Artwork removed from Shawnee mall after complaints

Shoppers flocked to Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City on Friday, the traditional opening day of holiday shopping.
Shoppers flocked to Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City on Friday, the traditional opening day of holiday shopping.

Several paintings were removed from a Shawnee mall this week after shoppers complained it showed racist images, including the president wearing a Nazi uniform.

The Community Art Gallery recently featured a painting display in the Shawnee Mall’s concourse that depicted President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and others wearing Nazi uniforms, with swastikas on their left sleeve.

A sign next to the paintings called the work “Goebbles Girbles,” a reference to Joseph Goebbels, a propagandist for the Nazi Party during World War II.

“Joseph Goebbles (sic) perfected the science of propaganda in Nazi Germany,” the sign said. “The American political system and media market giants thrive off this blood-letting.”

Seen through decorations, shoppers on Friday make their way through Penn Square Mall on Black Friday, the traditional opening day of the holiday shopping season.
Seen through decorations, shoppers on Friday make their way through Penn Square Mall on Black Friday, the traditional opening day of the holiday shopping season.

The sign said other prominent politicians and media personalities were included in the artwork, including late-night television hosts Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah.

KFOR first reported shopper complaints about the artwork on Tuesday.

“I don’t see any issue with it. But, you know, art can be a touchy subject," Scott Baird, co-owner of the art gallery, told KFOR.

A representative with the Community Art Gallery declined to comment when reached by The Oklahoman on Friday but said the art display was no longer up.

Mall officials did not return a request for comment.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Shawnee Mall art display removed after complaints