1791-2017.jpg

1791-2017

51 x 39 inches

Mixed Media on Canvas and Flag Pole

 

This painting serves as my reaction to the Constitution being attacked under the current administration and people banding together to fight for the rights that it provides. The title evokes the year the Bill of Rights became part of the Constitution in 1791, with 2017 signaling the end of the Constitution as we know it. The colors yellow, orange and black represent Trump, whose face appears above the American flag. His eyes and nose consist of data, with his eyes and mouth as zeros (o) and a one (1) where his nose should be. This refers to our data being hacked and the allegations that Trump’s administration may have been involved in the process. We also see the flag under attack, with an orange square replacing its stars. Around it are a black square representing a “stop” button and a black “pause” sign, which are my way of calling for the abnormal reality that we live in to stop and pause. The pause button can also be interpreted as equality being flipped under the Trump presidency. Finally, I begin to write out the First Amendment, which at the bottom is in part crossed out with a yellow line, representing this administration’s attack on our individual liberties. There is hope in this piece, however, as it shows people fighting back with loose fists taking over and pink hats rising up over the flag from the bottom of the painting, referencing the historical Women’s March. These symbols are positioned in the foreground and above the piece’s other symbols, signaling resilience and change, while also reminding us of the powerful impact of civic engagement and activism.

 

The Two Hands of America

The Two Hands of America, 2017

Collage & acrylic on canvas

42.25 x 27 inches

 

This painting shows the “two hands of America.” One hand symbolizes the oath of allegiance, the promise and commitment that one is supposed to make to tell the truth and protect our unalienable rights. The other hand is the inevitable fist, representing the oppressed and the uprising of people. The fist is pink to reference the Women’s March and the yellow background places the painting in 2017, during the Trump administration. The skeletal and sick hand at the bottom, over the flag, expresses how the current administration is redefining our notion of freedom and contributing to our collective demise (think Noam Chomsky’s warning in January 2017 of the danger the Republican Party poses to the baseline of human survival).