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29 September 2013

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OK, I'll put on my aluminum foil hat and become an art critic. This sculpture appears to be an oversized piece of trash. If you went to your local library and asked to see the graphic novels in the "YA" (stands for "young adult"=teen) section and scanned through a stack of such stuff, you would find so much material that looks like this that you would see the sculpture as very derivative of a style of "cartoon" that is now popular.

It is very busy with detail, so that its attempt to portray human suffering appears as a kind of grandiose decoration on some unidentified but menacing project that lies beyond the scene itself. Because the suffering is decorative, it does not lend much dignity to the subjects it portrays. I doubt the freedmen and contrabands would be much complimented. I almost wondered, when I first looked at it, if the task of designing it had been subbed out to someone in China or somewhere else in Asia. There are certainly artists--the German Kathe Kollwitz would be a good example--who portray suffering well, but along with grief, the dignity and strength that suffering can call forth seems more central with Kollwitz, than with this artist. I detest what I see here.

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