Andrew Breitbart famously declared that politics is downstream from culture. If true, that should be a scary warning to everyone. Nowhere is culture more represented than in the arts. Recently, a new statue was unveiled in Times Square in New York City. Previous articles here have noted the new statue of seven women to be erected in Central Park celebrating famous New York women, even though two of them are transvestite males.
The statue in Times Square is called “Rumors of War.” Modeled after the statue of Confederate general J.E.B. Stuart in Richmond, “Rumors of War” features a black man on horseback complete with dreadlocks, earphones, and AirJordans. The statue was designed and made by known gay, black artist Kehinde Wiley (one assumes “Kehinde” is some made-up African name). Soon, “Rumors of War” will be permanently relocated to Richmond to stand a few streets over from Monument Avenue with the statues of Stuart, Robert E. Lee and other Confederate heroes. Wiley says he feels “dread and fear” when he walks by those statues on Monument Avenue.
The unveiling was a lavish affair as the Malcolm X Shabazz High School Marching Band provided the music and pomp among the many speeches reminding us how this statue will remind us all of the racial animosity in the United States. Wiley was described as “one of the greatest artists of our time.” Wiley, you may recall, was the artist who demeaned every President with that cartoonish official portrait of Obama that looks suspiciously like Rousseau’s paintings of tropical jungles.
The statue will find a permanent home outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Said their director, Alex Nyerges, at the unveiling, the “grand, majestic work of art” will “make this day a day of rebirth, so that we can work through and eliminate racism, hatred, all the things that bring our world down.” The day of rebirth started awhile ago, Mr. Nyerges, when Confederate statues were torn down, those of our Founders covered up, and others desecrated.
However, here is a fact about Wiley, one of “the greatest artists of our time:” his work is not even original. All he does is take usually white heroes and replace them with black people. In “Napoleon Crossing the Alps,” he replaced the French leader with a black man wearing Timberland boots and a bandana. In another, he replaced King Philip of Spain with Michael Jackson. In a series of paintings called “Judith and Holofernes,” Judith was replaced by a black woman holding the decapitated head of Holofernes who was, naturally, white. This is what a fawning media calls art these days.
One supposes it could be worse. Cleon Peterson, who happens to be white, has a penchant for creating depictions of blacks torturing or killing white people. He also has an unnatural preoccupation with urination. In one painting, rampaging black cops in some city urinate on a prostrate white woman. In another, appropriately titled “Pissers,” two black cops pin down and urinate on a white man. A third shows three black men assaulting white people- the first stabbed to death a white man, the second threatens a nude white woman with a knife while the third stands guard over a bound white woman. Clearly, Cleon Peterson has some unresolved childhood Mandingo issues about white women being raped by black men and maybe some bad toilet training given his strange preoccupation with urination.
For this, Mr. Peterson was designated the honor of creating the first mural at the base of the Eiffel Tower by the fine folks that manage that piece of scrap iron. One supposes there will be a depiction of some gangbanger from Chicago standing over a decapitated Robert E. Lee urinating on the Confederate general. Perhaps, he should consult Kehinde Wiley for some depiction of appropriated art.
To Wiley, he says he is “weaponizing” art. He can call it what he wants but it is not only unoriginal, it is appropriation. In these days where college students are warned not to wear a sombrero for Halloween or eat a taco on Cinco de Mayo lest it is “cultural appropriation,” people of color are given free rein to culturally appropriate white leaders and icons from history, give them dreadlocks, change their facial features and dress them in urban wear, then memorialize it on canvas or carve it out of stone and steel. These will stand much longer than a sombrero or digested taco.
The creation of “Rumors of War” proves that the Left’s attack on statues of Confederate generals, our Founders or Columbus did not end with their dismantling. That was the start of the process of rewriting history and culture which leads next to these replacement statues. Whether a bastardized sculpture of J.E.B. Stuart or men parading as women in Central Park, the great replacement has started egged on by a compliant media.