A local artist is responding after a woman was caught scraping her public display off of a picnic table in Takoma Park, Maryland.
A friend of 28-year-old D.C. artist Tenbeete Solomon, who goes by Trap Bob, was walking by her art display on a picnic table commissioned by the city of Takoma Park when he noticed a woman using a blade to scrape off the painting of a Black woman with the word “Justice” in her hair.
“It was painful. Art is my life. My pieces are like children to me,” Solomon said. “Beyond me being an artist and me being hurt by my art being damaged, it is such a bigger issue.”
Main Street Takoma posted the video on social media of the incident at the Takoma Gazebo, and Montgomery County Park Police were able to identify and talk to the woman.
“They paid her to do this. Takoma, government … they paid her to do this,” a man can be heard saying in the video.
The woman seen scraping the paint replies with, “I don’t think so.”
They say she lives in the area and that charges are being considered.
Police told WTOP that there is an initial indication that the woman thought it was an “unauthorized art display” and that they are talking to the woman again soon.
Solomon said Takoma Park already offered to pay her to repaint the pieces and that local businesses have also stepped up to say they’d commission her to do similar work.
“I’m ready to paint the whole city. I think that we definitely have to send the message that this was not acceptable,” Soloman said. “The fact that those murals were there was to prove the point that racism is still such a huge issue in all of our communities.”
I’m livid. An artist friend of mine confronted + recorded this woman literally defacing my murals because she “doesn’t like them” and doesn’t believe I was hired to create them. How racist do you have to be to scrape black faces + names off of someone’s art? Disgusting pic.twitter.com/wC9DA9Ft1w
— STONA LISA (@TRAPBOB) December 10, 2020