Artist Kehinde Wiley unveils bold sculpture in Times Square | TribLIVE.com
Art & Museums

Artist Kehinde Wiley unveils bold sculpture in Times Square

Associated Press
1739905_web1_1739905-33b1cfc51be04bea9dd715f5bacc0401
AP
A bronze sculpture, “Rumors of War,” by artist Kehinde Wiley, appears in Times Square at an unveiling on Friday Sept. 27, 2019, in New York. The work, depicting of a young African American in urban streetwear sitting astride a galloping horse, will be exhibited through December 1.
1739905_web1_1739905-4541045cc3f142e387bab815da6c5be7
AP
Members of the Malcom Shabazz High School marching band, from Newark, N.J., perform at the the unveiling of artist Kehinde Wiley’s sculpture “Rumors of War” on Friday Sept. 27, 2019, in New York. The work, depicting of a young African American in urban streetwear sitting astride a galloping horse, will be exhibited through December 1.
1739905_web1_1739905-c9f8297c029c4ebdb863078f24b35181
AP
Visual artist Kehinde Wiley, best known for his portrayals of contemporary African-American and African-Diasporic individuals, appears at the unveiling his first monumental public sculpture “Rumors of War,” an equestrian portraiture of warfare and heroism, Friday Sept. 27, 2019, in New York.
1739905_web1_1739905-34c5f5418bf14aa78ab33190b7e01db9
AP
A bronze sculpture, “Rumors of War,” by artist Kehinde Wiley, appears in Times Square at an unveiling on Friday Sept. 27, 2019, in New York. The work, depicting of a young African American in urban streetwear sitting astride a galloping horse, will be exhibited through December 1.
1739905_web1_1739905-868052a5dc814dd2ad236123f6b18084
AP
Visual artist Kehinde Wiley, best known for his portrayals of contemporary African-American and African-Diasporic individuals, appears at the unveiling his first monumental public sculpture “Rumors of War,” an equestrian portraiture of warfare and heroism, Friday Sept. 27, 2019, in New York. The work will be exhibited in Times Square through December 1.
1739905_web1_1739905-e307025f4871426c822aad68ab1a8a1e
AP
A bronze sculpture, “Rumors of War,” by artist Kehinde Wiley, appears in Times Square at an unveiling on Friday Sept. 27, 2019, in New York. The work, depicting of a young African American in urban streetwear sitting astride a galloping horse, will be exhibited through December 1.

NEW YORK — Perpetually crowded Times Square has a new statue for pedestrians to navigate — but it’s unlike any other.

Artist Kehinde Wiley unveiled his biggest work ever Friday, a massive bronze statue of a young African American man in urban streetwear sitting astride a galloping horse.

Called “Rumors of War,” it flips the script on traditional statutes commemorating white generals. Wiley described his bold work as a call to arms for inclusivity.

He told The Associated Press afterward that he hoped young people would see it and “see a sense of radical possibility — this, too, is America.”

The project was born when Wiley saw Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s monument in Richmond, Virginia. That 15-foot-tall bronze work portrays Stuart astride a horse and is part of the city’s string of Confederate memorials along Monument Avenue that includes ones for Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson.

“I’m a black man walking those streets. I’m looking up at those things that give me a sense of dread and fear. What does that feel like, physically, to walk a public space and to have your state, your country, your nation say, ‘This is what we stand by.’ No. We want more. We demand more,” he said. “Today we say ‘yes’ to something that looks like us.”

The horse-riding figure in “Rumors of War” — on the Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th streets — has turned in his saddle, his attention seemingly toward an American Eagle store. His Nikes are firmly in the stirrups and his majestic horse is in movement, focused on something across the street.

“Rumors of War” will display in Times Square until December before finding a permanent home at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

For now, Wiley’s work joins other sculptures in the plaza of the so-called Crossroads of the World. There are also statues of Father Francis Duffy and producer George M. Cohan, both white men.

The unveiling was bookended by performances from the marching band from Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, New Jersey. Other speakers at the unveiling included Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

“Today is a monumental day,” Stoney said. “In Richmond we have 10 Confederate monuments to the Lost Cause. I think that is 10 too many.”

Categories: AandE | Museums
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.