Strong statue responds to confederate monuments in a modern way

“Powerful” statue

Times Square Statue

The equestrian picture has been crucial to the politics of art for ages. Paintings of individuals riding horses ultimately included high-status sitters and, subsequently, military figures—including Confederate soldiers in the U.s being initially restricted for members of the nobility in Ancient Greece and Rome. It is not surprising, given the contentious past of these monuments, that renowned modern artist Kehinde Wiley used this concept to create his most recent work, Rumors of War.

Rumors of War adheres to all the conventions of equestrian artwork and is mounted on a rock pedestal, cast in bronze, and depicts a figure riding a horse. But what makes it unique is that the ruler is not a king, a well-known member of the elite, or a war hero; rather, he is a “young, African-American subject clothed in urban streetwear,” according to Times Square Arts.

He was inspired to embrace and modify this iconography, according to Wiley, in order to “address its complex visual rhetoric of conflict and valor on an epic scale.” When creating Rumors of War, Wiley was inspired by a particular statue, a still-standing sculpture of Confederate States Army officer J.E.B. Stuart in Richmond, Virginia, in order to have a true perspective to this type of portraiture.

Why is it here? This statue caught Wiley’s attention during a 2016 visit to the nation’s capital in addition to being nearby the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which commissioned Wiley to make the sculpture. The artwork, according to the gallery, “will promote civic discourse about who is remembered in our country and the relevance of memorials in the context of American history.”

Rumors of War will be on exhibit in bustling Times Square in New York City before finding a forever place at the institution later this year. In order to present viewers to a new sort of hero and, more significantly, a new kind of history, Wiley gives this nameless character such a big stage, both physically and metaphorically. During the monument’s unveiling, he declared, “Today we say yes to something that seems like us.” “We embrace inclusion. We embrace more expansive ideas of what it means to be an American.

Artist Kehinde Wiley addresses the “complicated visual rhetoric of combat and heroism on an enormous scale” with Rumors of War, a modern twist on horse artwork.

Kehinde Wiley StatueKehinde Wiley Rumors of WarKehinde Wiley Rumors of WarKehinde Wiley Rumors of WarRumors of War

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