A massive bronze sculpture of an African-American man riding a war horse was unveiled in Times Square Friday as a criticism of controversial confederate monuments, the artist said.
The striking 27-foot-tall statue, “Rumors of War is War,” by Kehinde Wiley — the New York artist who famously painted former President Barack Obama’s portrait — will be showcased for several weeks on Broadway Plaza near 46th Street.
It features a man wearing urban clothing atop a battlefield-ready horse — as a response to confederate monuments in the south and everyday violence, Wiley said.
“The inspiration for the Rumors of War is an engagement with violence,” he said. “[It] attempts to use the language of equestrian portraiture to both embrace and subsume the fetishization of state violence.”
Hundreds of people gathered and some cheered as the Nigerian-American artist unveiled the sculpture Friday.
It is part of a series by Wiley that features confederate generals on horses, leading their troops into war.
Last year, Wiley painted the ex-commander-in-chief sitting on a chair surrounded by bright green bush and flowers, which Obama called, “pretty sharp.”