5 public art works about death remind us to be grateful for living

Public art is a platform to engage with a wide community of people. Viewers are not just the art aficionados who visit galleries and museums. Works are seen by the public at large, and can therefore spark a wider community discussion or have a larger impact with its message.

The five public art pieces below were constructed or composed by Sebastian Errazuriz, a NYC-based artist who was born in Chile. These pieces look at death and dying in a way that reminds us to be grateful for living.

American Kills

Errazuriz discovered an unbelievable statistic that “two times more U.S. soldiers have died committing suicide than by enemy fire.” His social media network did not initially respond to the statistic, but after the art installation was completed, there was a wider public response including a series of discussions on CNN about protecting the mental health of soldiers.

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Death Is The Only Certainty in Life

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An Attempt to Understand a Statistic

The 1,100 white crosses that were installed in a NYC park represent the number of people who die each week in the city. The installation was developed “in an attempt to remind people of their own mortality and the importance of living life to its fullest.”

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The artist’s disagreement with the Catholic Church’s ban on condoms sparked statistical research and the discovery of a striking correlation. Although the graphic tells a strong story,  Errazuriz cautions, “It would be completely irresponsible to establish a definitive correlation without further studies, but the eerie coincidence of a higher spread of AIDS in predominately Christian countries demands further review.”

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Memorial Bench



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