A controversial painting at the Cincinnati Art Museum has sparked outrage as law enforcement officials have called for the painting to be removed from its display.
The painting in question is part of a larger exhibition entitled Black & Brown Faces: A Tribute to. The artwork is a second exhibition being organized by Paloozanoire, an organization focused on “enriching the lives of people of color in the Midwest through creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship.”
The controversial painting depicts the characters Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit and Eeyore. In the painting, Winnie the Pooh is handcuffed and lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Piglet is pictured behind him disguised as a policeman, pointing a gun directly at Pooh. Also, Tigger is standing in front of Winnie the Pooh, holding a sign that says “Off the Pig”.
Cincinnati Fraternity Police Order President Dan Hils told WLWT 5, “It’s absolutely overwhelming to me that we’re here. That we are there in society, that it can be seen as a work of art. It makes no sense.”
Hils said that despite his belief in freedom of expression, he asked the museum to remove the artwork. “I’m taking advantage of my freedom of speech and saying take that down,” Hils said.
Hils said that the painting “says that cops are murderers, which I know is a total fabrication and a total lie”. He added that Tigger’s message with the sign “suggests killing cops. Now I’m getting angry again. That is unbelievable for me.”
The museum’s website states in the exhibit’s description, “This exhibit connects 15 Midwestern color artists with 15 living honorees in our community” and will be on view through June 19, 2022.
The Cincinnati Art Museum released a statement Wednesday about the backlash, saying, “With this exhibition, Paloozanoire wanted to bring the community together through conversations about challenging topics. This partnership supports the Cincinnati Art Museum’s mission as an institution: Through the power of art, we help make Cincinnati more vibrant by inspiring its people and connecting our communities.”
“We fundamentally reject any form of violence against police officers or members of the community. We believe that freedom of expression is the basis for dialogue and community partnership,” the statement continued.
WLWT 5 reported that they also interviewed the play’s artist, Columbus resident Magnus Juliano. According to the news agency, Juliano dressed up in a pig costume via Zoom.
“I want people to take away what they want,” Juliano said of the painting. “Humanity is a joke right now when we’re more upset by a painting than by police brutality. Black people get hurt.”
Winnie the Pooh has previously been used as a character to represent messages of political and social justice. The bear has been portrayed as a symbol of resistance among those who oppose the ruling Chinese Communist Party, leading to President Xi Jinping banning the film Christopher Robin from the release in China in 2018.
In 2014, Tuszyn, a city in central Poland, banned Winnie the Pooh from becoming a playground icon due to the bear’s inappropriate clothing and “dubious sexuality.”
Recently, a new horror film called Winnie pooh: blood and honey has wowed horror film fanatics and some reports say the film will be released later this year, although there is no confirmed release date at this time.
news week reached out to the Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police and the Cincinnati Art Museum for further comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/cuffed-bloodied-winnie-pooh-painting-outrage-cincinnati-1710585 Winnie the Pooh’s bloody, tied up museum exhibit sparks police outrage