WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) — WASHINGTON -- A public art exhibit designed to raise awareness about domestic violence is raising some eyebrows from people who believe the exhibit is racist and reminds them of America’s painful past.
Renowned artist Marta Perez Garcia created the piece at the Reeves Center on 14th Street NW. She worked with the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The piece contains bullet shells, silhouettes of bodies with targets on them, acrylic teeth, eyeballs and cloth rag dolls made by domestic violence survivors.
If that doesn’t catch your attention maybe the title of the exhibit will: “I'm gonna get you-body, woman, rupture."
Jean Christophe Deverins is the artist’s assistant. Flipping through the guest book on one visit, he said people get it.
“When you see the reaction from public that is exactly what she wanted,” he said, “people are touched."
But one reaction was unexpected. First, one person complained the dolls suspended by nylon fishing line reminds them of lynching.
WUSA9 called the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities which gave the artist the $50,000 grant. They said the dolls were initially meant to be on the floor of the Reeves Center but since the building is prone to flooding, the artist had to suspend the dolls.
The Commission approved the change but did not see it until the exhibit was final. Now, a spokesperson said since receiving some calls "we are working with the artist to reconfigure the exhibit."
Those close to the artist tell WUSA9 she’s devastated by the negative feedback and believes her intention is clear.
The exhibit runs until the end of October which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.