Anish Kapoor ‘Declares Victory’ Over NRA
The National Rifle Association have removed an image of the artist’s sculpture from a promotional video after he sued
The National Rifle Association (NRA) have removed an image of Anish Kapoor’s public sculpture Cloud Gate (2006) from a controversial promotional video, released last year, which the artist said ‘seeks to promote fear, hostility and division in American society.’
The NRA video, which warns of liberal America’s threat to freedom, includes a brief shot of Kapoor’s sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park, alongside other examples of American architecture. A voiceover targets an unidentified enemy who ‘teach[es] children that their president is another Hitler’, ‘use[es] their media to assassinate real news’ and encourages others to ‘scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia’.
Following the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 students and staff were killed, Kapoor published an open letter, criticising the NRA, which advocates for gun rights across America. The letter accused the video, entitled The Clenched Fist of Truth, of playing ‘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.’
‘I am disgusted to see my work – in truth the sculpture of the people of Chicago – used by the NRA to promote their vile message,’ the letter continued. ‘Recent shootings in Florida, Las Vegas, Texas, and a number of other towns and cities, make it more urgent than ever that this organization is held to account for its ongoing campaign of fear and hate in American society.’
The NRA did not initially move to remove the image of Kapoor’s work, prompting the British sculptor to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against the association in June.
In a statement issued by the artist on Thursday, however, Kapoor revealed that he had reached an out-of-court settlement and that the image of his public sculpture had been removed from the video. ‘This is a victory not just in defence of the copyright of my work, but it is also a declaration that we stand with those who oppose gun violence in America and elsewhere,’ the artist said in a statement. ‘I invite the NRA to do the honourable thing and donate USD$1 million to the victims of gun violence in America through charities such as Every Town for Gun Safety, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Giffords, The Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,’ Kapoor’s statement continued.