Billboard Company Backs Out of Displaying Artist's George Floyd Mural in Minneapolis

Trace William Cowen
·2 min read

Image via Getty/David Dee Delgado

An artist is sounding the alarm on "censorship at its worst" in Minneapolis.

Clear Channel Outdoor, a billboard company, has backed out of a display based on an oil painting by artist Donald Perlis. According to Artnet, the 79-year-old Brooklyn artist had signed a contract and paid for the display prior to receiving an email from a Clear Channel exec. In the email, the report adds, Perlis was told the display wouldn't be put up because the painting "depicts acts of violence."

The painting, titled FLOYD, can be seen below. For the Minneapolis display, the painting was set to be accompanied by a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. The display was scheduled to start the week of Jan. 11, 2021. Previously, the George Floyd Justice Billboard Committee ran a version of the same display featuring a Dalai Lama quote.

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Image via George Floyd Justice Billboard Committee

"The violent and tortured death of Jesus Christ is depicted in every art museum, every church, every Christian Institution in the world," Perlis said of the billboard being halted. "Are they rejecting the martyrdom of George Floyd because he was a Black man?"

While Perlis had hoped that an alternate site for the billboard could have been worked out. Other versions of the display are set to launch in Atlanta, Georgia and Los Angeles, California in the coming weeks.

Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter after kneeling on Floyd's neck for eight minutes. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane, and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

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