Anthony Whitaker's 'Standing Steel' captures NYC history

JUAN ESPINAL Special Correspondent to the AmNews | 9/13/2012, 10:33 a.m.

Whitaker's current project is a clothing line entitled "Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens." Occupying most of his free time, the designs are heavily influenced by ancient Egyptian figures, colors and patterns. While working on his own clothing line and creating logos for smaller companies over the past few years, Whitaker has designed clothing for companies that sell prototypes to Ralph Lauren and Prada.

The anticipated exposure Whitaker may receive from the only officially trademarked 9/11 memorial image may bring mass interest to his projects. However, he doesn't harp on the attention.

"I think it's all nice and cool, but I feel like this piece is leading and inspiring people-that's the true memorial and that's the real reward."

The awe-inspiring hunk of building in the photo is unfortunately no longer standing, as it was torn down in the months following Anthony capturing it. He believes demolishing that wall was one of the "greatest crimes this city has done to its people."

"If it was still standing, it would be a landmark that rivals the Great Pyramids of Giza, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris," he says.

Whitaker's portrayal of such bleak subject matter somehow feels inspiring and uplifting. "Like a snake's venom creating the remedy, sometimes the antidote for something comes from what makes you sick."

"Steel Standing" is available on many different mediums and in countless locations around the city. While airports and street vendors sell most to foot traffic, the memorial is also available with more information online at http://www.steelstandingmemorial.org, http://www.911memorial.org and on a Facebook page.

Repeating the sentiments in the photo, Whitaker's tag underlines the work and the passage of these 10 years since our world shook: "Honoring a decade of Courage, Strength, Resilience and Rebirth."