Anish Kapoor has emerged victorious in his months-long battle with the National Riffle Association. Back in March, he first called out the NRA for using his famed Cloud Gate sculpture, aka the Bean, at Chicago’s Millennium Park, in one of its propaganda videos. A few months later, he filed a lawsuit against them. Now Kapoor has forced the NRA to remove his artwork from its videos, and is demanding that the organization donate $1 million to the victims of gun violence.
Kapoor announced that he had received his desired end result in an open letter, where he declared “victory over the NRA,” as Art News points out. “Their bullying and intimidation [have] not succeeded,” Kapoor’s statement reads. “This is a victory not just in defense 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.” He also referred to the antimainstream media propaganda “The Violence of Lies,” in which Cloud Gate appears, as an “abhorrent video.”
Kapoor didn’t announce whether the NRA would be paying him the $150,000 he was seeking in the copyright infringement lawsuit he filed back in June. But he did demand that the NRA donate heftily to gun violence victims as well as anti-gun-violence organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety, which he collaborated with back in March on an open letter.
“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,” he wrote. “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’s ‘advertisement’—as they describe the video on their own website—seeks to whip up fear and hate. It plays 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.”
He is also calling for the NRA to donate to nonprofits like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The NRA will not be allowed to use art in support of their propaganda,” Anish Kapoor writes in his latest statement. “We in our turn call for the clenched fist of resistance, solidarity, and humanity.”