The Easel

Raw Material

A firestorm has erupted over the Whitney Biennial including a painting of the black victim of a 1950’s lynching. The white artist is being accused of “appropriating” black suffering and “aestheticizing” horror. But these are not the only issues. “Whose art is it, and who gets to make it?” Further, are critics of the painting denying that “sympathy, and … identification, are possible across racial lines?”