Catholic University unveiled the painting at the conclusion of Columbus Law School’s Black History Month program, according to a university website post.
“Mama” hangs right outside the Mary, Mirror of Justice Chapel in Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law and emulates the renowned “Pieta,” a statue carved by Italian sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1499 depicting Jesus Christ’s mother, Mary, holding him in her arms after his crucifixion.
Latimore, who lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri, said in an April interview that his painting was commissioned by his partner “as a way to mourn George Floyd.”
A spokesperson for Latimore told The Daily Signal on Monday that the artist was in his studio and unavailable for comment.
“‘Mama’ is done as a pieta,” said the spokesperson, who refrained from specifically stating that the painting depicts Floyd. “A mother with her son of color who was unjustly murdered by the state.”
A video of the ceremony, once posted on the university’s website, became private after The Daily Signal sought comment from the university. Catholic University did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this point. TheDailySignal
During the ceremony, the post said, Law School Dean Stephen Payne recited the poem “Solidarity” by Maya Angelou and reminded those gathered that “diversity is a divine gift we should cherish.” Assistant Dean Shani Butts read “I Dream a World” by poet Langston Hughes.
Latimore has received "Spiritual deninciations" and death threats as a result of the depiction of George Floyd as Jesus. He says that the common question that people ask him was "Is it George Floyd or Jesus", to which he rsponds "yes".
Latimore called this a “nonanswer” and said it “frustrated the hell out of a lot of people.”