I think Doug needs to relax.
You made the painting? Did you intend it to be racist? Are you a racist? If your answers are yes, no, and no, then no it's not racist.
Racism is in the eye of the beholder.
Is it cheesey? Yes.
A teeny bit sterotypical? Sort of.
Do you hate black people with green eyes? Or are those white people with dark skin? Is "grocers" a race?
The link gives me the cookbook review bribe letter photo, with money included.
Depictions of bribes are racist?
It's a frickin' love letter to 9-11!
5: weird link fixed.
I would call it insensitive, and pointlessly inflammatory. It dares you to be offended, as if it wants to start an augment. Which can be just fine. But why? It isn't clear to me what this painting accomplishes by making everyone cringe and starting arguments.
Reading and posting to this pointless post by David cost me 45 seconds of my life I will never get back.
That fruit stand is selling apples, not watermelon. You're ok.
Also, questionnaire #2.
That man's perspective reminds me of Keep on Truckin'
Put it back on your wall, or the wall of your office.
Ok, for one I think that's a terrible definition of racist. Yes, that's the dictionary definition, but it doesn't mean something can't be racially offensive just because it doesn't meet that definition.
And yes, I think the painting is sort of racially offensive/overly stereotypical. If it was really done without that intent, then maybe it isn't "intentionally racist", but obviously some of the most problematic racism is subconscious. Think: if this were a painting of a Jew with features that stereotyped, would we even be having this conversation?
It's a caricature, and so it's not racist, but it exists somewhere on the slippery slope toward racism. Like if you made a thought bubble coming out of the guy's head that said "Yum, watermelon!", then it would racist, but it's not there yet on its own.
I wouldn't necessarily think it's racist, but I suspect enough people would that I wouldn't hang it on my wall.
I'm not sure if it's racist or not, but it IS a really bad painting. Keep it in the closet.
Speaking as a non-white, I think it's a little racist. But I'm more concerned with that plane up there. It looks like it's flying suspiciously low. And is it on an approved flight path?
Freaking hilarious is what it is.
racism isn't binary, it can work on a gradient. but if i'm being honest if this painting were a person in a crowd i would probably steer away from them, not hating just....avoiding. also when i see twin towers, planes, and brown people it makes me wonder what the intent is....just the way our society has conditioned me.
Racist or not, the painting is very ugly and boring. I wouldn't want it in my house.
I see this as a stylized/cartoon-style depiction of people who are not white. That is not racist.
If the artist had put a stylized white person in the picture, too, then there'd be no question it wasn't racist. But a stylized, i.e. artistic, portrayal of people who are not white is not racist per se.
If we can't have stylized faces in art without their being racist, or without the artist or owner of the art being racist, then we can't have art and we can't have portrayals of human beings.
It is reminiscent of certain depictions of thick-lipped African-Americans, many of which have racist connotations. So while the painting itself may not be racist, it readily triggers associations of such racist depictions. That would be enough for me to take it down.
(Oh, and, I'm not sure I would want a picture of a plane approaching the twin towers hanging on my wall either. WTF?? Does it hang next to its sister painting of "happy slant-eyed Japanese-Americans blithely enjoying the sight of zeroes circling over Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941"?)
Is this racist?
no, it's just banal.
I can easily see how this could be interpreted as racist. I wouldn't personally be offended, but I wouldn't defend the portrait as not being racist if someone else was. It's certainly very Jim Crow...
Doug said: Iím hoping the open-minded Slog community could help me out on this. Thanks.
I said: Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!
I am in agreement with the others. It is not racist but it has the racist connotations from characterizations in the past. It is a stereotype because of the oversized lips of the character.
The buildings are also stereotypical caricatures, but buildings don't have feelings.
Does anyone who thinks it is racist black? Was the painter's friend?
@20's first paragraph is spot on for me. It is so evocative of racist portrayals and stereotypes (big lips, etc.), and it doesn't seem to take that evocation and do anything with it. Which is why it feels quasi-racist.
I totally missed the WTC part at first glance (OK, so I'm not very observant) but it reminded me of those murals that they used to paint in depressed areas of town back in the 70's and 80's to brighten up closed storefronts.
what kind of bitchmade lets their friends perception of racism dictate their sense aesthetic?
"that painting is racist"
"says you milquetoast!"
BTW, racist connotations are completely subjective.
who you callin' big lipped, mo fo? damn, sucka.
I find it offensive to refer to that thing as a "painting".
@21 That Family Guy pic isn't racist, i'd say more of a true representation of reality: loser loudmouth fat guy -stupid satanic kid -pet worship -ditsy females.
In other words, justified stereotypes. Reminds me of StuffWhitePeopleLike.com
It shows that you only think of black people as big-lipped, apple-eating, pre-911 NYC pedestrians.
This is surely the same reason why West Virginians don't vote for Obama.
In American WWII propaganda, the Japanese were depicted as monkeys.
In Japanese WWII propaganda, the Japanese were depicted as... monkeys.
racist is an odd term for hatred or intolerance of other races.
I think the word(s) we need are:
When we use the term "racist" we really do mean "blackist" and nothing else. Hmmm, but I imagine saying "blackist" in lieu of saying "racist" would make us - "racist".
Carry on - as you were - Sloggists...
@35, That's not true at all. Unless, by "black," you mean "colored." You don't think Latinos or Asians are discriminated against?
What's racist is that this post came right after a post about Jay-Z.
I mean, just look at those lips
It's fuckin' ugly, that's what it is.
Considering the Northwest has as much experience with diversity as the South does with progress, it's no wonder that you should be so fascinated and enamored with a caricature that allows you to reminisce about the 'hood.
The whole thing is weird. Buy one of those shitty fabric wall hangings. Problem solved.
whenever race is brought up in a public discussion i feel that people of color tend to get the short end of the stick. it gets reinforced that its a white world that we just happen to be living in it. we have to re-examine our position in society and a lot of the negatives that go along with it. it creates a chronic stress environment.
a simple honest question gets responses like #4, which reminds me of the times i have been in a situation that didn't feel right only to have it dismissed as overly sensitive by white friends, situations they have never faced but "hey the same thing happened to a friend's brother's girlfriend, i think, so it happens to white people too"
its not about the painting anymore...even jokey/sarcastic comments just kinda reify our position.
reminds me of the bill cosby cartoon, fat albert.
Oh man, come on, it's a fucking cartoon. Is Pokemon racist because a bunch of the characters have slanty eyes? Was Fat Albert racist?
I wouldn't hang it on my wall, not because it's offensive, but because it's pretty bland.
Thanks for all the comments, folks. I think I've learned two things:
1) My friend's a dillhole.
2) The painting's lame.
Maybe I'll hang it in the basement.
3) Fuck the haters. Hang your picture if you like it and the hell with everyone.
@22 and @41 tie for the win.
i have to say, i live in brooklyn, where i see paintings with similar exaggerated facial proportions on the walls in the streets all the time. Some of them show better technical skills, some worse. None of them are considered racist because presumably they are painted by black people. For right or for wrong, people can always accuse you of racism if you painted that and you are white.
I don't personally think the painting is racist because the depictions are not showing the characters in a negative light. Of course "negative light" is always subjective, as is the meaning or quality of Art. The fact that you say you did not intend it to be racist means that it is definitely not racist. I'd just change the signature and tell people your black friend in Brooklyn painted it for you. Then no one will say anything to you about it anymore.
ps. this painting doesn't look or feel anything like the wtc before or after its redecoration. i also have to agree that the painting is certainly not particularly noteworthy.
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