New Martin Luther King statue sparks criticism
“Hands embracing a strong penis”
A new monument to civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. has been unveiled in the US city of Boston. The artwork sparked a controversial debate.
Phallic? This sculpture by Hank Willis Thomas is currently causing debate.
You can argue about taste. In the USA, many are currently doing this in connection with a new memorial for the Afro-American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. († 39), who was murdered in 1968. Conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas (46) unveiled his sculpture in Boston on Friday. The inauguration should have been cause for celebration. Instead, the statue caused ridicule.
Users on Twitter and other social media platforms soon ridiculed the work, writing that it contained unintended, salacious associations. While some of these posts went viral, some defended the monument and pointed out its poetic aspects.
That’s what the artist says
The six meter high and twelve meter wide statue is inspired by a photo of the civil rights activist in which he hugs his wife Coretta Scott King († 78) when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The memorial, titled “The Embrace,” shows only the couple’s arms. Artist Thomas says of the “Boston Globe” that when he designed the statue, he was concerned with the ability of each of us to “be enveloped in love”.
Critics claim the monument looks phallic. It reminds you of different sex positions depending on your perspective.
«Masturbatory tribute to my family»
Among them is Seneca Scott (45), a cousin of Coretta Scott King. The statue’s design looks like a “hands embracing a powerful penis,” Scott writes in an essay for Compact magazine. The monument was insulting, “a metal masturbatory tribute to my legendary family members”.
Other descendants of the civil rights activist comment positively on the work of art. Martin Luther King III (65), the eldest son of Martin Luther King Jr., says he is pleased with the statue. “I think it’s a great performance that brings people together,” he told CNN. “I think the artist did a great job. I am happy.” (noo)