After plans for him to become the venue’s eponym were put in place, Dave Chappelle has disclosed that he has chosen against having the theatre at his former high school named after him.
While in Washington, D.C. for a dedication ceremony of the venue at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the standup comic made his thoughts on the topic public Monday night.
While Chappelle reiterated that he did not believe his critics were productive, he also claimed that he did not want his name to be displayed in the theatre if it would distract pupils.
Instead of being called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression, the student theatre will be dubbed the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.
Chappelle’s representatives could not be reached for comment right away.
The school had planned a naming ceremony with Chappelle last year, but it was postponed after the comedian sparked outrage from LGBTQ+ members and allies for using transphobic language in his Netflix special “The Closer” in 2021.
When Chappelle visited Duke Ellington’s campus in November, he was met with hostility from sections of the student body. Some students confronted the comic about his disregard for the criticism he’s received from LGBTQ+ people.
One kid reportedly told Chappelle at the time, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you treated it like a child.”
“The Ellington family is my family,” Chappelle said after announcing his decision on Monday evening.
Chappelle is one of Duke Ellington’s most ardent advocates and donors, having given the college millions of dollars, delivered commencement speeches, and conducted master classes for students. “The most significant honour of my life,” he said of the choice to name the theatre after him.
The theatre building at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, was set to be named after one of the school’s most renowned graduates, Dave Chappelle, at a ceremony tonight.
The nomination was based on Chappelle’s support for the school, particularly after he and his pals raised the most money for the construction.
After comments in his Netflix special last year were interpreted as transphobic, Chappelle has been at the centre of controversy. He was even approached by kids during a November visit to the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
According to Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin and others, the comedian declared at tonight’s event that he would not be naming the theatre after all. Instead, he chose the name Theater of Artistic Freedom and Expression for it.
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He then went on to describe how his work has been classified and evaluated.
“I read in the press that a man dressed in women’s clothing attempted to disfigure the Mona Lisa by throwing a pie at her. That made me giggle, and I thought to myself, “It’s like The Closest.”
According to Chappelle, In the press, the closest was portrayed in an unflattering light.
He stated that “you can’t report on an artist’s work and take out an aesthetic nuance.”
The comedian contrasted it to breaking the news that a large bunny had shot a guy in the face but without informing the audience that the work represented was a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
“The more you say I can’t say anything, the more I feel compelled to express it.” I’m not sure it has anything to do with what you say. It has everything to do with my artistic expression freedom.
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Why Is Mona Lisa So Popular?
The Mona Lisa is famed for being an oil painting by Renaissance legend Leonardo da Vinci in the realistic style.
Da Vinci was born in 1452 and grew up to become one of the Renaissance’s greatest painters, architects, and inventors.
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Despite his later achievements, Leonardo da Vinci had no formal schooling beyond learning to read, write and perform rudimentary math.
His father instantly saw his son’s aptitude for learning and realised that such a gift should not be squandered.
His father apprenticed da Vinci to sculptor and painter Andrea del Verrocchio when he was only 15 years old.
Despite his talents shining by the time he was 20, Da Vinci spent a decade training with Verrocchio.
The Florence Painter’s Guild offered the young artist admission before he finished his apprenticeship, but he declined to finish his training with Verrocchio and become an independent artist.
After France attacked Milan in 1499, Leonardo da Vinci began working on portraits from Florence, one of which he named La Gioconda.
The Mona Lisa is a 21-inch by 31-inch picture that was produced between 1503 and 1506. It is estimated to have been painted between 1503 and 1506.
Da Vinci travelled to France after years of teaching in Italy when King Francis I granted him the title of “Premier Painter, Engineer, and Architect to the King.”
Francesco Melzi, a former pupil and close friend, would accompany him into the next phase of his life.
Leonardo da Vinci died three years later at the age of 67 and was buried near the royal church of Saint-Florentin.
After da Vinci’s death, Melzi received all of da Vinci’s possessions and married.
The estate of Leonardo da Vinci was later sold by Melzi’s son.