It was a nice thought. The city of Boston paid $10 million to construct a statue commemorating the iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The statue was unveiled on January 10th, and the response so far is…not great. It received mixed reviews from critics, but the internet had a field day with the confusing piece.
Here are some of the top comments from around the internet concerning the odd work of art.
It’s a Colon
“Here, hold my colon,” said one Redditor, referencing how the sculpture looks like giant hands holding a colon when viewed from a certain angle.
Seriously What is Happening in this Statue?
“Depending on the angle it either looks like…someone hugging a giant semi-flaccid —–, or someone holding a colon. From no angles does it look like two people hugging.” Said one user.
Another commented, “I am not joking; I had no idea the context of this statue and I thought it was a contortionist trying to fellatiate itself.”
Twitter user BeautfulSoul said the statue should come with a warning.
Angles are everything in this piece. One user said it looked like giant hands holding up poop, but sort of saw the embrace from a different angle. “from another angle it is of arms embracing. Just looks like a giant turd from this angle apparently.” they said.
What was the Artist Thinking?
You’d think an artist would consider how a work would appear from every viewing angle, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this piece.
“I’m amazed the artist didn’t seem to consider all possible angles of viewing of this GIANT sculpture. I’m embarrassed for the artist, town, and MLK family.” said one user.
10 Million Dollars
Most of the internet was appalled by the 10 million dollar price tag. Twitter user Sabby Sabs said Boston should have invested the $10 million into the black community.
🗣$10 million spent on an MLK & Coretta Scott King statue and most ppl have no idea what this statue is supposed to be‼️
Why not take that $10 million and invest in black neighborhoods in Boston, instead❓️https://t.co/8gEVHXV1pI pic.twitter.com/wkA5xf2uhf
— Sabby Sabs (@SabbySabs2) January 16, 2023
Redditors said taxpayers should ask for receipts on how the money was really spent.
Not a Good Representation
Many users expressed outrage that the statue didn’t represent Martin Luther King properly. With a $10 million budget, the city could have made a full bust of the iconic leader.
Twitter user Cranky Federalist asked why we couldn’t get a statue of MLK that was just a statue of MLK.
Was it really so hard to commission a statue of MLK that was just, idk, a statue of MLK?
— Cranky Federalist (@CrankyFed) January 16, 2023
Lots of users on Twitter described the statue as racist. Many commented that the erasure of black heads and faces was intentional and disrespectful.
White American political leaders: Let’s make a MLK statue to keep the blacks happy.
Artist: How about “the embrace” picture?
White politician: Okay yeah, but leave the black faces out. We don’t like them.
Artist: $ Okay $$$ pic.twitter.com/9VHxTXrO2k
— ⭑ ☭ ⭑ Justice for the Damned ⭑ ☭ ⭑ (@tekstone) January 16, 2023
Twitter user Michelle Efendi implied the new statue is just the latest in an overtly racist city.
Last year, they segregated restaurants on MLK JR’s birthday. This year, they unveiled a disrespectful “work of art.” Boston politicos jumped the shark. Their gaslighting has gone too far. The WORLD is saying hell no to this “statue.” Tear it down. #MLKDay pic.twitter.com/Q1EEEyMSxo
— Michelle Efendi (@EfendiMichelle) January 16, 2023
One Angle is Fine
If you look from one precise angle, the statue is okay. Some can see it as an “embrace.”
Twitter user Twofifthsinstitue shared a photo of the correct angle, saying the other angles don’t do it justice.
Is the best angle of the #MLKStatue
All others don’t do it “justice” pic.twitter.com/KPeV5mZF23
— twofifthsinstitute (@tweettwofifths) January 16, 2023
Others disagreed. Verified user Abby Libby said there’s no angle from which the statue looks good.
There is no angle from which this statue looks good. No angle from which it does not give a weirdly sexual impression. The intended subject matter: the sweet embrace photo, is a lie. MLK cheated on Coretta multiple times. The entirety of this art is intentionally ugly and false. pic.twitter.com/eAPG2C91wD
— Abby Libby (@abbythelibb_) January 14, 2023
The Statue is Awful
The internet rarely agrees on anything, but users on Reddit and Twitter agreed “The Embrace” is awful, confusing, and a horrible tribute to one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century.
What do you think about the statue?
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.