Abu’Allah’s ‘Blu³eprint’ is honored as ‘Best New Piece of Public Art’ by Madison Magazine

Faisal Abdu’Allah’s “Blu³eprint” was honored by Madison Magazine as this year’s “Best New Piece of Public Art” in the publication’s Best of Madison Editors’ Picks for 2022.

Faisal Abdu'Allah and his sculpture
Abdu’Allah’s “Blu³eprint” was selected as this year’s “Best New Piece of Public Art” by Madison Magazine. (Photo: Sarah Maughan)

The Editors’ Picks include 16 awardees hand selected by Madison Magazine editors in categories that were not up for voting in the publication’s annual Best of Madison Readers’ Poll.

The nearly seven foot tall “Blu³eprint,” carved from Indiana limestome, depicts Abdu’Allah sitting in a barber’s chair, and stands outside the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison. Abdu’Allah, who is the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art and the associate dean of the arts in the School of Education, was commissioned to create the piece in 2020 — it was unveiled in Feb. 2022.

“The subtle references and symbols are many in this monument, from the personal meaning of the barbershop in Abdu’Allah’s life to the name of the piece, ‘Blu³eprint,’ to the direction it’s facing,” writes Madison Magazine Editor Andrea Behling about Abdu’Allah’s work. “On the back of the chair is a James Baldwin quote: ‘Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.’ Abdu’Allah chose this because he likes that it might mean something different to every person who reads it.”

Behling concludes: “At a time when monuments depicting people have been put under a cultural microscope for reexamination, we’re exceptionally impressed with how much this modern interpretation makes us think.”

Check out the full list of Madison Magazine’s Best of Madison Editors’ Picks for 2022.

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