Friday, March 19, 2010
NYC mural controversy

Women with full lips, jutting hips, multi-colored hair, and long fingernails adorn a 92 feet by 12 feet mural near Times Square in New York City.

 

The work of art, by muralist Sofia Maldonado, has been met by mixed reviews since its installation on March 2.

 

iReporters captured a small group gathered to protest and demand the removal of the mural on March 17. Mykwain, a New York University film student, captured reactions of New Yorkers both for and against the mural.

 

 

Many of the complaints stem from the fact that the women depicted in the mural are black and Hispanic. Others feel that the position of the mural in Times Square, a place heavily visited by tourists, is inappropriate.

 

One protester said that the work was “disgusting and degrading to women.” But another observer, who supported the mural, noted that the work depicts the sign of the times and he found the piece to be “astonishingly beautiful.”

 

Maldonado, who is Puerto-Rican and Cuban, was commissioned by the Times Square Alliance to create the work for Women’s History Month. It is set to be on display until April 30, 2010.

 

The debate over the artwork is taking place on CNN iReport, too. Several iReporters have weighed in posting over 300 comments under sjunat55’s submission with their take on the piece as art or highly decorated discrimination.

 

Is the problem with this piece the content, the location, or a mixture of both? Is there a problem with it? Talk about it here.

12 Comments
March 19, 2010
Click to view Odrankol's profile

It's very sad that in such modern times when a woman is given a chance to put up an artwork that celebrates women's history; they best she can do is potray women as simply sex objects. Why couldn't she potray some positive achievements of women today, both in politics and in the corporate arena? Or maybe those are not worth noting since they don't look sexy!!!

 

I guess thats just one good example of what actually limits most women's  potential. When they choose to always see themselves as sex objects. Watch some of our reality TV shows and you'll understand my point better. Good luck ladies.

March 19, 2010
Click to view heo9542's profile

only in america are we sad and pathetic enough to even consider this a problem worth writing about.  Come on ladies, there are a lot worse things out there to complain about.  This is not one of them.

March 19, 2010
Click to view Lone's profile

This situation really boils down to art by committee and there is rarely a point of agreement on something so subjective. You can argue all you want about race and a woman's place in the world but in the end its just what the artist choose to do based on their experiences and perspective.

I'd be curious about the response if it was moved to another side of town. Also its interesting to consider how the character of Times Square has changed in the last 25 years. 1985, no one would think twice about it.

March 19, 2010
Click to view citixen's profile

My biggest complaint is is just doesn't seem that inspired. It could be doodles on a notebook. It looks more like a mural for sub shop or something, not for anything that is supposed to make me amazed at the talent and time it took, or go hmmmmmmm.... Either of those would have been fine. It has neither. Waste of money and artists time (except she gets her name out there and a paycheck)

March 19, 2010
Click to view Briarcliff1's profile

This is truly not newsworthy, but these additional observations nonetheless:

The depictions of women in these cartoon-like murals (not to be confused with 'art') remind me of my last trip to WalMart , where shoppers are commonly dressed similarly to these so-called MuralWomen. Also, any daytime viewer of the Oprah program would agree that the drawer of these murals may have gotten his/her inspiration from the Oprah program. Folks, whatever commission or whoever commission paid for this stuff : "This is what they got". When ya' go hookin' up with "artists", ya never know what kinda stuff you're gonna get.  Hope they didn't pay much, 'cause cartoon-like stuff like this is "a dime a dozen".

March 19, 2010
Click to view runnermark's profile

I'm with heo9542 and Lone - I just don't see the big deal.  A woman was commissioned to put up a mural for Women's History Month, and she did.  Looks good to me.  End of story.

March 19, 2010
Click to view mejiam's profile

To: Odrankol

 

Thats exactly what I want to see, a mural of Hillary Clinton.  Its art and Sofia is simply expressing herself.  I live near the mural and think it looks great. Go protest your opinion somewhere else.

March 19, 2010
Click to view itsalltuna's profile

The controversy is ONLY because the mural is predominantly displayed in NYC where tens of thousands of people can see it.  Just go to any city in the US and visit any of the predominantly African American or Hispanic areas and see the exact same type of imagery.  Where is the outrage for those murals?  Cultural murals with lots of color and anamorphic bodies are the norm in communities where minorities seek recognition for their heritage.  So paint another one across the street and compete. Outrage: It's all Tuna!

March 19, 2010
Click to view Hoeech's profile

Regardless of what passes for art nowadays, if anything whatsoever is put on display, there will be people insisting that it be taken down.  If people actually took the time to stroll through some of the neighborhoods in NYC, they would realize that this is EXACTLY how many of the women living there portray and present themselves in their day-to-day lives.  Art reflects reality -- it rarely shapes it.

March 19, 2010
Click to view jsoto77's profile

This mural has little to no artistic or aesthetic value. The fact that the artist has depicted minority women in such a sloppy manner is irrelevant. It was an attempt to glorify stereotypical sub cultural idiosyncrasies.  In comparison to other pieces of artwork that have been widely accepted in NY, it is evident that the style which the artist used for this mural is only worthy in the eyes of a graffiti artist. This mural belongs on a train, if that.

March 19, 2010
Click to view shellycan's profile

If this were a person of color who did the painting we would not have this debate.  I see women dressed like this all over the city, black, white, spanish, etc.  Oh so it's ok to see this on the subway, bus, around the corner from my house but it's not ok to view this at Times Square.  Give me a break!!!!!!! If you really want to see this in 3D go to 125th St or Broadway 130th and above. 

 

March 19, 2010
Click to view Afrocentrik's profile

I DEFINITELY DONT THINK THAT THIS PATICULAR CHOICE OF ARTWORK SHOULD COMMERATE WOMEN. WOMEN SHOULD BE RESPECTED, REGARDED AS BEAUTIFUL BEINGS THAT GIVE ALL LIFE AND THAT ARE NECESSARY. NOT LIKE THIS. THIS JUST BREEDS NEGATIVE STEROTYPES TO THE EYES OF THOSE UNCONCIOUSLY DUMB, DEAF AND  BLIND AND WOULDNT BE AWARE OF THE DEEPER MESSAGE IN THESE PAINTINGS. I DONT PARTICULARLY LIKE THIS AT ALL

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