CINCINNATI (WXIX) — A painting at the Cincinnati Art Museum is fueling debate because some say it crosses the line.
The painting is part of the exhibition “Black and Brown Faces: Paying Homage to”.
Titled “Mother Land Theme Park Black Panther Gift Shop”, it shows Winnie the Poo with his arms cuffed behind his back as he lies face down in what appears to be a pool of his own blood. Standing above him is Piglet, pointing a gun while wearing a police hat. On the right, Tigger is holding a sign reading “Out of the pig”.
Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police President Dan Hils doesn’t like what he’s seeing.
“It aims to divide the citizens and their police, which is not good for the citizens,” he said on Tuesday. “Without us, crime is rife. Killing becomes even more commonplace.
Hils says he was alerted to the painting when an officer’s wife called after he visited CAM with her child.
“She saw something that was completely loathsome, completely ugly, and it was so ugly because it was so personal,” he said, adding that the painting suggests the child’s father “is a murderer”.
Not everyone feels the same.
“It’s art,” said Hayden Baumgartner, a CAM visitor. “Art is supposed to make people feel things. Even if it pisses you off, it’s art. That’s what it’s supposed to do. It’s supposed to make you feel something and elicit a reaction.
Baumgartner and fellow visitor Sam Wesselman say they don’t want to see the painting taken down.
CAM officials say the artist of the painting, Magnus Juliano, created the piece with the intention of inviting dialogue.
The painting is expected to remain on display at CAM until June 19.
Hils says he’ll have the paint removed immediately.
“You know, I think you take small steps at a time. When you hear about something like this, you have to act on it,” he said. “You shouldn’t just sit there and just accept that people are spreading absolutely disgusting lies about police officers and have to accept it as art or as something beautiful.”
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