San Francisco Art@Site George Segal Holocaust Memorial

George Segal


Holocaust Memorial

El Camino Del Mar
This memorial shows ten figures sprawled, recalling post-war photographs of the camps. Placement of this work was controversial. The choice to look over such a truly beautiful landscape recalling death in a rather graphic way was not acceptable to many. The artist however, insisted that the viewer might consider death while facing towards the monument and life while facing towards the Golden Gate.
Segal’s work is executed in bronze and painted white. It has been the subject of grafitti, but Segal mentioned, at a 1998 conference at Notre Dame University, that he did not find this a problem since grafitti was a reminder that problems of prejudice have not been solved.
Segal’s ensemble of bodies is not random. One can find a 'Christ-like' figure in the assemblage, reflecting on the Jewishness of Jesus, as well as a woman holding an apple, a reflection on the idea of original sin and the biblical connection between Jews and Christians, and raising the question of this relationship during the Holocaust.