J.D.R. Hawkins

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Artistic Plagiarism?

I’m really not sure what to make of this. Please share your views. Do you think this is okay, or is it an infringement on existing artwork? It is understandable how the artist is making a statement against a longstanding monument in Richmond, but is it really appropriate?


Perpetually crowded Times Square has a new statue for pedestrians to navigate – but it’s unlike any other.
Artist Kehinde Wiley unveiled his biggest work ever … a massive bronze statue of a young African American man in urban streetwear sitting astride a galloping horse.
Called “Rumors of War,” it flips the script on traditional statutes commemorating white generals. Wiley described his bold work as a call to arms for inclusivity.
He told The Associated Press afterward that he hoped young people would see it and “see a sense of radical possibility – this, too, is America.”
The project was born when Wiley saw Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s monument in Richmond, Virginia.
The unveiling was bookended by performances from the marching band from Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, New Jersey and an unveiling speech by Confederate monument opponent and Richmond, Virginia Mayor Levar Stoney.
(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 4, 2019 ed.)

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6 thoughts on “Artistic Plagiarism?

  1. Eddie Inman on said:

    It is wrong and is a type of plagiarism.

  2. The left has to make it about race, we all know the war was about States Rights and JEB fought for a greater cause as everyone knew slavery was Dying. Abe used slavery as Obama used health care… Destroying our historical figures doesnt change history we should accept our history and realize that we wouldnt have the freedom we all cherish if it were not for our past. Monument row needs to be protected along with all the statues and monuments of our leaders. I wonder how may of the tyrannical leftists know that both southern and northern generals all went to school together and fought together before 1861.

    • So very true. I completely agree. Thanks so much for your comment!

    • And the right will say it’s not about race when they know it is and has always been about race. From the objection to end slavery to Jim Crow laws enacted to segregate and perpetuate a new form of enslavement for people of color. These larger than life statues of people who fought against emancipating the enslaved were erected to intimidate and remind black people of who was superior even though they had lost the war. The only place these symbols of confederacy belong is in a musuem. Comparing Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to Obama’s Affordable Care Act sounds like a dig whistle to me.

  3. Rissa Miller on said:

    I’m an art history teacher, and I have to say that plagiarism is when something is copied directly and taken credit for as being the original. This is not the case here. Artists have reinterpreted iconography for millenia. The earliest examples of Christ were taken from pagan iconography, similarly, representations of the Madonna are twists on Greek and Egyptian goddesses. Master painters and sculptors through the centuries have “plagiarized” (reinterpreted) previous art purely as way of communicating new meaning to their contemporary audience – which is precisely what Wiley has intentionally done with this statue. It is not a copy, nor is it “plagiarized” – he has used the form of the Jeb statue to overlay his own, new meaning – in essence: created something new from the old, which is in line with the entire history of art in Western civilization.

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