“Guernica” it ain’t, though a painting by a black teenager from St. Louis that depicts cops with pigs’ heads shooting up a black neighborhood is being hailed as if it were a newly discovered work by Picasso.
The work, according to the St. Louis American, won top honors in this year’s U.S. Congressional Art Competition, held annually, and since the end of April has been hanging on a wall in the U.S. Capitol building.
The painting is untitled, though after you glimpse it and read more about the motivation for it, you’ll probabky come up with many possible names of your own for it.
Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay , Jr., who presented the artist, David Pulphus, with his first-place certificate describes the painting in fairly high-blown praise as depicting “the tragic events in Ferguson and the lingering elements of inequality in modern American society” via “symbolic characters representing social injustice.”
Here’s hoping that Clay doesn’t plan to give up his day job to become an art critic. The painting, which appears below, is about as heavy-handed as even an adolescent can get. Notice, for example, that one protester holds aloft a sign reading “Racism Kills,” while another carries the message “Stop Killing”; a third brandishes a sign reading “History” —something with which young artist Pulphus appears to have only a passing acquaintance.