Benjamin Norman, writing for The New York Times summarizes the situation surrounding the Whitney Museum of American Arts 2017 Biennial.
“The turmoil, which has been excruciating for many people in different ways, centers on “Open Casket,” a painting in the exhibition by Dana Schutz. The work is based partly on photographs of the horrifically mutilated face of Emmett Till lying in his coffin in 1955, about 10 days after that African-American 14-year-old was brutally killed by two white men in Mississippi for supposedly flirting with a white store clerk. The artist, Ms. Schutz, is white, and her use of the images has struck many in the art world as an inappropriate appropriation that, they argue, should be removed.”
He goes on to address historical examples from Bob Dylan to Ben Shahn, as well as other works in the exhibition like Henry Taylor’s “The Times Thay Aint a Changing Fast Enough” depicting the fatal shooting of Philando Castile. The bulk of the article also considers the debate of about whether the work should be removed as was widely suggested in social media, and then immediately went viral.
The article a good read if you somehow missed some the debate, as is a related article on Ms. Schutz by Robert Kennedy that came out a bit earlier in March. Read here.
For the full article visit: New York Times