Best Painting That Captured the Horror of June 17, 2015

Leo Twiggs’ “Requiem for Mother Emanuel No. 3”

Staff Pick

In the days shortly after the Emanuel Nine shooting, some of the area’s most talented artists and designers turned their attention to the tragedy. But almost to a man, each one focused on the spirit of unity that followed in the wake of the shooting. Celebrated batik artist Leo Twiggs opted for a different approach. His “Requiem for Mother Emanuel No. 3” is the only work that we have seen so far that truly captures the horror and shame of that day. Twiggs’ piece is a powerful statement that speaks to the South’s deep-seated racial woes and the role that institutional racism played in creating a murderer like Dylann Roof, something the other works avoided altogether, in part because they assign blame to the community at large. There’s a time and place for both messages, but it will be Twiggs’ piece that will live on. —Chris Haire
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