The ‘Embrace’, by New York artist Hank Willis Thomas, is six meters high and 12 wide: it depicts the embrace with Coretta Scott King after winning the Nobel Prize
AND’ ”Satisfied” Martin Luther King III for the new statue placed in Boston depicting his parents and which he defined on CNN as ”an enormous representation of the union between people”, an ”excellent work done by the New York artist” Hank Willis Thomas. Six meters high and 12 wide, the work of art ‘The Embrace’ has however been the subject of growing criticism and teasing on the internet, including by relatives of Martin Luther King Jr. The statue depicts his embrace with Coretta Scott King after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 but only representing the couple’s arms and not their heads. Precisely this stylization has meant that, according to some, the one depicted looks more like a sexual act than a hug.
Seneca Scott, a cousin of Coretta Scott King, said the statue was an “insult” to her family. “Ten million dollars was wasted creating a tribute reminiscent of a sexual act to members of my legendary family, one of the greatest American families of all time,” Scott wrote to Compact Magazine.
His position has not remained isolated and many on social networks, but also in the media, have defined the decision to exclude the faces from the 10 million dollar sculpture as disrespectful and unattractive. Boston Herald columnist Rasheed Walters on Twitter called the statue “aesthetically unappealing” and “a huge change in honoring Dr. King and Mrs. King.” But the son told CNN that while the sculpture doesn’t bear “pictures of mom and dad,” it represents “something that brings people together.” It is in this moment, day and age, when there is so much division, that we need symbols that speak to bring us together,” he added.