A painting, by a tenth grader at the Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, sparks outrage with her work that depicts a police officer wearing a KKK hood. VIA: The Denver Post
This painting, which has since been taken down, was part of a public school art show in the lobby of Denver’s Webb Building. (DenverChannel.com )
A Denver high school student was assigned to research a work of art by one of the masters and then reinterpret it for modern times. What emerged was a provocative image and a real-life lesson in the power of art.
The image speaks to the nation’s painful history of slavery, racism and police brutality: A police officer, wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood, points a gun at a child of color, while in the background the Confederate battle flag overtakes the flag of the United States of America.
It was hung inside a Denver municipal building as part of a display of student artwork, sparking backlash from police union officials who demanded Mayor Michael Hancock (D) take it down.
From having artwork banned from eBay to family members receiving threatening letters, what Michael D’Antuono paints is not for the faint of heart. The New Yorker took time to speak with Sun-Times Network about what made him so passionate about political, social and environmental issues, and his upcoming documentary “Black In(justice).”
Michael D’Antuono: I’ve been making art since I was big enough to hold a pencil. The first piece I remember that obtained the high honor of making it to the refrigerator door was an unmistakable likeness of my grandfather, complete with cap and cane. I was about three or four years old at the time of that accomplishment. The piece had absolutely no social significance.
(In reference to) political paintings, “The Truth” — my portrait of President Obama standing in front of the presidential seal wearing a thorn of crowns was my first political piece. The inspiration for that was the polar opposite accounts on the president rendered by different news organizations and the divisional effect on the masses.
What’s Right, What’s Left: Democracy in America: I was happy to lend my painting, “Blood Money” to this meaningful Chelsea exhibit as the opening coincided with President Obama’s executive action on gun control. The opening was successful with select artists from all over the world participating. The exhibit runs January 7 – January 30, 2016 at the Phoenix Gallery Landmark Arts Building, Chelsea 548 West 28th Street, Suite 528.
Here’s a review by Wall Street International.
This is a news video about how parents overreacted to a high school teacher in Nevada using my painting, “A Tale Of Two Hoodies” to inspire critical thought. The teacher has been put on suspension and may lose her job. Students have rallied in teacher’s support.
For a recent final exam, Nevada high school teacher Elizabeth Clausen showed her students this provocative painting by artist Michael D’Antuono and asked them to use critical thinking skills to form an opinion about how the art represents American society and our country’s history. A handful of parents were outraged and now Clausen is on temporary leave and may lose her job. Some of her students are quite upset about it: (more…)