William Wiley
No Fault Insurance, 2006
Jacquard tapestry
55 x 78 in.
edition of 6

William Wiley has produced a number of tapestries with the Magnolia Tapestry Project, depicting a host of mythic and politically charged figures with characteristically adventurous formal gusto. His latest, No Fault Insurance, considers the case of Amadou Diallo, a West African immigrant shot and killed by the NYPD in February of 2000 when he attempted to withdraw his wallet, which police officers claimed to have mistaken for a weapon. The officers were later acquitted of all charges. In Wiley’s colorful tapestry, a bird-like character borrowed from Bosch skates on thin ice below the warped “bridge of justice,” under which a religious figure, a goblin, and an armed rat huddle in deliberation; a fallen black bird and an open wallet lie nearby. On the skating figure, whose mantle conspicuously bears an NYPD badge, Wiley has wryly pinned a button depicting the alchemical symbol for lead. -Nick Stone