The Whitney Biennial of 2017 features the work of many American artists, such as Dana Schutz.
Schutz’s work has recently stirred up some controversy due to the subject of her featured work. Her “Open Casket” painting of Emmet Till has provoked many protestors who are now calling for the painting to be taken down and even destroyed.
The constant arguments of appropriation and white privilege that protestors propose are raising issues in the art community. Protestors and even artists have called out Schutz for her work without considering the purpose of art to evoke conversations and bring issues to the light – despite the color of the artist’s skin.
Many news outlets published parts of an open letter that was rumored to be written by Schutz earlier this week. However, the Whitney Museum’s director of communications later confirmed that the letter was fake and Schutz had nothing to do with writing it. Schutz has made it clear that she feels the painting should remain on view despite the controversies. For now, the painting remains to be a part of the Whitney Biennial and continues to be a trending topic. The artist’s ability to shine a light on the issues deeply engrained in the country through the painting of one of the many tragic killings of black men is something the Whitney Museum clearly thinks is of value, despite the protests.