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Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian (work of art)

Artwork Info

Artist Details
84 inches tall (213.36 cm)


For most of his career, Michael Richards devoted his work to sculptures and installations that paid tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American Air Force pilots during World War II, whose heroism and bravery were truly recognized only long after the war ended.

Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, cast from the artist’s body, is a gilded, glowing figure of an airmen wearing his helmet and uniform, mounted on a pole in a pose of supplication, his eyes gazing at something beyond his viewer, his body pierced with numerous small airplanes. The title of the work refers to both a Southern folktale of entrapment and a soldier who became a saint after he refused to deny his faith and was shot with arrows. Learn more about the artist and this work through Oolite Arts.


  • Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian by Michael Richards

  • RICHARDS, Tar Baby vs St. Sebastian, 1_2004, view B_detail

  • DI24944-216

  • Fulton Hayes (black printed shirt) is the docent.

  • DI25046-60

  • RICHARDS, Tar Baby vs St. Sebastian, 1_2004

  • SL23321-50

Related Concepts


On loan from the estate of the artist