We all know the worth of arts. We strongly admire work that communicates to us in the most telepathic way. We decipher histories, cultures and our society through painting, photography and sculpted work of arts. But then, some art works put us on loose and want to make us cry, yell and hate anything artistic because they contribute to already growing controversy.
The art that infuriates is art that sets us ablaze. Dana Schutz arouses anger which is at the heart of American racial discourse. The work is an “Open Casket” and based partly on photographs of the horrifically mutilated face of Emmett Till lying in his coffin in 1955, about 10 days after that African-American 14-year-old was brutally killed by two white men in Mississippi for supposedly flirting with a white store clerk.
A Twitter user known by the name Scott W. H. Young wrote after the exhibition of the ‘Open Casket’, “At the Whitney, a protest against Dana Schutz’ painting of Emmett Till: “She has nothing to say to the Black community about Black trauma.”
This image has been seen as exploitation of Black suffering by Schutz. The British-born, Berlin resident has written an open petition on this. This leads to the questions: should artwork that infuriates be removed? Should artwork that generates racial debates be outlawed?