MLK .. Honored or Slightly Pissed Off ?
WASHINGTON — The centerpiece for the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the National Mall has drawn criticism from a federal arts panel, which says the proposed statue looks “confrontational” and resembles the head of a socialist state more than a civil rights leader.
Models of the 28-foot tall statue depict King emerging from a chunk of granite, his arms folded in front of his chest, his legs firmly rooted, an intense gaze on his face.
But the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which reviews the design of projects in the capital area, said the design should be reworked to reflect a more sympathetic rendering of King. Full Story .
The Beef …
Is the rendering of MLK too confrontational ? And is it an injustice that an African American, or at least an American, wasn’t selected to be the sculptor ?
No and no, in my opinion.
The hiring of Chinese sculptor Lei Yixon seems like a reasonable choice if he’s one of the best at his craft. The fact that he’s not an American is exactly the “diversity” that America was built on. And If I’m not mistaken, Dr. King supported a nation endearing to all races and cultures, not just African-American cultures. The panel desires a more sympathetic rendering of King, describing it as an “unfortunate and inappropriate” expression of his legacy. “His arms folded in front of his chest, his legs firmly rooted, an intense gaze on his face”. So he’s slightly pissed off. Didn’t he have the right to be ?
I suspect that King would be honored by the Asian’s rendering, and humbled to have his 20 foot likeness displayed so prominately in the Washington Mall with the likes of Linoln and Jefferson. If nothing else, he certainly would have approved of being chiseled out of the granite boulder called “The Stone of Hope”.