In honor of the ten year anniversary of 9/11, Jennifer Siciliano and her cousin took their art to the streets on Friday, September 9thfor an outdoor body painting session at Battery Park in New York City. “My cousin, Tommy, is a passionate character,” says Jennifer Siciliano, body artist native of New Rochelle. “So when he told me he wrote this poem on 9/11, I wanted to be a part of it.” Tommy’s poem entitled, “It's Been Ten Years (Remembering 9/11)," is a collection of his thoughts and feelings about those who were killed in the attacks and those First Responders who made the ultimate sacrifice. “I thought it would be a perfect idea to unite provocative art with a real message that hits home right now,”says Jennifer who created a body painting design around the New York experience of 9/11 using Tommy’s poem as her inspiration and his upper torso as her canvas. Jennifer painted Tommy all day starting at 12pm and ending around 5:30pm. Positioned right near The Sphere sculpture and surrounded by the NYC Memorial Field, (the five-day project displaying the three thousand flags bearing the names of 9/11 victims), they added their easel and paints to the view.
Construction Project Manager with the City of NY, cousin Tommy is still profoundly moved by how the country and its citizens rallied around New York when the City needed them most. “I want everyone involved with the efforts of that day to feel included and celebrated in my poem,” Tommy says. “Many have forgotten the people who were there, who risked their lives. I don’t want them to be forgotten but remembered and honored.” Tommy has a deep-seated connection to the lingering pulse of 9/11. He volunteered at Ground Zero as a First Responder working alongside firemen, police and dozens of other response units on "the pile" for days and weeks following the attacks during the Search & Rescue Phase. And Jennifer felt there would be no better way to give attention to all New Yorkers affected by the tragedy by opening up a discussion about art. “I remember catching the planes crashing into the towers live that day on TV. It was devastating.”
While body painting is one of the world’s ancient art forms, it’s still gradually earning its rightful respect from the fine art community as it makes its way into more prominent view. Jennifer feels the 9/11 design helped do just that. "I was so surprised with the reaction from people. They were gracious, respectful. People wanted to be a part of it, people exchanged intimate stories and took pictures. I was so happy and proud to feel that live art initiated that."