By Chevonne Harris–
Who knew nearly naked white women strewn over the shoulders of a well-dressed black guy would make the perfect winter accessory? Well, artist Nate Hill did.
Known for his oftentimes beyond-the-box perspective, Hill has been making headlines recently with his latest artistic expression, “Trophy Scarves.” The Instagram photo series @trophyscarves captures the artist in various mirror selfies with naked or nearly white women hoisted over his shoulders as symbolic human scarves. Hill, who is black, is seen dressed in formal attire in what has become his signature clear glasses, suit and bow-tie.
So why the peculiar, attention grabbing artistic statement? “Well, there are people who see certain races as status symbols, and someone had to comment on that,” Hill told Vice. “The racial aspect in particular is front-and-center; for myriad reasons, and in large part thanks to the inextricable links between patriarchy and racism, white women have been considered the ultimate trophies for black men.”
As strange as the project may sound, this is not the artist’s first trip into controversial and slightly peculiar territory. In 2008 the 36-year-old made his debut onto the art scene with taxidermy tours of Chinatown’s garbage. That was followed by “Death Bear” where Hill dressed in a bear suit and met strangers to take away their possessions associated with bad memories. He’s also thrown half-eaten cheeseburgers at bystanders and delivered fake crack to apartments while wearing a dolphin suit.
Since the project’s social media debut, “Trophy Scarves” has received mixed reviews with some user’s congratulating Hill for the bold statement and others saying the photos objectify and demean women.
Personally, I have no qualms with the project. If white teens can dress in blackface as Halloween pastimes then why can’t a black man can toss a few willing white women over his shoulders. I’m down for anything that spurs healthy conversations on race relations in America. I’m also not opposed to photos that show black men just how ridiculous they look when they tout their white women as symbols of their self-induced, non-present status and power.
Rock on Hill.