British Indian Artist Condemns U.S. National Rifle Association for Using His Artwork in Ad
Anish Kapoor criticized the U.S. National Rifle Association for using the image of his famous sculpture Cloud Gate, installed in Chicago.
British Indian artist Anish Kapoor has condemned the U.S. National Rifle Association (NRA) for using his famous artwork for its ad. In the open letter, written in collaboration with gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety on March 12, Kapoor criticized the NRA for using the image of his famous sculpture Cloud Gate, which was installed in Chicago’s Millennium Park in 2004.
Kapoor said that the image of his artwork was used without his permission in a “politicized advertisement” called the “The Clenched Fist of Truth.”
The image shows the sculpture and a crowd around it. Kapoor said that the ad “plays to the basest and most primal impulses of paranoia, conflict and violence, and uses them in an effort to create a schism to justify its most regressive attitudes.”
Kapoor said he was “disgusted” to see his work used by the NRA “to promote their vile message.” Kapoor condemned “the NRA’s nightmarish, intolerant, divisive vision” that “perverts everything that Cloud Gate — and America — stands for.”
In the video, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said “they use their ex-president to endorse the resistance,” referring to Barack Obama, who was a Chicago resident. The Cloud Gate is shown briefly in the video when the statement is made by Loesch. Another iconic installation featured in the video is the Hollywood sign.
Loesch said in the video: “They use their media to assassinate real news,” “use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler,” “use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again,” and “use their ex-president to endorse the Resistance.”
Kapoor holds the copyright for the sculpture, and anybody who wants to use the body of work commercially needs to take permission from him, according to the Washington Post. However, tourists are permitted to photograph the artwork.
However, he decided not to pursue the matter legally.
“I decided it wasn’t worth the effort, much to my shame, because one does want to defend the ethical integrity of the work,” he said, since the pro-gun advocacy group was “extremely aggressive, legalistic.”
In light of the recent gun violence in Florida, Las Vegas, and Texas, Kapoor said that it is “more urgent than ever that this organization is held to account for its ongoing campaign of fear and hate in American society.”
In the Florida mass shooting, 17 people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.