That is what you get for hiring a Communist artist.
The United States Commission on Fine Arts, which must approve the statue before it can be built, stepped on a rhetorical landmine when it suggested that the design for the memorial made the slain civil rights leader look too “confrontational.’’Bait and switch. I am also not a fan of the "modern" trend where the artist is more important than the subject - so you know what I think of "teh hunk."
The commission may have chosen some of its words poorly. But it was on the mark when it likened the model for the memorial (top right) to the socialist realist art once found behind the old Iron Curtain. That’s fully understandable, given that the work is being crafted by the Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin, who hails from the socialist realist tradition.
The 28-foot memorial was modeled on a photograph of Dr. King (middle right) and was supposed to remind viewers of his quiet, contemplative side. That aspect came through clearly in the concept drawing of the memorial (bottom right), which showed a likeness of Dr. King seeming to materialize out of slab known as “The Stone Of Hope.’’
The drawing is subtle, nuanced and vividly alive. By contrast, the model that raised hackles at the commission is static, off-putting and even dictatorial in style. That, the commission rightly notes, would be inappropriate as an expression of Dr. King’s legacy.
The proposal on the left isn't all that best, I guess - but couldn't an American artist have been found that could produce something that, if nothing else, would have less sail area?
Shame; MLK deserves something a bit more dignified - and for a change, I think the powers that be agree.