Friday, March 31, 2017

The Dana Schutz Whitney Flare Up

Maybe you have heard that black activists are outraged that a painting by white painter Dana Schutz of Emmet Till in his coffin appears in the Whitney Biennial; indeed, outraged that it was even created, since there are certain subjects that a white artist should not even attempt, or if attempted, done in a certain acceptable way, i.e., in a realist manner. I just find it hard to accept this argument at all. My response basically boils down to exasperation. But, hey, it's definitely good for the protesters to express their opinions, and I don't want to dismiss concerns about race and justice out of hand. But, please, stop with the standing in front of the painting to block visitors' views.

Writing at Hyperallergic, author and artist Coco Fusco presents a defense of artistic free expression that is nothing less than a tour de force -- knowledgeable, tightly argued, and fluent. Read the very fine essay here.

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