White Artist Who Depicted Michael Brown’s Dead Body Takes on Flint Water Crisis.

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New Orleans artist Ti-Rock Moore was once called exploitative, appropriative, and derivative, but her latest work is being deemed “powerful.” Moore takes on environmental racism and the country’s dark history of legalized segregation with “Flint,” a working fountain labeled “colored” that spouts yellow-tinted water. The work is currently on display in Miami at Art Basel.


While many are hailing Moore as brave and her work as impactful, she has an extensive history of creating exploitative works which profit off of black pain and appropriate black artists.

Moore sparked controversy in 2015 after news spread that a life-sized replica of Michael Brown’s dead body, that she had created, was on view at Chicago-based Gallery Guichard.

The controversial exhibition, which opened in July of that year, displayed a series of works by Moore, including the Statue of Liberty in blackface, a noose hanging from a neon sign, and a mixed-media work displaying the names of the victims of the Charleston Massacre. The center of the exhibition was a realistic model of Michael Brown’s body as it lay out in the middle of the street for hours on August 9, 2014, following his death at the hands of the police.

The exhibition was brought to the larger attention of social media by activist Johnetta “Netta” Elzie, who visited Gallery Guichard in person and shared footage and pictures of the exhibition on Twitter and Periscope.

Gallery Guichard owner Andre Guichard, who is seen on camera confronting Elzie, maintained that he and Moore had obtained permission from the family of Michael Brown. He also responded directly to detractors on social media.

Several reports, however, contradicted Guichard’s claims. Michael Brown’s father, Michael Brown, Senior, did not give his approval for the work at all. In an interview with FOX 2 St. Louis, he called the replica “disgusting” and “disturbing.”

According to the Guardian, Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden, who visited the gallery, was also unaware that a replica of her son’s dead body would be on display. She requested that it be covered up when she visited and the gallery obliged.

With “Flint” it seems that once again Moore is rising to prominence by depicting a level of suffering that she can never truly empathize with. Her work is on display at a star-studded arts festival and is going viral at a time when residents of Flint, Michigan are still sharing images of yellow and brown tinged water.

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