A nine-foot-tall statue of hip-hop icon The Notorious B.I.G. has been erected in his native Brooklyn, New York. Created by Caribbean-born artist Sherwin Banfield, “Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings” uses bronze, stainless steel, resin, wood, and winterstone alongside solar-powered audio and lighting elements to depict the late rapper.” The piece is currently on display in Northwest Brooklyn at Clumber Corner, where it will remain through most of 2023.

The statue features a bust of the rapper, born Christopher George Latore Wallace, wearing a gold-colored crown reminiscent of the famous “King of New York” portrait by photographer Barron Claiborne. The angular metallic body of the sculpture is adorned with various pieces of Biggie iconography, from song lyrics to an adaptation of the colorful Coogi sweater that became one of Big’s signature looks at the height of his success.

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“Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings” is situated just off the Brooklyn Bridge overlooking the Manhattan skyline—allowing the “King of New York” to survey his kingdom. While the small, grassy patch known as Clumber Corner is located in a high-traffic area, it is accessible via the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway. The sculpture also features two solar-powered speakers that play a “special DJ audio mix of Biggie’s hits,” giving the piece a sustainable audio element.

In its right hand, the sculpture holds a microphone inscribed with the word “throne,” symbolizing the way Biggie’s rapping helped him become known as the “King of New York.” In its left hand, the sculpture carries a human heart. As Banfield explained in an interview with News 12 New York, “I wanted to show that, yes, you can be tough, but you can also show love, or spread love, as he would say.”

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As Banfield said of his relationship to Biggie’s music, “I immigrated here as a young boy and hip-hop was the music that helped me transition into this culture.” On his website, he adds, “My Sculptures are symbols of artistic evolution in the third dimension. Sculpture has allowed me to explore volume of lines, shapes and proportions inherited from drawing. My sculpting process involves dissecting parts of a whole while understanding the unique functions of details that make up the total volume of my subject. This evolving understanding of each figure gives meaning to body language, behavior and mood of the human form.​​​ ​Each Example of my sculpture is an attempt to describe the individual and the stories that makes up the history of the person.”

“Sky’s the Limit in the County of Kings” was made possible by a grant from the Downtown Brooklyn + Dumbo Art Fund, a joint venture by Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Dumbo Improvement District as part of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Scroll down to check out a video interview with artist Sherwin Banfield about the piece in addition to an assortment of photos and videos of the creation process and the finished product.

Artist Behind Nine-Foot-Tall Notorious B.I.G. Statue Talks Being Inspired By Biggie


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A post shared by Sherwin Banfield (@sherwintheartist)


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A post shared by Sherwin Banfield (@sherwintheartist)