Ghost of the Galveston Giant
William R. Mayer (American, June 28 1953 – November 11 2017)
MediumPorcelain and glazed earthenware
DimensionsWork : 13 x 13 x 4 1/2 in. (33.02 x 33.02 x 11.43 cm)
Credit LineGift of Michel Conroy in memory of Billy Mayer
LabelOriginally from Minnesota, Billy Mayer taught sculpture and ceramics at Hope College from 1978 until his unexpected death in 2017. Boxing gloves and punching bags are recurring motifs in Mayer’s art, symbolizing American culture’s fetishization of masculinity and violence. The title of this sculpture alludes to the nickname of Jack Johnson (1878-1946), America’s first African-American boxing champion and an influential advocate for civil rights at the height of the Jim Crow era. Mayer created the sculpture during a residency at the Herend Porcelain Manufactory in Hungary.