Response to the Dana Schutz Controversy by Joe Lewis, Artist

by the-biennial-project 27. July 2017 13:07

ANNA, MAR 25TH, 9:39AM Hi Joe I hope you are well! This is Anna Salmeron from The Biennial Project. You entered work for our upcoming show - which we love. I am writing to you because I have been thinking about the controversy at the Whitney Biennial in NYC. I would like to put together a post of artists of color giving their thoughts related to this controversy. Would you be willing to write something on this subject? What do you think?

JOE, MAR 26TH, 1:42PM Joe Lewis accepted your request. I like the idea. Count me in. what are your next steps?

ANNA, MAR 26TH, 3:54PM Great!!! Write what you think, and send it to us with any info about how you would like us to introduce you and any links to your work that you would like to have included. Here are a couple of articles on the controversy:

HYPERALLERGIC: Protesters Block, Demand Removal of a Painting of Emmett Till at the Whitney Biennial

ARTNET: Social Media Erupts as the Art World Splits in Two Over Dana Schutz Controversy

JOE, MAR 27TH, 4:39PM The following thoughts crystallized for me after reading Brian Boucher’s balanced March 24, 2017 piece on the controversy, “Social Media Erupts as the Art World Splits in Two Over Dana Schutz Controversy,” and then scrolling down to read the Artnet piece that followed “Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Sentenced to Prison for Painting of Kurdish Town Attack. Doğan has been given a sentence of 2 years and 10 months by a Turkish court. [ ARTNET: Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Sentenced to Prison for Painting of Kurdish Town Attack  ]

How close are we to that?

I oppose censorship in all of its forms but am inclined to open conversation and dialog.

However, this doesn’t negate the fact that the non-artist-of-color enjoys access, place, and creative privilege.

But let’s not assume the worst characteristics of the oppression – erasure, and suppression.

Joe Lewis, Artist (I am uncomfortable attaching any additional info/images/website about my work to this statement because the issue is not about me. ) Regards, Joe

ANNA, MARCH 27TH, 8:46PM Wow, Joe, this is perfect and very thoughtful. Thanks so much.


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