The thing I like most about art is that it is subjective. We can look at the same piece of art and see different things, which makes art beautiful. Everyone has their own unique perspective, and that’s okay. In recent news, the new Embrace statue has sparked much controversy. The statue was created by artist Hank Willis Thomas and was placed on Boston Common where Dr. King gave a speech on April 23, 1965. Some love the statue and others have mocked it. I didn’t even think of other things the statue could represent until I started reading different comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and when it comes to the statue, I think it’s beautiful. I love the concept behind it as well as the significance.
The image comes from a place of love, which is what we need more of in this world. With so much division and hatred, this statue serves as a reminder. A reminder to love, a reminder to “embrace” each other regardless of skin color, political affiliation, sex, gender, religion, etc. It’s a reminder to never forget what Dr. King and so many others fought for.
I can’t help but think that if this statue was of anyone else, this may not have been such a big deal and people may not have made such mockery over the statue. It pains me to read some of the comments that have been posted. It’s not funny. It’s about history. Important history that has helped shape America. It was Aristotle who said, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” This statue is significant and holds so much value to our culture, our society, our everyday life. We must “embrace” it as it is and accept the statue, just like we must learn how to accept everyone’s differences, everyone’s culture, everyone’s beliefs, religion, and life choices. We have gotten to a point to where we can’t even agree to disagree in a way that is respectful. To me, everything comes down to communication and treating people how you would want to be treated. My mom has always told me since I was a little girl that “it’s not what you say, but how you say it.” We must learn how to communicate with one another because that’s where it starts. We are all different and that’s what makes life beautiful.
In the words of Dr. King, he said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” I challenge you to love and “embrace” not only this statue, but life itself and all the beautiful people that make it what it is today.
Photo Credit: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images