to it, carve from it, tag it, and use your imagination as you put your hands on it, adding to the history of on this object. Please meditate on what it means to be making history! Please be considerate. I hope everyone can feel comfortable here. Yours truly, Sandy Williams IV

En español

Hola, me llamo Sandy. Gracis por visitar al parque, y a mi contribution al espacio, Monumento de Cera numero quarto (Bandera Libre). Espero que estes bien. Si todo está funcionando correctamente, deberías estar mirando, lo que quizás era antes, una bandera de cera blanca y negra de seis por once pies.La base de mantillo de la obra tiene la forma del mapa del area conocida como “Queens”. Comence esta serie de Monuentos de Cera, usando las formas de monumentos históricos, y convirtiéndolas en velas pequeñas para distribuyéir en masa. En esta cuarta obra de la serie, construi esta forma de madera y capa por capa y la fundí durante varias semanas.Hice esta bandera como una ofrenda. Ahora es nuestra bandera. Te invito a hacer lo que quieras con élla. Para mi, darles aGENcia sobre este objeto activa una demo-CRA-cia que no existe en tantas partes de nuestro espacio público, partes de nuestros espacios públicos, donde no tenemos aGENcia, que yo llamo espacios no emancipados. Darle a la gente el poder de determinar un aspecto de su entorno estético me parece un acto radical. Derrite esta bandera, traele y agrégale cosas, raye y marke la bandera y usa tu imaginación mientras le pone su mano, agregandole a la historia de este objeto. ¡Por favor, medite sobre lo que significa hacer historia! Espero que todos se sientan cómodos aquí. Atentamente, Sandy Williams IV


Williams IV participated in a series of virtual programs produced by the 2020 Socrates Artist Fellows:

In Conversation: Andrea Solstad, Kiyan Williams & Sandy Williams IV

Instagram Takeover: Sandy Williams IV


‘Monuments Now’

PART I: Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Xaviera Simmons
PART II: ‘Call and Response
PART III: ‘The Next Generation
+ The Broadway Billboard & “Let’s Talk