By Winsip Custer of CPW News Service
|Miss Ebony Ivory by|
Adolf Blanco Negro
Miss Ebony Ivory by artist Adolf Blanco Negro of Memphis, Tennessee is a half-black and half-white copy of Hiram Power's famous statue.
It was to some the desecration of the famous Hiram Powers statue, The Greek Slave, but not to artist Adolf Blanco Negro of Memphis, Tennessee. “It was a symbol of what had happened to the Greeks and what could happen to anyone, even citizens of the world’s greatest democracy,” said Negro.
“Hiram Powers’ statue created quite a stir during the American Civil War in places like Boston and New York. A white woman chained to a stump draped with a cloth to hide its primitive brutality, but the chain is there for all to see and there’s no mistaking its meaning.”
When asked if he had taken an exact replica of Hiram Powers work and painted it black and white, Negro said “artists frequently borrow broad concepts from each other. Consider Peter Max or Jackson Pollock. Max was a wholesale copy cat and no one’s making a stink about his credibility.”
“What about Pollock?” I asked Negro. “We’ll he copied the floor of the Benjamin Moore Paint Factory after that big explosion,” said Negro.
“Beside, Power’s statue did not have the chain looping around the base of the stump and disappearing behind a curtain,” said Negro.
“During the Civil War it was obvious to Northerners that Hiram Power’s Greek Slave was a message that Southern plantation owners were like the Turks who had enslaved the Greek woman. Powers was something of the New England elite’s artist-in-residence and was buried in the American cemetery in Florence, Italy where many of them lived, studying the lives of the Italian Medici family which they believed was an earlier version of themselves," said Negro. "So who is supposedly behind the curtain in Miss Ebony and Ivory?” I asked him.
“Well that is subject to interpretation isn’t it?” he said. “It's not the plantation owners anymore is it? Some say it’s the Ford Motor Company or Brown and Root or Halliburton or Rockefeller. Ford pays its Mexican workers $8,000 a year with few benefits. I have heard others say it’s Walmart. Use your imagination why don’t you?” said Negro.
“After hearing the pot calling the kettle back, or white depending on your perspective, I have invited Rev. Al Sharpton and Glen Beck to appear at next year’s unveiling of Miss Ebony Ivory on MLK Day and to shake hands as they stand on either side of the lovely statue at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC. So far they haven’t responded,” said Negro.
An attempt to contact the Corcoran Gallery to confirm the MLK Day event has not yet substantiated Adolf Blanco Negro's claim, but Glen Beck and Al Sharpton in an unexpected show of solidarity with other ethnic groups said they would attend if the Corcoran Gallery agreed to include Mr. Negro's "Miss Pocahontas Soong" which is exactly like Miss Ebony Ivory, but painted half red and half yellow.