Home - The Star
February 22, 2014
Star Entertainment


Artwork stirs racial uproar

... Local artistes lash out against 'black woman chair carving'


Some members of the entertainment industry have shared mixed reviews about a controversial picture which has been circulating the Internet, which shows Dasha Zhukova, sitting on a 'black woman chair carving'.

The image was carried in Buro 247 online magazine and following a stern backlash from online viewers, Dasha Zhukova who initially backed the carving, claiming it was art, decided to crop out the bottom half of the picture leaving only her body visible, and a pair of boots that was on the black woman's vertically erected feet.

Media personality at Sun City Radio Honi B, was one of those critics who disapproved of the 'artpiece'.

"This is unpleasant and far-reaching. As far as I'm concerned, art should make you feel interested but not like this. It may have its place but not in my house," Honi B said.

Recording artiste Gaza Slim also shared her view, but she was far less subtle with her opinions.

"That is slackness and I don't think that it is art. Why she couldn't get a real chair and sidung pan it? Or sidung pon di grung? Mi ignorant fi dem, I don't care if a furniture, the (white) woman must be the chair and mek a black woman sit on her the next time around ... bright! A disrespect an mi nuh like that," the Children Are The Future deejay said.

Unlike Gaza Slim and Honi B, No-Maddz's Sheldon Shepherd tried to provide an explanation as to why the artist would create such and image. He says art is sometimes made to stir a discussion and is usually left up to the viewer to determine what it means.

"As an artist the view might be different, because a chair can be both positive and negative, it depends on how you view it because a chair can provide support. It depends on what the artist is trying to portray. Maybe the artist did it intentionally for us to talk about race. One of the roles of art is to challenge society and stimulate debate," he said.

"When the statue was erected in Emancipation Park, some people thought it was lewd while others felt it represented freedom. A lot of artists try to avoid racism because it is a very difficult thing to communicate, because it is not the easiest thing to explain yourself with a still frame," the recording artiste and actor said.

Many Jamaicans also took to Facebook to voice their opinions on the controversial picture. A few said they thought it was art, however, the majority bashed the artist for using the image of a black woman as a chair.

"I HATE IT. I would appreciate both of them sitting together on the ground. Why the black girl gotta be the white girl's seat?," one viewer said.

"So why the black girl couldn't be sitting on the white girl?," another questioned.

Gospel/reggae artiste Prodigal Son said he was not surprised by the image.

The editor for the online magazine also apologised saying, "This photograph, which has been published completely out of context, is of an artwork intended specifically as a commentary on gender and racial politics. I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image."

Bookmark and Share
Home | Gleaner Blogs | Gleaner Online | Go-Jamaica | Go-Local | Feedback | Disclaimer | Advertisement | Privacy Policy | Contact Us