Malibu Sculptor Bears Cross for 9/11 Memorial
• Work Containing Fragments from World Trade Center Is for Church in the Shadow of the Towers
By Shelley Anderson Myers
On May 16, renowned local sculptor Jon Krawczyk will drive his passion project cross-country to New York: a 14-foot by 11-foot stainless steel Memorial Cross that will be installed in the shadow of the 9/11 site.
The tall, striking and forthright Malibu artist explains, "When the dust cleared around the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11, there amidst the pile of rubble was a cross, a symbol of hope and peace, surreal yet sublime.
This cruciform fragment of the World Trade Center was later moved to the Church of Saint Peter, just a block from Ground Zero, where it has stood as an object of veneration. The cross will soon be moved to the 9/11 Museum at the site of the World Trade Center."
But Saint Peter's Church will not be without a cross for very long.
Krawczyk explains, "At the urging of a parishioner, I was approached to create a Memorial Cross for the church to take the place of this extraordinary piece of the Twin Towers in order to memorialize those who lost their lives."
The 9/11 crucifix will have three pieces of metal saved fromm the World Trade Center debris incorporated within the form.
"The cross will be made of highly polished stainless steel so each and every onlooker will see himself or herself reflected in the cross, hopefully thinking about those who sacrificed before them, and then considering what their own sacrifice will be," said Krawczyk.
"I want people to see the beauty first—the beauty of existence, the beauty of the Memorial Cross, then remember the destruction, and find a better way."
Krawczyk's sensual modernist bronze and steel sculptures are showcased throughout the world. While his timeless works are installed in locations as varied as presidential libraries, sport stadiums, luxury hotels, public, private and corporate collections, the 9/11 location is most poignant to him because of the emotional component to this project.
A country boy at heart, Krawczyk lives with his wife, art consultant DeeDee Postil Krawczyk, and their two young children, Jak and Georgia, on their Latigo farm, which they fondly refer to as "Camp Runamucka."
When not welding in his studio, Krawczyk can be found coaching his children's soccer and baseball teams on the Bluffs. "I have been living in Malibu for 12 years and I never see myself leaving. It is a unique community of people from firemen to actors and actresses, to businessmen, artists, writers, and scientists. It is a very inspiring community to be a part of. What a gift this town is for my family."
After Krawczyk departs from Malibu next Monday to bring the cross to New York City, he will be conducting interviews in Santa Fe, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Shanksville, before he stops at the Pentagon and then finally New York City.
Krawczyk is also constructing a book made of stainless steel with inscriptions of all of the names of the people who lost their lives on 9/11.
The following inscription will be made on Krawczyk's Memorial Cross:
"The cross is a symbol of hope. It speaks of life's journey and to life's limitless potential. For the innocent, whose lives were taken from them, this cross stands as a memorial. For the courageous, who faced death so others might live, this cross stands as a tribute. For all of us, walking the streets today, this stands as an invitation to reflect on who we are and the people we believe we can be one day."
Anyone who is interested in participating in the Memorial Cross Project can contact Krawczyk at email@example.com
The Memorial Cross
SCULPTOR—Jon Krawczyk works in his studio surrounded by heat and sparks, as he transforms metal into works of art with powerful messages.