It’s the Statue of Liberty, with a twist. A traveling artistic creation is causing a stir in Morongo Valley. The artist, Christopher James, creates abstract art throughout the valley.
This piece coined “Lady Liberty” is special because of its distinct meaning and message. From head to toe James crafted her with scrap metal welded together, similar to some other pieces he’s done in the past.
Lady Liberty is different. Instead of holding a torch and a book of law, his rendition is holding a machine gun and a book reading “in guns we trust.” Pictures and videos are igniting a conversation on social media.
“Different people have been getting different interpretations,” he said. “But freedom isn’t free. That’s pretty much what I’m going to stick with.”
The location of the statue is home to Morongo Valley Realty as well. One realtor, Jeff Clark, said he’s an art-lover himself and appreciates the business it’s bringing to the area but the company told James to move it off its property.
Located directly on 29 Palms Highway, it’s impossible for passing cars to miss the art. Therefore, many cars are stopping to take a closer look.
“I’m in to art, I like controversial pieces and this is going to be one of them,” Blaine Bates, a Palm Springs Resident who traveled to see Lady Liberty, said.
Some reactions have been positive, some negative, but James said it’s all in the name of art. The piece costs $19,000, he said.
“It’s not a political piece, I’m not a political artist. It’s just more of a human rights statement,” James said.
As the landmark gains more attention, James said Lady Liberty might be going on tour soon. For now, he’s just hoping she brings in business for the art shop, Hippie Chickens, next door.