Artist Behind Mike Brown Sculpture Responds To Backlash

Sculptor Ti-Rock Moore, the New Orleans-based artist responsible for the controversial Mike Brown exhibit, is explaining the motives behind the highly criticized work. According to Moore, who is White, though she realized the imagery would be disturbing and invoke negative emotions, she moved forward with it because she intended to “ignite meaningful conversation.”

“Disturbing imagery has always been used in art-making to ignite meaningful conversation. I wanted to use his death to make a statement about the brutal realities of racism in this country. I have unfortunately upset many in revisiting this tragedy, but I think the conversations that are surfacing because of it are worth noting and may help us move into a new direction,” the told The Huffington Post.

The artist went on to share that was apprehensive about unveiling the display out of concern regarding how it would be received by the Black community.

“I was very hesitant, indeed , because I didn’t want to dishonor the family, which is why I reached out to the parents. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of miscommunication surrounding that in the media. But the family was informed, and permission was granted from Michael Brown’s mother.”

As for Mike Brown Sr.’s criticism of the exhibit, Moore said that Brown’s mother, Lesly McSpadden gave her approval of the sculpture.

“I sent a letter that was addressed to both Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, asking for permission before I exhibited the work. Ms. McSpadden wrote back in approval, and I was under the impression that the father was as well because they agreed to fly to Chicago for the opening of the exhibition to speak. I didn’t know that Mr. Brown was not on board until the night of the opening and that I do regret.”

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