Within 2 Seconds, the Shooting of Tamir Rice (painting)

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Artist: Tom Megalis

Year: 2017

Date of Action: May 2017

Region: North America

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Painting

Confronting Bodies: Commentators and the general public

Description of Artwork: This painting is a depiction of the shooting of 12-year old Tamir Rice. in 2014 Tamir, a black boy, was gunned down by a Cleveland police officer. The painting was accepted into the 2017 Juried Visual Arts Exhibition sponsored by the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Art Festival.

The Incident: The controversy began when Megalis posted a video of himself talking about the painting on Facebook. While Megalis intended the painting to be an expression of his own outrage and sadness, the public interpreted it as an exploitation of an African American tragedy. The backlash from the public was vehement and excruciating enough to make the artist question going through with the showing. The artist said that he "must stop the pain, out of respect."

Results of Incident: Because of the outrage and upset that the painting caused, Migalis believed it would be prudent to remove the painting from the exhibit. The festival at which the exhibit took place did not have strong feelings either way, but encouraged the artist to go with what he thought to be the best course of action. This incident raises the question of whether or not white artists are allowed to paint about subjects pertaining to other races and cultures.

Source:


A White Artist’s Painting of Tamir Rice’s Shooting Sparks Heated Debate in Pittsburgh