Headless, bodyless sculpture of MLK Jr and Coretta Scott King's arms has people talking

Originally published at: Headless, bodyless sculpture of MLK Jr and Coretta Scott King's arms has people talking | Boing Boing


“Later historians interpreted the “penis angle” - depicting a dong the size of a man’s arm slung and hefted over Scott-King’s shoulder - as a representing the emotional labor of the wife of a popular leader, supporting not only his work and lifestyle, but also his ego.”


I checked the link and guy has quite the imagination

Of course his opinion is published on a website that says

We believe that the ideology of liberalism is at odds with the virtue of liberality. We oppose liberalism in part because we seek a society more tolerant of human difference and human frailty.

And founded by two guys who used to work for the New York Post :nauseated_face:

Edited to fix pronouns. Even assholes get to have the right ones thx, @knappa


Once one starts demanding that people only look at a a public sculpture from “the right angle”, one might want to consider that a frieze or some sort of relief might have been a better choice. Otherwise, accept that this is going to be a piece that has to be explored and considered from different vantages before it comes together.

Also quite the elevated sense of the Scott family’s importance.

Martin married up . Coretta came from a distinguished family, with a significant legacy in her own right. There is a reason she kept the Scott name. We were a black family that owned land, lots of it. Martin knew what he was doing when he pursued her, signaling intentions to marry from the outset.

Not surprised she’s a conservative. In the story of her cousin, the least interesting thing is that her family owned a lot of land and therefore had more status than the family of her husband.


I like that it looks like something else from different angles. That will draw some passersby in for a closer look, and thus to apprehension of what it really depicts.


The fact that someone even tangentially connected to MLK/CSK is using the phrase “woke left” is just…wow. I guess we all have cousins we don’t want to talk with at thanksgiving.


It wasn’t until today that I saw the original pic and the proper angle for me to even understand what was supposed to be going on. From that angle, its a good sculpture.

There are a lot of statues that look like something else from different angles.


Yeah, the tone of that whole article was yuck. Like, way to appropriate the legacy of MLK and Coretta Scott King for himself when all you have is a tenuous family connection* and their actual descendants have said the statue is fine. I thought the land brag was a weird flex until I looked the guy up

  • Seneca Scott’s grandfather was the brother of Coretta’s father. Not a close connection at all.

I knew there was some controversy among some local artists/activists around this statue … this is just not what I had expected, wow. (I’m guessing the critiques from people I respect have more to do with the lack of faces, as if it dehumanizes the Kings. Maybe?)


As a concept i think the idea is fine, but as a giant sculpture it is a bit weird but i don’t think it’s awful or anything of the sorts.


I really like it, but I suppose everything must have it’s associated controversy


This reaction came up in Odd Stuff on the holiday. Here’s what the artist had to say about the work:


It strikes me as something that people will complain about for a few years before pretending that it was always accepted.


cf. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Maya Lin.


I think that it’s a him and he recently ran for mayor in Oakland.

Scott is a Cornell graduate, union organizer (East Bay Director for SEIU Local 1021), goat lover, map collector, cofounder of Bottoms Up Community Gardens, and Second Amendment advocate, with a history of selling cannabis. He can trace his lineage to Coretta Scott King, was conceived in Iran, and is hearing-impaired.

What is your political party?
I’m a post-partisan solutionary. I don’t go left or right; I go up and down. It’s a simple barometer.

So it looks like he’s one of those all-over-the-place guys.

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“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” (1984)


By banning drones, using a pedestal, and ensuring that the setting is free of stairs and balconies, you can ensure that certain angles are unrealistic. But barring that, you can only argue that photographs are reductive.

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Uh oh…



People love to complain about abstract public art, it’s inevitable — whether it’s the cloud gate in Chicago or vessel in NYC… in this case the “bad” angle is actually the back end of the statue, which most people will only see after walking around the thing from the other side. It’s meant to be walked around and under… there’s a reason it’s a statue and not a photograph.

We have dozens of “realistic” statues in Boston that no one says 2 words about. Even if it were a giant dong I’d be happier with that than another towering man.

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