Controversial Red Hook mural painted over

The mural, painted back in 1996, was inspired by a photo taken in the late 1800s.

News 12 Staff

Jul 8, 2020, 2:13 PM

Updated 1,421 days ago

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A mural in Red Hook causing outrage has now been painted over.
The mural, painted back in 1996, was inspired by a photo taken in the late 1800s.   
According to the online petition, the woman in the painting was an African American slave.
The two local artists who created it say the woman was neither African American nor enslaved.
"There is a danger in taking things down when they are perceived racist. If we are not careful in how we pursue social justice we can actually put allies on the other side," says artist Andres San Millan.
News 12 spoke with San Millan this afternoon, he says the landlord wanted to end the controversy and decided to paint over the mural. He is one of the artists who did the painting and says the decision was painful. He feels it denies his expression as an artist.
He says he was open to modifying the painting. San Millan is from Spain and stands against racism but also feels, "We must respect freedoms of speech and freedom of artists."
He reiterated it was never his intention to hurt anyone with the mural, which was commissioned when he was an amateur artist.


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