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FAIL! Artist Uses Rhianna's Police Photograph, Says "There Is No Message"

Rhianna_art I have always thought that artwork represents emotions that words cannot convey. Whether it is a photograph or a painting, digital or in charcoal, art speaks without words. but what if a piece of art, provocative art at that, is prefaced by saying it has no meaning?

What if that art was the representation of a woman's beaten face?

According to artist Sham Ibrahim, his digital art of Rhianna's infamous police photograph, in which the singer is beaten and bruised, her eyes closed in a position of defeat and pain, has no message behind it at all. In fact, it's all about the pretty colors he got to use.

Well you can use all 64 crayons in the box to color me pissed.

Here's the quote from Ibrahim, before I blow my stack:

"I thought the bruises in the police photo were interesting shapes to draw," he says. "And it was cool to color them pink and blue. Those are two of my favorite colors."

"There is no message to any of my art," he says. "It's meant to look cool hanging on your wall and that's it! I'm not into deep meanings."

No message, eh, Mr. Ibrahim? No message that this woman was beaten, beaten until her face turned black and blue, her skin swollen and full of welts? No message that 50% of young women in a poll said that it was Rhianna's fault that she was beaten? No message that it's Domestic Violence Awareness Month, as instituted by President Obama and you DARE say that your art has no meaning?

Perhaps if Mr. Ibrahim had taken a moment to reflect on his own artwork, he would have seen that his talents could have been put to good use; to further the cause of awareness of domestic violence, or to use his art to represent what countless women go through every day in America. But no. He uses a grim symbol of the scourge of domestic violence against women and goes on to say that it has no meaning. Not only is that irresponsible as an artist, it's irresponsible as a human being.

Mr. Ibrahim, did you ever stop to think of what Rhianna must feel, seeing her face torn to pieces splashed all over the media? To be photographed at her most vulnerable and have it become stock footage for the tag "domestic violence?" And to then have it turned into "art" and to have the artist say it is meaningless? That her pain was meaningless? That the pain of millions of women who are beaten every day is meaningless?

You can take your pretty colors and shove them up your ass, Mr. Ibrahim. What you have done by dismissing the reality behind your artistic rendering is poison. You should be ashamed of yourself.



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What a total jackass. Wish I were more surprised.


But isn't art the artist's perrogative, and therefore not up to us to censor? It's not his responsibility to SAY that his art means anything. To me, art is about what it means to me. We can rarely know what an artist was thinking when they created a painting, or wrote a novel, or penned a song. Our own interpretation is what makes a work meaningful.


Ok, well let's say for argument's sake then we shouldn't question the artist's intent behind the work, if he says it's just meant to "look cool hanging on your wall" then fine, we will judge it according to his own standard. Does anybody out there really agree a multicolor picture of a bruised and beaten victim of domestic violence "looks cool" hanging above your sofa or fireplace? He still fails.


Words can't even begin to express how offended I am by this.


Hilary - I hear you. Seems like the only thing that surprises me anymore is how many ways, and in how many circumstances, people can be total jackasses.

Ken - very well said.

Jodifur - agree in full.


While I see Deanna's point that 'art is art and meaning is up to the artiest' etc,etc., but have to agree with Ken.

I think I will then exercise my right to interpret this piece as horribly exploitive and painful to look at and was painted by a non-caring, devoid of human emotion, jerk.

I think I'll stick to my Shag obsession instead.


If he gets you to stop and ask what art is and what it's for and why people make art and what the responsibility of the artist is and how meaning works part from the artist's intention, he wins.

Is it good? It's better than a fucking seascape with a bunch of seagulls.

[I love you miss banshee. don't hate me because I'm argumentative]


is every idiot in the country being quoted this month? wtf? awful.

also--50% of young women in the poll thought it was rihanna's fault? i want to die now.


you found this offensive? i think it's quite brilliant. it's using the style of warhol's monroe prints to point out that a woman's pain has become a pop commodity.

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