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  #1  
Old 05-10-2008, 10:11 AM
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Head of class

I don't think ol' MLK would approve of this.

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Arts panel criticizes MLK statue design for DC memorial
By STEPHEN MANNING, Associated Press Writer
Fri May 9, 7:41 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The centerpiece for the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the National Mall has drawn criticism from a federal arts panel, which says the proposed statue looks "confrontational" and resembles the head of a socialist state more than a civil rights leader.

Models of the 28-foot tall statue depict King emerging from a chunk of granite, his arms folded in front of his chest, his legs firmly rooted, an intense gaze on his face.

But the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which reviews the design of projects in the capital area, said the design should be reworked to reflect a more sympathetic rendering of King.

Members thought "the proposed treatment of the sculpture — as the most iconographic and central element of the memorial to Dr. King — would be unfortunate and inappropriate as an expression of his legacy," wrote Thomas Luebke, commission secretary, in an April 25 letter to the foundation that is planning the King memorial and the National Park Service.

The panel said the statue looked "confrontational" and reflected a "genre of political sculpture that has recently been pulled down in other countries."

Harry Johnson, president of the Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial, said a new design would be submitted June 15 that includes a "softening of Dr. King." His facial expression, for example, will be changed.

The criticism from the panel, which must approve the design in order for work to go forward, was part of a dialogue, Johnson said. But he added it would be hard to confuse the slain civil rights icon with an authoritarian figure.

"I don't think anybody could look at a statue of Dr. King and say he looks like a dictator," Johnson said.

Work is scheduled to begin this year on the memorial, to be built with $100 million in mostly private funds on the banks of the National Mall's Tidal Basin. A symbolic groundbreaking was held in 2006 with much pomp, including speeches by President Bush and a string of political leaders and civil rights figures. It will probably open to the public in two years.

The King statue, to be carved by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin, will be chiseled out of a granite boulder called "The Stone of Hope." It will be the largest statue on the Mall, bigger than those at the nearby memorials to Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Lei has made a full-size clay model in China but has not yet carved the granite statue.

The design is not the first controversy over the memorial. Critics said last year that the sculptor should be black or at least American, and that King would have been appalled by China's poor record on human rights.

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  #2  
Old 05-10-2008, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
...The King statue, to be carved by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin, will be chiseled out of a granite boulder called "The Stone of Hope." It will be the largest statue on the Mall, bigger than those at the nearby memorials to Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Lei has made a full-size clay model in China but has not yet carved the granite statue. ... The design is not the first controversy over the memorial. Critics said last year that the sculptor should be black or at least American, and that King would have been appalled by China's poor record on human rights.
A Chinese sculptor/chiseler?

WHO, or WHAT, approved this person in the first place? Is this mentioned anywhere in any article? How does this even get to be voted on?

A rock named "The Stone of Hope?"

Is this a "normal" symbolic procedure that stone-carvers do/perform just before they put the hammer/chisel to the stone...sort of like the reverse of steel-erectors putting the American Flag on top of the structure when they "top" it off? Or is this some "ancient Chinese secret" that's performed to "sooth the spirits of the rock" or whatever earth-bound voodoo they do over there?

No wonder they have such a poor human-rights record...it appears that they worship rocks and minerals and could give a Chinese New Year's Rats' Butt about their own people. How they managed to progress this far into the world with hair-brained beliefs and themes is beyond comprehension...

And, the committee approving all of this...where are their "stones?" Or would it be better to ask "Who paid them off to keep their "stones" tucked away?"

And finally, if I hadn't known that the sculptor/chiseler was Chinese and looking at that picture, I still would feel like something was not "quite right" about M's face...my mind's eye would think that his face needed to be "drawn out" just a bit more (it looks too "Mao-ish"/pudgy)...but, it could have been the camera angle when the shot was taken...but still, if you're going to use a photo to publicize and promote, wouldn't you seek enough opinions to be sure you're putting the best "face" out there?

MO? If I ever get a chance to get to D.C., that thing won't be on my "To Do" list...it appears that someone, somewhere, didn't care that much about MLK and whether these issues would be brought up, are being brought up, or that diddly-squat is being done to correct them.

Who's @55 are we kissing here?

I'm not even a shadow close to being black/African and I'm insulted by this...

Where does the NAACP stand on this? Or were they "paid off" to back off?

Disgraceful and...sad...
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Last edited by mgburg; 05-10-2008 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:51 AM
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Same kind of garbage unleashed on Maya Lin for the Vietnam War Memeorial. It's too bad people who know nothing about art, and people who think they know something about art but don't, somehow feel qualified to judge it.
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Old 05-10-2008, 12:28 PM
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I'm one of the few people on Earth who like the "Long Black Wall". The song is excellent, too.

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-------------------------------------
"Long Black Wall"
By Michael Jerling

A Green Beret came to talk to us
Gave a slide show in the gym
Told about the Communists and the punji sticks
I thought I'd like to be like him
Long black wall
And nothing is undone
Long black wall
Sleeping in the sun

Chicago summer, 1968
Some high school kids out on a lark
Waved to the cameras on the evening news
And got teargassed in Grant Park
Long black wall
And nothing is the same
Long black wall
Shining in the rain

Everyone in college was against the war
We had long hair and Nixon stunk
Draft number high, draft number low
Stayed out all night and got real drunk

The vets came back on the G.I. Bill
In their field jackets and jeans
Drank black coffee and smoked cigarettes
And never spoke of what they'd seen
Long black wall
And nothing left to say
Long black wall
So many miles away

The man on TV said ten years had gone
Today a monument was raised
And when they wrote each name one at a time
The roll of dead took four whole days
Long black wall
And nothing is the same
Long black wall
Shining in the rain
Long black wall
And nothing is undone
Long black wall
Sleeping in the sun
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:11 PM
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He does look a little Mao like, not bad though.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:53 PM
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I agree the face doesn't look quite right, but overall I like the design. I think 28 feet might be a bit too big though.
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:21 PM
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Yeah they should shrink it a bit, but I like the pose. His face isn't friendly enough, Dr. King was a good man.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:22 PM
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Here is a different shot.

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  #9  
Old 05-11-2008, 02:59 PM
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Damn, that sculptor should be in the NBA!
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:30 PM
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Looks kinda "Stalin-esque" to me too.

Now if it were to capture Malcolm X, well...
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:37 PM
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Yeah thats more of a Malcolm X pose!

All the good civil rights leaders are long gone. All the ones we have today are interested in is linning there bank accounts.

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