A British Jewish sculptor has found himself at the centre of a raging debate about racism and Hitler in the United States after he forced the National Rifle Association remove the image of his work from its adverts.
Sir Anish Kapoor, who was born in India, declared “victory” over the powerful lobby group after it used an image of his giant Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago, which locals affectionately call ‘the Bean’.
The NRA film warns against public policy enemies who “use their media to assassinate real news”, “teach children that their president is another Hitler” and encourage people to “scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia”.
It prompted the British artist to take issue with the gun lobby’s use of his work’s image “to promote their vile message,” saying the NRA was pushing an “ongoing campaign of fear and hate in American society”.
Recalling recent shootings in places such as Florida, Las Vegas and Texas, he said the NRA should be held to account, and accused it of playing to “the basest and most primal impulses of paranoia, conflict and violence”.
On Thursday he said: “They have now complied with our demand to remove the unauthorised image of my sculpture Cloud Gate from their abhorrent video, The Violence of Lies, which seeks to promote fear, hostility and division in American society. Their bullying and intimidation has not succeeded.”
Famous for his Orbit sculpture in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the 64-year old’s work is exhibited around the world, including the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
He was awarded the $1 million Genesis Prize last year, known as the ‘Jewish Nobel,’ and his design for the new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London’s Victoria Tower Gardens was shortlisted earlier this year.
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